Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Shane Brolly, Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy
Director: Len Wiseman
The vampires that have ravaged the human race over the past century in film have finally decided to take it easy. In Les Wiseman's "Underworld," the Ann Rice-like bloodsuckers are portrayed in an aristocratic style, exhausted from a drawn out war with the lycans (werewolves), who have since built up their forces and are now ready for a devastating counterattack.
Selena (Kate Beckinsale) seems to be one of the only vampires still thirsting for war, endlessly hunting lycans night by night, and earning her revenge for the lack of mercy given to her family years before. While stalking the lycans one evening, Selena notices they are following a young human, Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman), a man she later discovers is actually a lycan that holds the secret to an ancient bloodline with the ability to become the ultimate monster.
"Underworld" is generally a war film, and works as a whole, but the long runtime (two hours plus) really undermines the fueled action sequences spread throughout. By present day, the dueling creatures have now resorted to gunplay, brandishing their super hi-tech weapons with light bullets (against the vampires) and silver nitrate bullets (against the lycans). The acting is only mediocre with some truly horrible performances, but the main attractions of the film are really the amazing special effects and the leather-clad heroine.
This film isn't for everyone. It has enough violence and gore to satisfy the action buff, but for hardcore fans of the vampire/werewolf legacy, you won't find too much myth and legend. Wiseman knows what works and inserts as much fighting as possible, making "Underworld" the same average action film with some new highlights added to the mix.