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Surprisingly good! I'm impressed!
lotus_chief4 February 2004
As soon as I saw the preview to this film I wrote it off as a silly Matrix rip-off trying to attack a subject that is so tired (vampires/werewolves). I really never had any intention of seeing Underworld until my girlfriend, who saw it in theaters, repeatedly suggested I watch it. After watching the DVD just now I must say that I enjoyed it a lot. I was completely into the story, which is surprisingly rich and engaging. One would have to be a bit naïve not to admit that Underworld does indeed borrow from a variety of action films, most notably The Matrix. It should be obvious to any free-thinking person that none of the ideas present in Underworld are original, but what this film does well is take ideas that were established in the past and build on them more. This is by no means a carbon copy of any of the films from which it borrows from. Slow motion gun battles didn't originate with the Matrix films. The most refreshing aspect of this movie is the story, which surprisingly has many layers and puts a totally fresh new spin on the vampire/werewolf stories. This aspect, along with the excellent visual effects makes Underworld an enjoyable experience. A sequel for this is inevitable, and I must say that I'm really looking forward to it. Underworld was a very pleasant surprise.

*** out of **** stars
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possiblegod3 November 2005
Everything you've heard from the critics, everything you know about vampires and werewolves, everything that is standard in most fantasy/action films. Then you'll enjoy this film. I, unlike a lot of fans, will not claim that this is a move masterpiece, I will not claim that this will change movie making history. I, however, will go against the critics and say that this is a good film. Not getting a chance to see this in the cinema, when it came out on video I rented it out immediately. Now, at first, I could see what the critics meant it wasn't how the trailers depicted it and the script and acting in places was a bit rusty. I put it back and gave no more thought to it. However I soon found myself thinking about the film and the bits I'd enjoyed. I soon realised that this was good because it wasn't conventional and I couldn't stop thinking about it. There had been so many plot twists, so much to take in that I knew I had to see it a second time. This time I bought it, on DVD, and I found myself watching it again and again. This film gives you wonderful villains and just when you start to hate them something nastier comes along or they give you a motive which makes you confused. In one film the world which you are presented with at the beginning, Lycans (Werewolves) vrs. Vampires, is thrown into doubt. There are no longer good and evil, it is no longer this side versus this side and our hero Selene is stuck in the middle. The thing is every villain in this film seems to be fully justifiable in their actions yet completely nasty. I was trying, after falling in love with this film, to work out where it went wrong. I realised there was too much. You are thrown into this world and you have to keep up, there is no chance to sit down and work things out. That comes after seeing the film, this world explains itself through the characters actions. It is as if this world is real and we are meant to know about it already. Their is a history, their is a false history, their are legendary characters and not all of it is gone into in particular detail. Pieces of the world's history are just thrown in by the characters, as they would be in real life, with no long detailed explanation. That mixed with the cliff hanger ending, the promise of more characters from the past. MEans that even if you weren't sure about this film, the sequel Underworld: Evolution looks like it will be amazing.
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Quit whining and enjoy yourselves.
Lost Johnny14 October 2004
I knew I was in trouble when I saw the previews for this film, I loved them.

I know I would love this film. I knew that I would take much flack for loving this film. I know that I would not care. I did, I did and I don't. People who complain about films like this should spend more time at the library and less time at the cinema, and even less time telling everyone else how smart they are and how silly films like this are beneath them. Cut it out. Film is an art form about light, the lack of light and the bending of light, I thought the light was marvelous. What do you want from a film about a war between vampires and werewolves?, I know what I wanted and this film delivered. It was stylish, amusing and well paced. This film was a testament to people who know priorities, no big money star vehicles, just fine actors, young and old, wonderfully silly duologue, played straight, appropriate screeching metal music and lots of shooting and many scenes of Kate Beckensale doing her thing, marvelous. I adore Ms. Beckansale and this film almost allowed me to forgive her for "Brokedown Palace"....almost. I can't wait for the sequel, I will be there when it opens, to blazes with all the snobby nae-Sayers who are unable to appreciate the genius of lines like "You are acting like a pack of rabid dogs" delivered, straight faced, by the disgusted head of the Lycon community and for the Amazing Ms Beckansale who managed to be every bit as sexy as she was in "Haunted" without removing any of her clothing...any of it, a true movie star if there ever was one.
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A lot Better Than Expected
aran_turgon29 May 2005
When Underworld was release in the theaters I didn't bother seeing it, because of the bad reviews. I recently rented it because the video store didn't have anything better to offer, that I had not already seen, and I must say that I was very much surprised. It was far better than expected. I especially liked the acting of Bill Nighy as the vampire lord Viktor, and Micheal Sheen as the werewolf leader Lucian. I think that the plot is quite strong, and it does not ruin the vampire or werewolf legend. What i didn't like as much was the werewolf costumes. I didn't find the convincing. But apart from that, it was very entertaining, and I am looking forward to see the sequel i the theaters.
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Features on the 2 Disc DVD Make It the Way to Go
aimless-461 November 2005
The "Underworld" sequel will soon be out so now is a good time to revisit the original. Personally I enjoyed this film more than any high budget "mainstream movie" I have seen in years years. But I can see many of the problems others have pointed out. Although the small action scenes work very well, the more elaborate scenes are disjointed, confused, and somewhat silly. If you compare the opening subway sequence to the train station sequence in "The Untouchables", you see an illustration of why less is better; and "Underworld" expends more ammo for less effect than anything this side of a "Godzilla" film.

