Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

(2009)

The trilogy-maker of the Underworld series is a prequel, going back to the Dark Ages, and tracing the origins of an ancient blood feud between the vampire Death Dealers and their onetime slaves, the werewolf Lycans.... More

Lucian (Sheen), an enslaved Lycan, rallies his fellow werewolves to revolt against their captor - the cruel, vampire leader Viktor (Nighy). Joining the raging Lucian is his top secret lover: Viktor's daughter Sonja (Mitra). This, the ultimate in betrayals for Viktor, sets the scene for a big ol' showdown between the vampire army and the Lycans.

First-time director Patrick Tatopoulos was special effects man on both previous incarnations.Hide

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Flicks Review

With the Blade and Underworld series both looking worse for wear, Twilight's teens recently became the new champions of 'vampire chic.' To complicate things further, Rise of the Lycans lacks original stars Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman. Some might be wondering then, what saved this film from being dumped straight-to-DVD? The answer is not often uttered by reviewers: this prequel is better than the original.

Turns out it was a good idea to wind the clock back a few centuries. Characters swap their trench coats for medieval tunics and this results in a fresh combination of the fantasy and horror genres. A vampire and werewolf feud feels so much more plausible if it's set hundreds of years ago. Mist shrouds forests, supernatural protection is provided for the price of a few peasants and horse-drawn carriages are ambushed with giddy glee. The cast are in on the fun and their intense performances are an R-rated riot. Gore flows freely and fight-scenes are more brutal than ever.

Unfortunately, the film looks like a cheap Lord of the Rings rip-off. Shortland Street actors and blue colour-correction abound. One battle looks so much like Helm's Deep that you'd swear they replaced orcs with werewolves. If the series is to continue - and it deserves to - it will need a unique visual style next time


The Peoples' Reviews

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Whereas previous UNDERWORLD offerings worked on the fascinating premise that series creator Len Wiseman's wife, Kate Beckinsale, looks amazing clad head-to-toe in skin-tight rubber, this film operates on the equally scintillating premise that Rhona Mitra looks amazing clad head-to-toe in skin-tight leather... This startling revelation is coupled with the director's apparent belief that if you colour everything a shade of blue and cast at least a couple of decent British actors (Sheen and Nighy)... More the audience will forgoe a decent script and ignore some dodgy-as-a-dog's-dinner not-so-special effect "lycans " (werewolves) that don't look nearly as convincing as Ray Harryhausen stop-motion clay figures. Anyway, if this sort of mindless, sexist, formulaic movie floats your boat and if you love UNDERWORLD films then this, like all those RESIDENT EVIL films, is the same old same old. For 12 year old hetrosexual boys this may well be heaven, but for those seeking a bit more it's all there in the trailer... but at least that's blessedly short!Hide


I've been waiting for this movie to come out since last year (2008). I knew about the movie since 2007 when it was filmed behind my sisters job in Otahuhu Auckland. I couldn't image Underworld 3, being filmed in Otahuhu bur after seeing the movie. what a excellent job and movie had by all.

Love the movie and I'm a big fan of Underworld.

Cheers,


I kind of enjoyed this film but Michael Sheehan didn't really cut it as the lead man, his head is too big! I don't know why that affected how I saw the part but he just didn't really seem the guy for the job, some the CG stuff was lame but it was a pretty good for a formula series type film. I haven't seen the other Underworld fils though...


Dis Looks real good. Hangin owt 4 it bt hasnt got Kate Beckinsale in it =( She mad Hot!!!!!!!!!!!!!


i like its agreat movie to see there nothing wrong with it.


The Press Reviews

  • A needless threequel. Note to director: avoid ‘rise of the’ titles. Full Review

  • Thanks to sturdy performances by holdovers Michael Sheen and Bill Nighy as well as tidy, unfussy direction by first-timer Patrick Tatopoulos, the creature designer who is taking the reins from originator Len Wiseman, the third installment in the successful franchise should be to the fan base's lycan. Full Review

  • Grimly competent. Full Review

  • Although the presence of Mr. Sheen is initially distracting, it soon becomes the movie's greatest asset. There is, as it turns out, some benefit to having a real performance even in a formulaic entertainment like this. Full Review

  • First-time helmer Patrick Tatopoulos (who designed creatures for all three pics) offers a satisfyingly exciting monster rally that often plays like a period swashbuckler. Full Review

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