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Underworld: Evolution 2006

Picking up directly from the previous film, vampire warrior Selena and the half werewolf Michael hunt for clues to reveal the history of their races and the war between them...

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Really liked this sequel- It was action paced and followed the first consistently. Scott Speedman and Kate Beckingsale make a good combo- they are both sexy and badass, the love story is believable... all in all I would give it a 7.5-8 :-) But word of advice if you haven't watched the first do that, first! ;-)
Anticipation

"Can you figure out what the hell is going on?"


"Who did what in the where now?" That Homer Simpson quote was going through my mind during the first half of Underworld: Evolution. I really should have rewatched Underworld before seeing it's sequel. Even though there is a lengthy opening crawl and narrarator recapping the story, not very much of it reminded me of what happened in the last film. I decided to just figure it out the best I could.

Underworld was not, however, anywhere near as disorienting as Uwe Boll's recent shitstorm, BloodRayne. Eventually I was able to pick up on the story halfway through the movie. Whereas Boll kept the plot of BloodRayne a closely guarded secret. I think I eventually figured it out.

Of course I remember Selene, Kate Beckinsale's character. But then there's her love interest, that werewolf-vampire. Or is it vampire-werewolf? Whatever. Anyway, he doesn't seem to be all that important. The real story is actually focused on the politics of these two underground societies. Also, we find out where these two races originated. Then there was this vampire who I thought was a werewolf in the last movie. SOme people said something about twins. But they kept calling this super-werewolf, William, the guy's brother. And straight out of Highlander, there's this imortal guy. He's got a sword but he didn't use it much. This immortal's got this loyal cadre of soldier dudes who I eventually realised at end of the movie were just humans. I thought they were commando vampires! They had really cool computer equipment and paramilitary spies who keep track of this war that has been raging for centuries. Tons of action. A. Whole. Lot. Of. Action. Beckinsale looks really cool and that outfit. And out of it.

There was one scene in the movie that reminded me of Meat Loaf Aday's performance in BloodRayne. The circumstances for the encounters are the same. As well as the orgy with naked vampire chicks. But this was much cooler.

The production was very good. The movie is visually stunning. The action is edited very well. However, the story tends to take a back seat to the action. Lots of guns. Bang bang. Hot chick with gun. And vampires and werewolves. And explosions! And stuff happening in slow motion.

At the end of the movie, we are led to believe that the story is not over and that there will certainly be another sequel. Okeydokey!

If you loved the first movie, you will not be disappointed. I can't say that it's a "bad movie." It's no more than a 6 or less than 5 out of 10. I guess I'd give it a fresh rating because I wasn't bothered by the movie's shortcoming. I don't think it was better than the first one. But not worse. I think they are consistent. And why shouldn't that be important? And if the third one is like this one, then we'll have a tight little trilogy.

Did I mention that Kate Beckinsale gets naked?

6/10 :fresh:
If oyu are a fan of the first film this is a nice addition to the mythology of the Underworld landscape. If you are not a fan or have not seen the first you will be utterly confused. I really enjoyed revisiting Underworld.
I was absolutely prepared to go into the theater tonight shtfaced and watch a crappy movie for the laughs of watching a crappy movie. But I was pleasantly surprised...there was some decent acting, GREAT action scenes and badass moments, and a plot that actually held together as well as tie-in loose ends from the first movie. The movie's probably not for everyone, but it's quite fun all the same.
First, a warning of where I'm coming from. I liked "Underworld," that's right I liked it. I bought the extended director's cut and I've watched it multiple times. I like movies about vampires (and the fact that the main vamp is played by the delicious Kate Beckinsale in--and out of--skin tight leather doesn't hurt). I know, I know, with "Buffy," "Angel," and multiple other vampire themed movies, books, etc., there is little left to explore of these children of the night, but I find the different variations on the theme fun to explore. I never read the Anne Rice books because I was never interested in romanticizing them. I prefer them as bad-guys, but they also fit comfortably into my favorite class of protagonist--the anti-hero. So now you know.

For background on the this sequel, I will be brief. In the first "Underworld," Selene (Beckinsale) is a vampire warrior known as a "Death-Dealer." She and her bretheren hunt down the remaning Lycans (as in lycanthropes--werewolves) from a war that was supposed to be over centuries before. In any event, in a Romeo-and-Juliet sort of story, she falls for a young Lycan named Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman) who also happens to be the last human descendat of the first immortal from whom sprang the vampire and lycan races. The lycans, specifically their leader Lucian, are trying to create a vampire/lycan hybrid that is considered abomination by the leadership of the vampires. Michael becomes the first such hybrid and subsequently must battle the vampire Elder, Viktor (Bill Nighy), for his very survival. Selene finds out in the course of all this that while she thought that Viktor had saved her from her family's massacre at the hands of some lycans, he had been the true killer. To protect Michael, she is forced to kill her adopted father. We are left with something of a lead in to a sequel and the sight of the final vampire elder, Marcus awakening after accidently ingesting lycan blood, which brings us to..."Underworld: Evolution."