Along with too much aggressive confusion is the silliest head-splitting in cinema history. Similar to the way Tarentino dispatched Lucy Lie in "Kill Bill Vol.1" (i.e. a delay in the actual detachment-I don't know which film did it first but Tarentine did it way better), the effects editor overlooked the need to show a slice in the head before it topples off. Surely this was just simple incompetence and not deliberate, because there are ways to show this (i.e. a line) that would still make it a relatively shocking scene.

The story itself breaks too many horror genre conventions and fails to generate much real suspense (although the climax is somewhat surprising). But ultimately these problems did not interfere with my enjoyment of the movie.

This was because it is first and foremost a Kate Beckensale's vehicle, as emphasized by recent trailer for the sequel. It is likely that your feeling about the film will depend on your impression of Beckensale. She has never looked better and I'm just talking about her face which I could watch in closeup for two hours without the slightest complaint. She is increasingly an absolute ringer for a 1940-ish Loretta Young. An earlier comment noted that: "This 30 year old has the figure and face of a magazine model, with the bored flat expression to match. Pour this tight little body into a rubber suit with especially reflective pants and you have something to anchor your movie". All this is very true but add intelligence, subtlety and nuance not seen since Diana Rigg was playing Mrs. Peel. The film does not demonstrate her range (you have to watch "Alice Through the Looking Glass" for the best evidence of that) but it is one of those rare cases where you can't imagine anyone but her in the role.

The production design, lighting, and cinematography are all excellent and the DVD has some great features explaining these aspects of the production.

The film has a nice consistent look that fits very well with the story. I don't understand the comments that are negative overall, or what films these people are unfavorably comparing it to, can't be the garbage films that have been coming to mainstream theaters over the past few years. Bottom line, if you like the genre, appreciate stylish production design, and think highly of Ms. Beckensale you should make it a point to see this movie.
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Can't wait for the sequel!
sarastro731 October 2005
I have just watched Underworld for the second time, and I was gratified to discover that it was every bit as good as I remembered - if not more so. No two ways about it; this is one terrific movie.

The action scenes and some of the special effects could be better, but the movie has utterly superb style, mood, plot and acting! The story itself is probably the best vampire-slash-werewolf story I've encountered (though admittedly I don't know many, as I'm not really a horror fan), and the ending is just fabulous.

I also just love the thing about the chief vampires sleeping for predetermined periods of time, and are then revived - this is incredibly cool.

And the whole thing is borne aloft by the great skill of the British lead actors - particularly hard-hitting cutie Kate Beckinsale, wild-eyed Michael Sheen and that late bloomer of a genuine acting icon, Bill Nighy, who gives an unflinching performance.

It won't be long now till Underworld: Evolution comes out - and I'm just thrilled at the prospect of seeing more of this stylish world! If they can fulfill my expectations of the sequel, I will be making an upward correction of my rating of this movie from 8 to 9, because then we'll have a larger universe which makes sense in a larger context. That's how a good movie franchise should function.

Crossing fingers!
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Better than people want to admit
wnterstar11 January 2005
I can understand why some people were unwilling to give this movie a chance. I started out thinking, OK, so Anna Valerious from Van Helsing is now a female Blade! I was wrong! I also went in thinking it was going to be a push button movie with no real twists.

