Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Underworld Evolution

directed by Len Wiseman

Underworld Evolution poster  
After the events of Underworld, Selene is on the run from just about everyone, vampire and lycan alike. Her discoveries have changed vampire and lycan society forever, and so has Michael Corvinus, the first vampire-lycan hybrid. Selene believes that her only hope is to reawaken Markus, an elder, before Kraven kills him.

Meanwhile Michael is having trouble adjusting to his new nature. He has problems with the need to drink blood, and he's a wanted man by human and immortal alike.

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.

Film Details

Year: 2006

Categories: Films


Classification: 18

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3 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson
More about Len Wiseman