Underworld (2003)

A supernatural slugfest with “Romeo and Juliet” on the forefront but only this time, they have fangs and claws to keep you at striking distance!

Underworld

Screen Gems and Lakeshore Entertainment present…

These are the days where “monsters” literally walk the streets, surveying and hunting; though ironically, not humans! They are like two mob rings trying to eradicate every single abomination on the face of the planet where one clan longs for freedom and retribution while the other just wants pure domination!

They are Vampires and Werewolves and they are amongst us…

THE PROGINATORS

Creator, Writer and Actor Kevin Grevioux (Men in Black II) brings to life a society where the supernatural forces of darkness becomes urbanely oriented with the same gritty, sinister and foreboding treatment but not like this grandiose! To add, another thing you need to know about Kevin is he owns a company named Darkstorm Studios which he started in 2003 and produces his own comic books!

Seriously, how can you make these creatures of the night still use guns, drive cars for mobility, blend in the crowd as normal humans and not liking the idea? Though ironic isn’t it, underworld also means shady dealings, profit racketeering and anything illegal that is usually run by mobs and gangsters who wants to control the territory or even more the city which correlates to the plot of the film!

Directed by Len Wiseman (Die Hard 4.0) makes use of his time converging with Kevin and Danny to bring us a spectacular new take in the lives of the supernatural with a lot of twists! After meeting in 2000, Danny McBride (Underworld: Evolution) joins the bandwagon and contributes to the story with Kevin and Len who does the Screenplay as well, definitely burning the candles at both ends!

Creature Designer Patrick Tatoupolus (Transformers) incessantly provides the best for the project and cast to use the combined practical props like pupeteering, animatronics with visual effects and CGI to bring an authentic look on the creature’s features and movements!

The Production and Costume Design was commendable, having the kind of vision for these two warring clans fight in a post-modern era. The detailed set-up from the murky underground subways hosting the scattered Lycans while the aristocratic Vampires live in mansions with exquisite wine, clothing and luxury was greatly infused. I liked the coffins lock system, even these centuries old Lords have state of the art resting places while the once upon a time slaves just have tattered jumpers and “underground boxing” for amusement

DEATH DEALERS

Fan favorite Kate Beckinsale (Nothing but the Truth) as the surrogate daughter Selene, she delivers her physical prowess in the film shooting silver bullets in a rapid fire pistol (kindly change the magazines once in a while please) these handgun is called a Beretta 92FS which was modified to be fully automatic in firing rounds, jumping from towers and trains and beating the crap of everyone in this male testosterone dominated flick!

Kate doesn’t mind much having his ex-lover and current hubby on the same film since she is too busy putting together the pieces in the puzzle while dealing with a traitor and trying not to fall in love with an intern who unfortunately belongs to the opposing team!

From history, it was told that there were three rulers namely Markus the first to be bitten by a bat, Amelia the first lady and Viktor who was abruptly awoken from his slumber, Bill Nighy (Shaun of the Dead) barely stands up with not much strength while still attached to a series of hoses supplying blood for him to deal with the problem at hand! His delivery in every movie is full of intensity and purpose, Bill usually takes the comedic roles then jumps into thrillers which suit him very well. One of the best in the industry, his performance here has served the franchise really well!

Supporting actress Sophia Myles (Tristan + Isolde) is the promiscuous but feisty Erika who constantly flaunts with Kraven the current interim Principal for the house of blood! He is played by Shane Brolly (Imposter) who I think was a poor choice for the character, his performance was stale and without any energy (he needs to drink a bit more…) keeps on babbling to Selene to zip her lips and still get’s socked in the jaw!

LYCANS

New comer Scott Speedman (Dark Blue) is the confused descendant of a long line of “virus carriers”. Constantly kidnapped, tied down, beaten up and a lot of syringes work up his skin. What an unlucky guy, he makes a clearer understanding when he finally meets Lucian (Maynard says “chew”) where it gives him rummaged images on what actually happened hundreds of years ago and how the war originated!

The always applaudable Michael Sheen (The Damned United) the de-facto Top Dog! For centuries he has been waging war to fight for the right of his people. His story is not actually farfetched from the classic tale of the Montague’s and the Capulet’s where a young man falls in love with a young lady but it was never meant to be since both clans wants to rip each other’s throats! He hasn’t gone tired of fighting even for an eternity just to avenge his beloved Sonja and once and for all unlock the chains of their tragic past!

Earlier we mentioned Kevin who also stars in the film as Raze the right hand man of Lucian. Their friendship is currently in a quagmire since the latest blood prospect has gotten out of their hands due from a previous encounter with the blood suckers! Despite his failure, his loyalty never ceased as he fights for him until the end! Kevin has a very low voice which is quite fascinating making his performance gives more levity to his character!

POST-MORTEM

The film was not a certified blockbuster hit but what it did was garnered a definite huge fan base which gave way to a sequel! I find these films fantastic; the amalgamation of monsters of legend into a post-modern environment which gives something more to discuss, to elaborate their long history of rivalry and hatred! Setting the tone to make it an action packed fiction embedded with a tragic love story gives adequate reasons even though shallow to still be worthwhile to watch!

The trio will be back to continue the story of Michael and Selene as they need to go as far away as they can for they know this is only the beginning as another chapter will be added to this forbidden love while still picking up the pieces of their past that will “evolve” their future!

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