Again I was wrong.

I didn't really see the twist coming at the end (surprising, since I figured out who Kaiser Sosay was!) I liked this move for a lot of reasons. The darkness in the movie wasn't oppressive. The acting was good, and the story strong.

I give it a 7 out of 10.
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New Blood For Vampire Legends
EmperorNortonII10 April 2004
"Underworld" is no ordinary horror movie. It tells the tale of a secret war between vampires and werewolves (or as they're called here, lycans). Kate Beckinsale stars as Selene, a lethal assassin on the vampire side. Scott Speedman plays Michael Corvin, a man who finds himself wrapped up in this brutal war. This movie is rather well done, despite all the blood and graphic violence. The look of the movie is dark, Gothic and brooding, which fits very well with the story. The script is interesting, using science to bring the vampire and werewolf legends into the modern age (such as saying the lycans are allergic to silver). The story of the bitter rivalry between to two mythic characters would make a fascinating prequel, and the sequel should follow "Underworld" with real impact as well.
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Original Vampire & Werewolf film
RaidaS18 May 2004
I loved Underworld. But I love most decent Vampire or Werewolf films, so that's a bit biased, eh? Basing the two species on a genetic, scientific idea makes them work exceedingly well, and removes all those problems that mysticism brings to a film, like reflections or holy items. This Vamp-Werewolf model make explanations easy, rather than requiring long prologues or in-depth discussions. The whole 'virus' idea is logical, and easy to follow. It's slick, modern, fast-paced action combined with classic, Gothic Vampire & Werewolf ideas, like the Vamp's high-tech weapons being kept in a massive, stately manor. I'm a real fan of the whole colour scheme, with few colours used in any one shot, and blues used for almost everything, keeping it looking cool, and sleek. I am also a Kate Beckinsale fan, and I love Action films that don't use women like an extra person to shout 'watch out!' or hit someone over the head. K.Beckinsale's character is great for this, it's someone who could easily be a guy. (Although, I'm thinking the outfit'd need a bit of enlarging if it were)
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Underworld. A new legend is born.
Elswet19 September 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Let me start this review by saying that, while this work is NOT scary, it was not MEANT to be scary. This production was classed into the genre of "Horror," strictly due to the "monster" factor. There are "tense" moments, to be sure, but this is not a "boo!" kind of movie. There is; however, plenty of action, lots of well enacted drama and wonderful realistic effects. I was actually amazed with the apparent lack of high-dollar effects, the almost Rice-ian Vampire clans lounging in the well designed lush and lavish "mansion," the gritty tension held throughout the movie, and the stunningly clever costume designs. But what held me mostly in thrall were the effects.

The effects were so well done, they were believable. They explain that the older Lycan can change at will, regardless of the moon's cycle...with that in mind, the way the werewolves' mandible bones FORCED themselves out and into place was dead ON. Changing at will would BE like that, especially in times of anger or great stress. Someone (possibly Wiseman?) had heard (and correctly believed) that "less is more," because the effects were done in such a way as to appear REAL and not...simply more Hollywood "Matrix" flash.

These scenes were so well done; so well directed, filmed and portrayed that we could, even if for a short time, believe the things we were watching...were possible. The wonderfully unique bullets used by both sides are absolutely brilliant. It reminded me if the horribly campy western/vampire movie made about 10 or 15 years ago entitled, "Sundown," where the vampire hunters used wooden bullets.

I am simply stunned to discover that this is Len Wiseman's first attempt in the field as Director. I eagerly look forward to more brilliance from this man. (He was also one of the writers of the original literary work.) If this is his first attempt, we may have just been introduced to the next Spielberg. Personally, I'm hoping he leans more towards being the next Hitchcock.

The weaponry Selene (Kate Beckinsale) utilized was quite unique and completely interested the small audience in my hometown theater. When she drew her stars and threw them simultaneously at the Lycan; when the scene slowed to an almost stop just long enough to allow you to SEE the throwing stars as they CHANGED into much more deadly projectiles, was absolutely excellent. AND was also the ONLY scene in this entire movie which even remotely reminded me of "The Matrix." The other critics keep droning on and on with comparisons between these two movies, and frankly, I just don't see it.

Also, "Blade" has been used as a source of comparison. The only similarities between "Blade" and "Underworld" are that Viktor, the oldest and strongest of the Vampiric race of "Pure Bloods," uses a sword. Oh, and there are Vampires. Those were the ONLY common points, as far as I could tell. This is an original work; not a petty rip-off or a "jumble of other movies." This is a very creative and unique attempt; a successful one, if you ask me.

While guns were used more than I would have liked, the additional weaponry chosen for this endeavor was not your standard action-flick fare. One of the vampire "Death Dealers" uses a pair of 10' whips quite well. And don't forget about the bullets I mentioned...what an extraordinary intellectual and creative power.

The costumes were kept simple, yet served the purpose of helping to set the mood. Two words...understated elegance. Absolutely brilliant. Some have said that the story line is hard to follow, or that there is no discernible plot. Let me be frank. This is not a movie for the squeamish, nor is it a movie for those who like to be able to NOT concentrate on the plot. Sure, there is enough visual eye candy to keep most casual fans of the genre entertained, but there is also a very complicated and beautifully sinister plot and subplots going on beneath the flying bullets and shots of Kate Beckinsale's butt in latex and leather.

The Shakespearean relationship between Selene and Michael (Scott Speedman) is well written and pleasantly portrayed, in the midst of all that darkness and drama. A bit of candle-light to shine hope into the darkness of despair, as it were. The story is an upgraded spin on a timeless classic, with enough additional plot and sub-plot to keep even the most common movie-goer interested. The war between the Vampires and the Lycan has raged for more than a thousand years. The Lycan, once the serving class to the Vampire, had risen against their masters and won their freedom. But was that the real story? Was their freedom truly the motivating force which stoked the fires of this war for this long? In the center of this war are Selene (Vampire) and Michael (Lycan). Their love of one another is forbidden by every Vampire Covenant written, but will that be enough to stop them from falling in love?

As one of the chosen "Death Dealers," an organization within the Vampire Clans trained and equipped to hunt and kill Lycans, Selene is faced with a decision most dire: sell out and live? or be true to herself and die? Will her loyalty to her ancient maker keep her from making the right choice?

And that is where the sub-plot kicks into overdrive and makes you sit back and say, "Oh wow! No kidding?!" at the darkling twists in the plot. I was thoroughly entertained by this work, and cannot wait to add the DVD to the Vampire section of my horror collection. Superb acting; rich depth of character; talented, creative directing; and realistic effects put this movie at the top of all other Vampyre movies, for me.

It earns an ambitious 9.7/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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Expect Nothing, get a little more
mstomaso3 January 2006
I enjoyed Underworld. I expected it to be absurd, awful, plot-less and pointless. While it is certainly not the most brilliant and original story, nor does it teem with insight about the human condition, its not awful, its plot heavy, and it really isn't pointless. It's just a tad absurd, though.

This is the story of a human (Scott Speedman) entangled in a six hundred year old war between vampires and werewolves, and the vampire death dealer (Beckinsale) whose compassion for him permits her to seek the truth in ways that few of her species have before.

The acting is of variable quality. Kate Beckinsale is wonderfully cute, and does a pretty fair job of acting when she's not doing a Keanu Reeves/Neo impression. Michael Sheen provides a great supporting performance. Shane Brolly isn't really up to the task, in my opinion.

The script is good, although it's full of clichés. The editing and directing are both impeccable, and help to move everything along at an entertaining and brisk pace.

This is a fun action-oriented film, with stylish darkness and enough originality to make it worth seeing. Mildly recommended for vampire and werewolf fans.
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Worst cinematic experience in a very long time.
simon-psykolog19 January 2008
I really think that this movie was made for young, self-centered people with no knowledge of the vampire lore. It made me furious to watch Selene as I saw her as a very narcissistic person who constantly was too aware of her own appearance. It made me feel like I was watching somebody up on the catwalk each time I saw her. The way she jumped, walked, shot with her guns and the way she looked from under her hair. I was so annoyed. Completely without any kind of character. It has been stated that she falls in love with Michael Corvin but that is something we have to deduce from the fact that she kisses him. I didn't see any affection, tenderness or soft spoken words between them. She is just too hollow.

So much from the vampire lore was omitted that it felt really weird. What had become of their demonic nature, why didn't they drink blood and, as others have pointed out, how come that they cast a shadow? As we learn, they are still vulnerable to sun-light, but there isn't any during the whole film.

