Will "the Mighty" Strohl

Short Review: Underworld Rise of the Lycans

We were fortunate enough to get sneak preview tickets to another movie.  In the past, security has been pretty lax.  However, they brought the security detail back, complete with metal detectors and all.  No cell phones or other electronic devices allowed.  Crap!  It's a good policy though.  It keeps people from using their cell phones during the movie.  (But they are more worried about people recording the movie.)

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

First of all, let me squash any doubts or misconceptions about Kate Beckinsale not being in this newest iteration of the Underworld franchise, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.  There was NOT a casting change to replace her.  This movie is a PREquel, so the story takes place before Kate Beckinsale's character was even alive.  However, they did do a great job of finding an actress that bears some resemblance to Beckinsale.

As one should expect going into this film, the entire film is dark, violent and bloody.  If you expect anything else, I would question your decision to even watch a film about vampires.  That being said, the filmmakers did not disappoint us in continuing to raise the bar in terms of action, choreography, storyline, special effects, and set production.

In terms of action, there were plenty of whips, swords, and other medieval weaponary that was used, as this story is set before guns exist.  As you might imagine, that set-up makes for some pretty gruesome moments during battle.  Not to mention that the Lycans themselves whose only self-defense is their powerful jaws.  Something that I was unable to ignore is the number of times we saw a neck get slashed.  When I see this movie again, I would be afraid to count.  But I did see something I haven't seen before...  There was a slashing of the back of a neck.  We always see this from the front.

The movie centers around our central characters, Lucian (Michael Sheen), Sonja (Rhona Mitra), and Viktor (Bill Nighy).  The main plot is focused on the Romeo and Juliet style story tellings where Sonja and Lucian have to hide their love for one another because they are different, and their families (breed/race) are destined to hate each other.  Lucian and Sonja do their best to fight to be free and stay together.  But Sonja's father, Viktor, has other plans.

Most of the interesting parts are in the begining where we finally see the character development of Lucian.  We also see some of Sonja, and the writers did a great job of drawing many parallels to the Selene character, played by Beckinsale.  The rest of the film is predictable, and mostly consists of a Braveheart-like ending where the enslaved race fights and wins their freedom.  Since this is a "prequel", there really isn't a whole lot of room for any twists or turns in the plot.

If you enjoy seeing action on the big screen, this is definitely a movie you want to see in the theaters.  I recommend it!

Not So Spoiling Spoiler!

The ending is no secret if you've seen the first film.  Sonja is killed by her father, Viktor lives, and Lucian escapes to be free.  :)

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