Let me first say that I was worried about this movie. I thought the first was an enjoyable fantasy-action film that left a few questions hanging with obvious hopes for a sequel. Unfortunately, it is a common problem that when semi-decent movies such as "Underworld" manage to warrant a sequel, the director goes off the deep end looking to make it bigger and better; they usually end up with a bloated, effects-heavy piece of garbage that sinks any further chance for a follow-up. They also usually try to be overly clever in coming up with backstory to explain the unanswered questions of the first film. Len Wiseman avoids this trap.

I will not spoil the story except to say that "Evolution" takes place almost immediately after the end of the first film. "Evolution" remains consistent with the myths and background of the original while expanding and enriching said background with a deeper story that connects the dots. There is of course the obligatory gun-battles and martial arts displays, but it also ties up what might have been considered dead-ends and inconsistencies in the first film. In short, it does exactly what a good sequel is supposed to do: it ties up loose ends while laying down one or two more so as to entice you into wanting another installment.

As in the last one, the actual location of the movie is indeterminate: I would guess from the architecture and the almost non-stop gray weather that it is somewhere in Eastern Europe. The look is the same as well--almost always dark and dreary, the colors (what colors there are beyond black) look like a vampire sank his teeth into the film and sucked them dry. Everything is dark and drained. Wiseman makes good use of the special effects without trying to do too much--most of it consists of the different characters' transformations between their human and beast forms.

The character development is deeper than the first and the viewer can more easily accept the apparent love between Selene and Michael, as opposed to the first movie where they seemed to spontaneously kiss for no real reason. In any event, I'm man enough to admit that I enjoy a sprinkling of romance in my action movies. Every character has his or her place and role to play and they all play them well with dark brooding looks and cryptic dialogue that fit perfectly into the overall melodrama of the movie.

"Evolution" is tightly paced at about an hour and forty-five minutes and it fits perfectly. In all honesty, it felt longer, and not in a bad way--I mean in the way that it kept me on the edge of my seat most of the time and extremely sorry to see the credits roll. As with the first film, Selene delivers a monologue that is a lead-in to what will hopefully be a third movie.

In short, I liked this movie, a lot. I will definitely buy it on DVD and will probably even go blow another six bucks to see it in theaters again. To anyone who enjoyed "Underworld," you have to go see this; if you thought "Underworld" could have been better, you should go see this--it will restore your faith in the first movie. If, however, you were one of those people who panned "Underworld" and, as I saw one reviewer put it, think of this as nothing more than the continuation of a "multimillion-dollar love letter to Beckinsale" from her husband, Wiseman, I have two things to say to you:
1) If Kate Beckinsale was your wife, tell me you wouldn't do the same;
2) Bite my ass; if you hated the first film so much and will probaly hate this one, I would like to thank you for the minutes of your life you just gave me by reading this review.

Laters
the story takes place where it left off, after death dealer Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and Michael (Scott Speedman) search off to find Markus, only to discover he has awaken, and he is out to kill. it is up to Selene to stop him from unleashing the most uncontrollable Lycan...his brother.

Underworld: Evolution delivers. it puts more of the story into place and fills all the gaps left from the first movie, such as how the war started, and then goes back to the future and introduces new characters, such as Alexander Corvinus and Markus. i will not deny this movie is way better than the first, but it is also bloodier than the first. this isn't any kindergarden type bloody, but decapitation type bloody.

not a family movie, but the fans of the original will definitely love the sequel even more.

10/10
Cool sequel to an equally cool movie.

UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION
(LEN WISEMAN, 2006)
R
1 HOUR 46 MINUTES

Okay I loooooooooved the first movie, but then again vampires=fantastic. This one was a lot gorier, a lot more violent, with a lot more nudity and far less decent story. Don't get me wrong I still liked the ride, it was definately a step up from the special effects of the first one, but you can only splatter and empty a gun into something so many times. Storywise it kept you interested even though a lot of the focus was on whose blood you needed to drink. I wanted them to spend just a little more time on Michaels new found powers (since they start right where the first one led off). They did a good job of filling the gaps of her past and glueing the whole underworld saga together. Definately one for genre fans and followers alike. Beware it's gorier than a Freddy Kruger movie.