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Underworld Film Series

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About These Films

0.  Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)
1. Underworld (2003)
2. Underworld: Evolution (2006)
3. Underworld: New Dawn (2012)

About These Films:  It's werewolves vs. vampires!  This isn't an entirely new concept, but I don't think anything has executed it as well as the "Underworld" series.  There are many, many werewolves fighting many, many vampires.  The backstory mythology of werewolves and vampires is pretty well-detailed, and it views like a horror-ized gangster movie.  Kate Beckinsale as vampiress Selene really makes the series work.  She's a very talented actress and I like her a lot.  Of all the characters, hero or villain, Selene is easily the most interesting to follow.  Beckinsale's vampire is a bit more human, and a lot more likable.  This is not to say that the rest of the cast doesn't turn out good performances.  The casts of these films, in their entirety, turn out great acting performances.  One would almost wonder if something like the war between werewolves and vampires actually exists!  The "Underworld" films are pretty convincing.

    These films have not been made on "great" budgets by today's standards, but the movies are done so well that they have managed to make a lot of money and stay within the theatrical release realm.  Another thing I've been impressed with is the strong continuity between films.  The prequel, "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans", was made after the second film in the series.  If you watch "Rise of the Lycans" before the first film, made six years earlier, you'll see that everything fits.  This is a trait not entirely common to the world of film.



Underworld (2003)-  This is the one that started it all!  It really launched the career of actress Kate Beckinsale, who has been a busy actress ever since.  In this film, we're first lead to believe that Lucian and the Lycans (werewolves) are the enemy.  We come to learn that the vampires, headed by Viktor, are the true villains.  Selene (Beckinsale) must now fight her own kind while holding off angry werewolves and trying to save the innocent Michael Corvin.  Intern Michael Corvin, once human, is turned into a werewolf by Lucian.  Towards the end of the film, Selene gives Michael a vampire bite.  This transforms Michael into a half-human, half-vampire creature that's more powerful than both.  I must admit I was impressed with the idea of a vampire/werewolf hybrid.  I don't know of any previous instance of this idea in fiction.  If you do, please CONTACT ME.

Cast:

Kate Beckinsale as Selene
Scott Speedman as Michael Corvin
Michael Sheen as Lucian
Shane Brolly as Kraven
Bill Nighy as Viktor
Sophia Myles as Erika
Kevin Grevioux as Raze
Wentworth Miller as Dr. Adam Lockwood

Director- Len Wiseman.
Writers- Kevin Grevioux, Len Wiseman, Danny McBride.

Fun Facts:
  • This film had a budget of $22 million.  The next film was granted a $50 million budget.
  • The name of the city in which this film takes place is never mentioned, but we can assume that it's Budapest, Hungary.
  • Wentworth Miller, who plays Michael's doctor friend Adam Lockwood, has since been cast as hero Chris Redfield in the fourth Resident Evil film, "Resident Evil: Afterlife" (2010).
  • Kevin Grevioux's voice really is that deep.
  • Kate Beckinsale met future husband Les Wiseman on the set of this film.



Underworld: Evolution (2006)This is my favorite of the "Underworld" movies.  It's a bigger story than "Underworld", and done on a much larger scale in every conceivable way.  This film was granted a significantly larger budget than the first film, so they were really able to make it full scale.  Kraven (Shane Brolly), one of the primary villains in the previous film, is killed within the first fifteen minutes by Markus, the major villain of this film.  The last movie hinted about Markus (Tony Curran); this is the first time we see him.  Markus is the very first vampire, and the most powerful.  It would seem Markus is the only vampire that can change shape to a bat-like, humanoid creature.  I like Markus as a villain.  He's far more edgier than Viktor.  Markus' ultimate goal is to become the ruler of everything; in his words, "a god".  He plots, and succeeds, in releasing his brother William, the first werewolf.  William is one of the first phase of werewolves that never again became human.  The very first werewolf is extremely large, powerful, and savage.  Lucian was the first werewolf that could change into human at will.

