Science fiction and fantasy
directed by Len Wiseman
As a vampire, Markus looks more impressive than the others with his massive bat-wings, his grey skin, and a truly monstrous appearance. But Markus is not the ally Selene was hoping for. He knows that she has a secret, even though it's a secret she doesn't know about herself. And he doesn't care if he has to kill her first in order to find out what she knows.
Of course, as in the first film, much of the plot is an excuse for some wanton violence. The near-constant fight scenes are punctuated by occasional nudity and further revelations of deceit. The nudity is there partly to remind us that vampires are a decadent bunch, and partly to spice up the fighting with a dash of love interest. And there is a lot of fighting. For immortals, it's a wonder that any of them manage to last more than a few years.
Underworld Evolution is a stylised bloodbath, full of fantastic leaps, gothic piles, and brutal vampires, all of it filmed in washed-out tones. This is an attractive movie, with bucketloads of style. But that's not to say that it's devoid of any substance. The plot is coherent, and it sustains interest until the ending, although probably not beyond.
Bill Nighy plays a prominent role as the vampire Viktor in various flashback scenes. But unfortunately his manner seems all wrong. His stilted English accent makes him come across as more of a cross schoolmaster than the powerful vampire overlord he is supposed to be, and his whole face sometimes seems so stiff you could iron your shirt on it.
This is a light movie that doesn't pretend to any deep messages about major issues. The dialogue is spare and functional for the most part, never getting in the way of the action. So there's never any danger of things standing still for long enough to bore you, but on the other hand it is hardly sparkling with wit.
Underworld Evolution is an entertaining film, but it never goes beyond many of the clichés of the vampire or werewolf genres. This is a good one to watch for those times when you want to disengage your brain.
If you like this, try:Silver-Tongued Devil by Jaye Wells
A series of murders threaten the fragile peace between vampires, mages, and the other dark races. The fourth in the Sabina Kane series.
30 Days Of Night by David Slade
The town of Barrow in Arctic circle is the perfect location for dark-loving, publicity-shy vampires.
Perfect Creature by Glenn Standring
In an alternate late industrial-age world vampires and humans live together peacefully, but one of them has become a bloodthirsty killer.
Review © Ros Jackson
More about Len Wiseman