movies: underworld: evolution

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

underworld: evolutionI'm a massive fan of the vampire genre...

If there's a movie with vampires (or even a single vampire character) in it, I've usually seen it, even if it turns out to be mostly crap...

Not to mention teevee shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Kindred: The Embraced... I've seen them all...

And when I heard about the first Underworld movie... I thought, vampires versus werewolves... right up my alley...

I remember coming out of the cinema afterwards less than thrilled with what I'd seen... but that was mostly because of the really crap werewolves...

But then I got given the movie on DVD for Christmas in 2004 and having watched it a bunch more times I'm kind of fond of it... I mean the werewolves are still really really crap, but it grew on me after a while.

I'm just hoping the same thing happens with the sequel... Underworld: Evolution... which was our movie choice for the evening.

My first thought was that at least this time the werewolves looked like WOLVES instead of cats... but they also looked much more fake this time around... I don't know if it's the hair, or the fact that they did go to totally CGI werewolves for some of the opening scenes, or what, but while they were the right shape this time, the first movie's "wolves" looked much better.

And once again, the combination of Danny McBride & Len Wiseman as co-writers didn't particularly help the movie... although I am kind of fond of Len's visual style as a director... all dark and moody...

There was a whole bunch of stuff that just seemed unnecessary... most obviously was the sex scene between the two leads... I mean, c'mon... she's a vampire... and being a vampire is all about NOT having sex... it's all symbolic biting and penetration and whatnot... not actually physical loinage... although on the plus side it does mean Scott Speedman is all naked and very obviously so (unless of course body doubles were used), so I can live with that (even if certain pieces of his anatomy had to have been strapped to his body, if not, they would have been dangling into the shot).

This one was also SO much gorier than the first... there's blood and mutilations left, right and center, all in a much tighter and jerkier editing style, which I have to say, doesn't always add to my ability to know what the hell is supposed to be going on.... especially when you have two dark bodies fighting in dark spaces...

I also don't know that this is actually a vampire OR werewolf movie... yes, the female lead IS a vampire... but whereas the first one was very much about the conflict between the vampires and werewolves, this movie seems to end up as a full on creaturefest.

The two people I have to take my hat off to are the costume designer, Wendy Partridge, who once again kicked butt all over the place with costumes that are so beautifully detailed... and Kate Beckinsale, who somehow keeps a straight face while making these movies... but who is also just SO good as Selene... even when the script is questionable. She does lose points because she married Len though... sure, he's cute and all... but c'mon!

Having said all that, I didn't dislike the movie... it just wasn't really what I was expecting. And, even though I originally had massive reservations about the first one, I just don't think that the sequel is as good.

yani's rating: 6 Immortals out of 10


Larry Wednesday, January 25, 2006 12:42:00 am  

You know, I've been psyched to see this movie. Like you, the first on grew on me over time. Unlike you, I really don't dig vampires (or horror-type stuff in general).

That was pretty funny that the werewolves in the first movie looked like cats :)

The Other Andrew Wednesday, January 25, 2006 10:23:00 am  

I'm shallow enough to admit that it's the naked Scott Speedman that's a main draw for me. I liked the first film enough, didn't love it, but liked it ok. My expectations are pretty low for this one, but Scott... come to papa! Grrrr!

Sunshine Wednesday, January 25, 2006 1:55:00 pm  

I have to stop reading this cos I haven't seen the movie yet! :)

GreerM Thursday, January 26, 2006 8:30:00 am  

I just saw the movie last night on a date (that of course is another story) and I liked the movie alot. I liked the fact that it picked up exactly where the last one left off. I also like the fact that more the history was explored. I most likely will get this on DVD when it comes out.

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