Friday, January 23, 2009

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

Genre - Action/Fantasy
Year Released - 2009
Running Time - 92 minutes
Rated R (for bloody violence and some sexuality)
Directed by Patrick Tatapoulos (who did the f/x work for the 1st two films - this one is his directorial debut)
Written by Danny McBride, (who also co-wrote the 1st two films) Dirk Blackman, and Howard McCain (both of whom are writing the new Conan screenplay - coming in 2010!)
Based on characters created by Len Wiseman, Kevin Grevioux, and Danny McBride
Cast Includes:
Bill Nighy [who reprises his role as Viktor, from the 1st two films]
Michael Sheen [who reprises his role as Lucian, from the 1st two films]
Rhona Mitra [as Sonja, Viktor's daughter] (Rhona also played Kit in Nip/Tuck and Sinclair in Doomsday)
Steven Mackintosh [as Tannis]
Kevin Grevioux [Raze, from the 1st film]

Rating: 4 Skulls


Plot Summary
:

A prequel to the first two Underworld films, this one explains the origins of the feud between the Vampires and the Lycans.

Aided by his secret love Sonja, courageous Lucian leads the Lycans in battle against the brutal Vampire Viktor. Determined to break Viktor's enslavement of his people, Lucian faces off against the Death Dealer army in a bid for Lycan independence.

The lovely Rhona Mitra replaces the void left by Kate Beckinsale

Review:
First, I just have to say that I am a big fan of the Underworld series. I have been since the day the 1st one came out in the theatres, and I have eagerly awaited this prequel! [hey, any well-made film that pits vampires against werewolves - I'm there!!] :-)


I have always loved vampires and werewolves, though I used to be more partial to vampires [probably due to Brian Lumley's Necroscope saga] However, over the years, I have grown to love werewolves even more - especially since last year's novel, Ravenous, written by Ray Garton - the werewolves he writes about would easily be able to tear a vampire to shreds! [Not to mention that Garton is planning some cross-overs that will bring his werewolves - from Ravenous, and it's upcoming sequel, Bestial - and vampires - from Live Girls & Night Life together - I am anxiously awaiting that day!]


Wow, I really got off track there, didn't I?
This is supposed to be a review about Rise of the Lycans So, how was the movie, you ask. . .
If you are a fan of the 1st two films, I do not see why you wouldn't love this one!
If you are a fan of werewolves and/or vampires, and have been waiting for a movie where they battle one another, then this one is it!

This one is more violent than its predecessors [from what I remember, anyway - I should have watched the 1st two, before this one, but I just didn't find the time. . .] Lots of werewolf decapitations and amputations, and werewolves tearing vampires apart, etc.

For those who may be unaware, this one tells the story of why the vampires & lycans first went to war [something that we already knew, but was cool to see, feature-length]
I loved the collars that the lycans were forced to wear, preventing them from shifting [the collars had sharpened metal points, facing the throat, so a shift would cause the throat to be torn open] I badly wanted to see this happen, but alas, that never happened.

For those who may wonder about Selene [Kate Beckinsale's character from the 1st two films] this film takes place before her time. If you remember, Viktor was always fond of Selene, due to her likeness of his daughter, Sonja [perfectly cast as Rhona Mitra, as she looks a lot like Beckinsale! Remember, Sonja was also in the 1st film, but was not Mitra]

Alas, I digress. . .

Obviously, for some odd reason, my mind is wandering all over the place this evening, and I cannot seem to stay on subject.

If you liked the 1st two, then by all means, go see this one as well.

If you have never seen an Underworld film, this one is a good one to start with, as there will be surprises for you - you will then want to go see the 1st two :-)

Here's the Trailer:


Jason

10 comments:

Lisa Bee said...

Another great review. Sounds like this could be better than the first two Underworld movies. I liked the first one, but wasn't so crazy about the second. So an improvement would be appreciated. Hopefully, I can catch this while it's still in theaters.

thebonebreaker said...

Thanks Lisa!

Let me know if you catch it and what you thought

[I still like the 1st one the best - this one is probably on par with the 2nd one, perhaps slightly better, as it is more ferocious!] :-)

J

Bearded Weirdo Reviews said...

Rhona Mitra makes my pants tight.

I actually do wanna see this (great trailer) and I like the fact that they kept the original actor as Lucian, but I still haven't seen the second Underworld, so, even though I know this is a prequel, I still want to see that flick first, ya know?

thebonebreaker said...

William,

hahahahahaha - I can understand that - she had some pretty hot scenes in the 3rd Season(?) of Nip/Tuck - I've been a fan ever since ;-)

I can also understand seeing films in the order that they were made ~ I am the same way.

J

Bearded Weirdo Reviews said...

Yeah. I dig Nip/Tuck. She was also in The Life Of David Gale, and she has a brief sex scene with Kevin Spacey (of all people) which nice, but, really, The Life Of David Gale is an incredible movie in general (5 out of 5, all the way). If you haven't seen it, you should definitely check it out.
On a related note, Rhona Mitra was also in this straight-to-DVD sci-fi flick with Christopher Lambert called Beowulf. Yes, Beowulf. Not to be confused with the animated one that came out last year (I think it was last year... maybe the year before that). Beowulf (the Rhona Mitra one) stars, as I mentioned, Christopher Lambert as the title character... who always wears a black trenchcoat and has a bleached blonde Billy Idol buzzcut. Imagine a low-budget retelling of the Beowulf legend, only taking place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where people break out into random kung-fu fights while arming themselves with chainsaw swords (yes, chainsaw swords). Oh, and the entire soundtrack is made up of awful, awful, AWFUL techno music, and there's a crap-ton of scenes that appear to showcase this film's desperate wish to be like Mortal Kombat. It's terrible, but in the most entertaining ways possible. And, I swear, every scene Rhona Mitra is in... her cleavage is front and center in the frame. Glorious!

thebonebreaker said...

Oh man, I forgot all about The Life of David Gale ~ that was a great movie, and I have seen Beowulf [which, while not very good, I enjoyed way more than the CGI one] - Monsters HD used to run it all the time - like you said, entertaining! :-)

Bearded Weirdo Reviews said...

I can't believe you've seen that flick! Awesome! I know very few people who've seen and can sympathize with my pain. Great "bad movie." Also cool that you've seen Gale. Great, great film.

thebonebreaker said...

Yeah, like I said, Monsters HD used to air it pretty frequently, though my main reason for watching it was for Lambert - I am a fan of his as well!

J

Bearded Weirdo Reviews said...

Ditto. I dig that slightly sardonic edge he maintain in pretty much every role, no matter what the role might be.

thebonebreaker said...

Exactly! :-)