When a film is in the third in its series, you don’t expect a great deal of originality. You hope
for originality but ultimately don’t expect it. Somehow the Underworld movies to date sound much better than they actually are. I mean we have a woman vampire in love with a male werewolf
...or whatever). Mix that with some wirework
and lots of leather and we are all expecting some fun up in here. What happens though is a tale so immature in its conception that you have a better one going on in your own head.
The prequel story traces the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires and their onetime slaves, the Lycans. In the Dark Ages, a young Lycan named Lucian emerges as a powerful leader who rallies the werewolves to rise up against Viktor, the cruel vampire king who has enslaved them. Lucian is joined by his secret lover, Sonja, in his battle against the Vampire army and his struggle for Lycan freedom.
Imagine the scene: you are watching Underworld 3
: Rise of the Lycans and think it would be really cool if [fill in idea here
] happened and the writers just end up disappointing. Whatever you had in mind for the [idea
] I imagine that it would be so much more interesting than what the screenwriters came up with. In fact, if you blew your nose into a handkerchief, I imagine that the contents of such would make more interesting visuals than that of the dialogue between all characters Lycan or otherwise.
Unless you are blind, stupid, foolish or merely a man named Benny you would have noticed that the leather-clad (or is it PVC) Kate Beckinsale is not in this prequel (nor is her character). In her place is Rhona Mitra
(playing Sonja) who seems to have only one talent visible on screen (she looks like Beckinsale). We shall ignore the fact that she comes across as a female version of Mr Wooden (Keanu Reeves
) and is incapable spouting lines with any eloquence whatsoever. We shall ignore the fact that her face is contorted into a permanent pout which you know will eventually affect her upper lip later in life. What we will concentrate on though, is her ability (as an actress) to act the feeling “love
”. You’d think it’d be easy wouldn’t you? I mean thousands of men and women around the globe act like they’re in love each and every day with more conviction than this woman! It is as if she took one look at the very scrawny Michael Sheen and thought: “he’s not my type. I cannot ‘love’ such a man”! Your job, Ms Mitra is to ACT! If you cannot even convince the camera that you are capable of such a complex human emotion then I suggest you get out of the movie industry!
What is it with vampires and the colour black? I am getting sick and tired of every film portraying these sharp-toothed creatures wearing a range of different black (or grey) items. This is why Goths walk around wearing black all the time (along with the needless pouting and large amounts of lipstick). I have a message for anyone addicted to the colour of black and likes to refer to themselves as Goths: “You are not and never will be a vampire. Get over it. You will end up in a job that you hate and no matter how hard you try you will be incapable of frying your boss with your eyes”!
Whatever I have to say about Underworld: Rise of the Lycans though, is that it makes you want to re-watch the original film. The tail end of this film manages to wrap things together very nicely and fools you (if only for a second) that Underworld 1, 2 or even 3 was worth a damn. It is shame that they cannot match up to my expectations.
The story is Romeo and Juliet but better told (and with more armour) and the tale of Lucian is far too similar to that of Jesus (as told in The Passion of the Christ and your nearest Bible). He is different. He gets flogged a lot. He has long silly hair (much like mine at the moment – I fear barbers). He wears a collar with sharp things on....okay I’m clutching at straws now but he looks like a hippy and gets whipped. Isn’t that enough?
After Underworld and Underworld: Evolution, you’d think I would’ve avoided getting excited about Underworld 3. I tried not to. I avoided watching it when it first was released in an attempt to get over the excitement. However I watched this movie hoping for far too much. Like all of the Underworld series it disappoints on the acting and the storyline. However as a marketing campaign for the other Underworld films, Rise of the Lycans does the job. I need to watch them all again if only to discover why they were so forgettable in the first place.
Rating: 2 out of 5