    We see Viktor (Bill Nighy) again in newly-filmed flashback sequences that set up the story for this movie, and answers some questions raised in the first film.  We see Lucian (Michael Sheen) again only in stock footage flashbacks.  I like how this movie picks up after the previous film.  Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman) is in full swing as the very first vampire/werewolf hybrid.  He gets beat up a lot, even dead for a short period because he's not a skilled fighter, but Michael is the strongest monster alive.  In this film, vampiress Selene (Kate Beckinsale) transforms into the first vampire that can walk in daylight.  The end of this film brings up many open-ended possibilities.  Selene can walk in daylight, so where can the story go from here?  All of the vampire leaders are dead, and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of vampires and werewolves left.  At least no major enemies.  How could any future villain be more ruthless than Markus?  I'd like to see how this story continues.

Cast:

Kate Beckinsale as Selene
Scott Speedman as Michael Corvin
Tony Curran as Markus
Derek Jacobi as Alexander Corvinus
Steven Mackintosh as Tanis
Shane Brolly as Kraven
Bill Nighy as Viktor
Brian Steele as William
Sophia Myles as Erika

Director- Len Wiseman.
Writers- Danny McBride, Len Wiseman.

Fun Facts:
  • Brian Steele, the actor who played the first and worst werewolf William also played the giant monster Mr. Wink in "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" (2008).
  • This film was shot in 71 days.
  • This film had a budget of $50 million, which is quite a bit larger than that of the previous film.



Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009):  At first, I was disappointed to hear they were making a prequel to the "Underworld" series.  I really enjoyed "Underworld: Evolution" and wanted to see the story continue.  An "Underworld" without Kate Beckinsale set in the ancient past did not interest me.  Once I saw this film, I was very impressed.  In this film, we see how the war between werewolf and vampire began.  Lucian (Michael Sheen) is the hero, Viktor (Bill Nighy) is the villain.  Rhona Mitra is the ill-fated vampiress Sonya, daughter of Viktor.  Lucian is a bit cooler in this movie than he was in "Underworld".  We see Lucian in full werewolf form a lot more.  Lucian is also more of an action hero this time around; in "Underworld" he was more of a supporting character.

    There were reasons why the creators of "Underworld" wanted to do a prequel so soon.  They had a lot of ideas in the backstory that they wanted to elaborate upon.  It was felt that some questions should be answered.  Also, I think they wanted to have as many of the original actors as possible as to not break the reality.  Can you even imagine a different actor for Lucian or Viktor?  Apparently, the time just seemed to be right for a prequel.

    This prequel, however, leaves things open-ended for a sequel prequel.  In other words, there could be another film set between the events of "Rise of the Lycans" and the original "Underworld".  At the end of this movie, Lucian kills Viktor.  Somehow, Viktor was brought back to life because in "Underworld", he was merely in suspended animation before his reawakening.  Also, "Underworld" claims a hoax where the murder of Lucian by vampire Kraven was staged.

    My favorite moment from this movie is the climax where the Lycans storm Viktor's palace.  This is one of the great movie monster battles of all time.  The special effects and action sequences are top notch.  You can't help but watch.

Cast:

Michael Sheen as Lucian
Bill Nighy as Viktor
Rhona Mitra as Sonja
Kevin Grevioux as Raze

Steven Mackintosh as Tanis
Kate Beckinsale as Selene

Director- Len Wiseman.
Writers- Len Wiseman, Robert Orr, Danny McBride, Dirk Blackman, Howard McCain.


Fun Facts:
  • This film had a budget of $35 million.
  • Selene (Kate Beckinsale) appears in flashback only at the end of the film.  Beckinsale did, however, record new dialogue that played in the opening of the film.



Underworld: New Dawn (2012)
:  Not yet released.


Cast:

Kate Beckinsale as Selene

Fun Facts: