Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)

There is an old saying that “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”, obviously this one had it coming!

Underworld Rise of the Lycans

Screen Gems and Lakeshore Entertainment present…

An ominous introduction by a woman carrying a burden for hundreds of years, her pleas are still left unanswered! A tale which brings forth a world where beings of the supernatural order rein their iron fist upon those who they only see either as “pet” or “cattle”!

From here, they say that in every beginning there will always be reasons for love to illuminate even if in every darkest corner, it will creep out and find its way eventually but unfortunately pain always follows…

SFX Frontman and now turning his eye on a new “leash”, Director Patrick Tatopolous (Suspension) helms the aforementioned project in its third installment! Usually involved in making low budget B rated movies to spectacular box-office hits, he now ventures into this gothic and forlorn era where monsters do literally exists!

He makes the endeavor to create realistic fantasy oriented beasts to be part in yet again a bigger picture of the Underworld franchise! Unfortunately, his skills are still green in the aspects of directing making this film rank lowest in terms of returned receipts from years of past film projects including the recently released Awakening this Winter of 2012!

His rag tag team of Writers is still intact from Kevin Grevioux (your Majesty), Len Wiseman (also the Producer) and Danny McBride (not to be confused with the foul mouthed comedian)! The latter had the most bearing this time for the duties since he was tasked to deliver on and off-screen supervising for its Screenplay while having some adequate help from both Dirk Blackman and Howard McCain (Outlander) to bespoke the continuity and to please both audiences and fans alike!

The story was more inclined to being emotionally reflective as it narrated the origins of these two clans locked in an inevitable collision course in history! The actual backdrop was a definite action with tints of horror genre (not quite). Being said, star-crossed lovers Rhona Mitra (Skinwalkers) who plays the juvenile Sonja, daughter of the Vampire King and Michael Sheen (The Damn United) as the underrated gung-ho rebellion leader Lucian from the family of wolves who returns in his third outing already! His performance was the note worthy praise in the film, sighting his character’s blight for his tormentors as he seeks out justice one way or the other! Michael has been outstandingly consistent in providing very well performed credits not just for his home country but also for international cinema as well which includes “Frost/Nixon”, “Tron” and recently “Midnight in Paris”!

He was taken by the Ruler coming straight from his mother’s womb to be his slave and a “prodigal son” at the same time! As he toils and endures endless days guarding the people of his “surrogate father” without any compromise for his services, except for the only reason that he lives for the time being, this is the predicament he faces despite the cruelty towards him and his fellow men! With Sonja’s affection grew with the man while they were in their adolescence, their secret affair has led into conspicuous undertakings and will further give more reason for their misfortunes!

The fixation of Lucian’s anger not only comes forth from the maltreatment that the Vampires gave to his species but more importantly denying him of his existence to be happy with the woman that he loves! It was an infectious decrepit premise, but still you can feel the main protagonist’s pain from tyranny knowing that a day would come Victor will answer for his misdeeds moreover the final retribution will fall with the oppressor and his legion of “Death Dealers”!

Supporting Casts from the likes of Steven Mackintosh (The Escapist) as the two headed Andreas Tanis who seems to have penchant for betraying anyone including his King with the right price! Not to be counted out is the creator himself Kevin Grevioux (Quicksilver Highway) as Lucian’s lieutenant who got caught in the war only to be turned into one of them (he chose the ones with the metal collars) that will be his eternal damnation!

Since Patrick is out of the wood work, the Production together with the Visual and Special Effects Departments began under the tutelage of Dean Clarke as SFX Workshop Supervisor from the same group Tatopoulos Studios that produced the creatures from the earlier films. The shooting began in 2007 covering New Zealand and North Carolina as the forefront in the environment set-up!

The story undertaken was laid out nicely as intended, no stir-ups nor instances of discretion to hamper the film’s backstory! It was entertaining and intriguing to know additional information that will give levity from the two first films! As it falls in the box-office, garnering only an amount of $91 million in the worldwide accumulated earnings, it failed because primarily because it did not have the original characters coming back, implying on its star power comparison which was left and carried by Michael and Bill Nighy (Shaun of the Dead) as the cruel King in my honest opinion, secondly the prequel came in the third on-set of the saga which made it rather inadequate seeing that the films will have a continuing story coming from the Evolution sequel.

Despite the low returns, it still managed to brought in audiences to the movie houses, expecting it to earn way better seeing that competition were the pathetic “Paul Blart: Mall Cop”, “Taken” which stars Liam Neeson, Unborn, a horror and suspense film which was mediocre especially with Gary Oldman tied up with it, “Kill Shot”, an pitiful assassin blunder which stars Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane and Thomas Jane! I guess after all the hype of summer blockbusters and Christmas Holidays, Hollywood got tired to run the extra mile for the remaining days of mid-winter!

And so it went, from Lucian and his army’s rise to freedom, victors for the day but the war looms that will last for six centuries! Nothing lasts forever…or so it would seem!


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