Underworld: Evolution (2006) – movie review

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Movie Review by Dr Kuma

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Tony Curran, Sir Derek Jacobi

Director: Len Wiseman

As the title implies, this tells of how the UNDERWORLD began and how it has changed.

EVOLUTION continues the saga of the war between the death dealers (Vampires) and the werewolves (Lycans) and why the ancient feud between them came to be. Our guides through this netherworld are Selene (Kate Beckinsale), the beautiful vampire heroine and Michael (Scott Speedman), the Lycan hybrid, whose mission is to try to unlock the secrets of their bloodlines, which could bring an end to the battle or to the Underworld as a whole if the secrets fall into the wrong claws.

The synopsis above makes this out to be an epic and the pedigree of the original would lead you to think that you’ll be in for a horror classic, a film that the likes of VAN HELSING worked so hard to be. It’s therefore sad to report that this film would sit more happily as a sequel to the latter film more than its own superb original. Horror seems to be the genre where sequels never quite match the original – more so than any other genre. There are a couple of exceptions (a couple of Universal classics and more recently BLADE 2: BLOODHUNT), but on the whole it seems the more the original makes the more shoddy the sequel. Where it took 10 attempts to get a really good FRIDAY THE 13 TH sequel, I don’t think that the UNDERWORLD films will have that luxury, which is a shame after such an original start.

Beckinsale is still the sexiest vampire around and she carries things off well, but she seems to share too much screen time with her own CGI likeness as she falls from collapsing bridges and the like. The way the flesh and blood Selene falls for the person she is protecting is far more interesting than the frequent CGI. On the whole the movie looks simply too dark and grubby (a fact that spoiled ALIEN 3) and all just a bit to digital.

It would be nice to see the franchise get back on track with one last outing, but it would take a movie with far more bite than this one to even tempt me back into the stalls to see it.

Dr Kuma’s verdict: A vampire is supposed to come to life in the dark – this could merely send you to sleep once the lights go down in the cinema.

2 out of 6 stars