Underworld: Evolution (2006)

A stunning sequel of a back-story which continually “evolves” with family ties, fatal lies and with more nail biting CGI!

Underworld Evolution

Screen Gems and Lakeshore Entertainment present…

They say that love conquers all…even immortal creatures of the night have not been exempted to the rule! Paramour lovers escape a harrowing experience of reckoning as dawn catches up with them, so has fate that will decide the future of two warring clans destined to stop this indecent affair…

1202 A.D.

A blue eye mirrors a fire as it slowly burns down a village, a pale looking man in armor utter words of grief as happenstance have stricken him and prays that the worst has not befallen their lands! With two others commandeering at his side, they must quell the “Beast” and destroy everything that was left as part of damage control!

END PROLOGUE

For eight centuries, the continuing saga of vampires and lycans deadlocked in an endless battle and an inevitable war has found their answers…or so it would seem! “Death Dealer” Kate Beckinsale (Van Helsing) and “Hybrid” Scott Speedman (The Strangers) returns as Selene and Michael to this anticipated sequel of visceral animosity, gutless gore and forbidden passion! Picking up from the last movie’s unexpected demise of a King, a new and more savage Ruler has been awaken by blood and deception!

How does one feel waking up for over thousands of years with so much hate? Tony Curran (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) needs to express his anger for those who deserve his unforgiving talons of torment! Few actors can give that emotional grit and grip to characters that embodies both omnipotence and at the same time vulnerable! As they are considered outcasts from a society which they see only as a source of “nourishment”!

His brother William is the big, bad white wolf! The first of its kind and the one who spreads the virus that coursed through his veins the moment he was bitten that fateful day! He is played underneath the “skin” by Brian Steele (Monkeybone) at 6 foot and 7 inches tall, he brings to life humongous monsters and demons since the late 90s’in such films: “Creature”, “Bless the Child”, “Hellboy”, “Men in Black II”, “Resident Evil: Extinction” and the most recent Minotaur in 2011’s slapstick comedy “Your Highness”! His acting and stunt work is quite impressive coming from films that rely heavily on prosthetics and heavy costumes. He reminds me of another tall guy who is definitely more pleasant and plays his roles with valor and heroism, his none other than Duncan Jones!

One of my favourite actors since Dawn of the Dead! Bill Nighy (Notes on a Scandal) stars as Viktor (pre-modern times) he comes back doing brief scenes since the “Queen” said “ off with his head!” and was taken out of the equation by a very naughty surrogate daughter! He always have that perfect accent to play the Vampire King it makes it even more flawless with his delivery of tones let alone when his disappointed at someone…

Knighted in both Danish and English customs for his services in theatre acting, Derek JacobI (Gladiator) is the grand daddy of it all! He plays Alexander Corvinus the primordial being cursed with his two son’s bloodlust! His back-story will tell how these war began as it presides on the star crossed lovers just trying to outlive anyone, everyone on a daily basis!

In history, even way back in the Egyptian times, the ruling Pharaoh had his Advisors to keep him on his feet and update whatever it is necessary to run his kingdom! Steven Mackintosh (The Jacket) is Tanis and is the one I’m talking about, but it has never been denied that traitors are always in the midst in order to survive, to thrive for the next successor, to serve their will…depending on the “benefits” provided! His loyalty has been tested and that’s why he is in prison with some perks! His purpose will serve more meaning through the course of the story as with the “key” that Marcus has long been denied!

Director Len Wiseman (Die Hard 4.0) makes another stint from his 2003 film “hit” Underworld! Together with Kevin Grevioux (Planet of the Apes) and Danny McBride (Underworld) the three continuously inspire the needed screenplay and at the same time develop the creatures’ looks, change and transformation processes and give them that authentic look!

Production Design Head is none other than Patrick Tatopoulos (I Am Legend) from his own Studio returning to instil his imagination to put to the test. In my opinion it was weak, the burning village at the start of the film was too “clean” in other words it doesn’t look real enough for a place being burned down to the ground, though I still give him credit for his hard work you can do much from so little financing! At least Simon Duggan (Knowing) has set in the crucial takes as the Cinematography in Vancouver, Canada which helps give levity to the scenarios that were captured just inside a studio!

On another hand, they impressed me with camera positioning, combining it with CGI specifically with Marcus in vampire mode! Luma Pictures, Furious FX and NTROPIC were able to get the best screen shots in piercing Sentries (Royal Guards of the Vampire Clan), soldiers and the like. Manipulating both the props with close up shots and visual effects when he is flying or hanging somewhere upside down!

Casting was another factor I consider to be well done! Tricia Wood, Deborah Aquila both C.S.A with Jennifer Smith found the right people to portray these awesome supernatural pre-modern fiction! Inclusive on my list of well deserved applause were Tony Curran and Derek Jacobi and of course from the original film Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy and Kate Beckinsale who rises up as one of the new generation of heroines depicted on the big screen!

Some aspects of being “monsters” got me intrigued, I would not know if it was just the way the Creators made them, an example was Selene and Michael were in a safehouse and there was no lights that time, but upon scanning her flashlight to a dead test subject, she got giddy and shot rounds from her gun! Do vampires get surprised? What’s up with that?

Another thing was why are aristocratic blood suckers afraid of the werewolves? Seriously, why do they fear them? Is it because of their superior strength, cannot they fight them from toe to toe? The film was entertaining with more action and back-story to keep the franchise running up to its fourth installment namely Underworld 4: Awakening which was released in Winter 2012 and with another species that wants to join the war!

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