Were we supposed to feel any sympathy for either side in the conflict? I didn't at all and basically I think that if you do not engage yourself in the protagonist then the movie has failed seriously. The only thing I was hoping for was, that everybody ended up killing each other.

I don't think that I will spoil anything by saying, that there will be a show-down in the end. Let me just say that they should really, really have used a stand-in/stunt-man for poor old Viktor. So in order to make this film a good experience you really have to stop thinking and just drift with it – and this was simply impossible for me.

regards Simon
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a real stinker
icegnome7 July 2006
Maybe i was just in an extra critical mood when i saw this movie, but i think its just terrible; bad acting all around, almost incomprehensible story line. This movie is another heavily matrix influenced film; over the top shootouts, high wire karate scenes. The original matrix was innovative and thought provoking this movie is a wannabe .

The characters were one dimensional and unlikeable. The development of the characters seemed silly and contrived.

This is another example of Hollywood abandoning logic, reason, storytelling, plot, and good characters, in exchange for big guns explosions, and special effects, special effects, special, effects.

If you are a fan of; The Fast and the Furious, The Blade movies, and Tomb Raider. This movie will probably be right up your alley.

on the other hand if your looking for a film with some intelligence and maybe an interesting story, look else where.
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I have been mugged at the movies!
c.j.ward24 September 2003
I am stunned and horrified to read the comments on this movie.

I can scarcely find words to describe how badly this movie stinks. I can only assume that many of the US reviewers were fooled by a bunch of English accents and dreary shots of a dismal Eastern-European city into thinking that this was somehow a classy piece of work.

Beckinsale was a leather clad plank - I felt no sympathy or empathy for her character simply because her character did not exist - she was just speaking a few words.

In fact this applies to damn near everyone else in this mess. There were virtually no character building moments at all - we just have no idea who these 2-dimensional S&M fetish-freaks are at all.

There is no plot to speak of - all we need to know is laid out wholesale in the opening monotone monologue. If the director had not been so keen to slap his now-fiancee up on screen at every opportunity, he might have realised that there was a story to tell - that of the unwitting human caught in the middle of events he doesn't understand. Had we seen the story through his eyes we would have been shocked at the initial battle and surprised as the extent of the 'underworld' is revealed to us. Quite simply the director is telling the wrong story.

Instead the movie treats the audience like bunch of slack-jawed morons and spoon feeds us the whole story up front just so we don't have to worry our pretty little heads with such nasty complicated stuff as plot.

Okay. I love vampire movies. All of them Nosferatu, right through to Blade, and I'm pretty sure that in all of these pretty much the whole point is that vampires are like, *evil* and, you know, *drink blood*.

Wearing a bit of leather bondage tat and moping around a big old house at night does not make you a vampire. Where was the blood-sucking? We barely even saw a set of fangs - these were simply the most boring vampires I've ever seen.

The werewolves were a bit better, but the CGI was very poor and the man-to-sort of mutant pig-gorilla thing transformation is totally eclipsed by twenty year old classics like American Werewolf and The Howling.

The less said about the noise which passes for a soundtrack the better. In fact I've said too much already. So I'll stop.

I hated this film so much I can't even be bothered to rant about it any more.

Go see this film if you want leave feeling like someone hit you over the head and stole your money - or just find a dark street and wait to be mugged for a similar, but possibly more entertaining experience.
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Disappointed, not unusual for movies like this
Prospero-118 April 2004
Once again I find myself disappointed with a vampire movie, there was potential here but I think it was squandered and what was produced was mediocre at best. The plot was confusing for the most part, it prompted me more than once to say, "OK, that's nice but why the hell does this matter"

I am also disappointed by the serious lack of writing/directing/acting talent in this movie. The dialouge is not capturing or memorable, nothing stands out from this silly plotline flecking with gratuitous firefights. If making a good horror film is as simple as using a dark filter on your camera to mute the colors and dressing bad actors in black, this would be a hit.

The lead actress did what she could with what was written for her, but there are failed attempts to establish depth in the character, these are writer's faults. However acting was not a talent requisite for "Kraven" or any of the "Lycans." The pathetic accents and horrid vocal patterns nearly made my ears bleed. I guess good directing is "you, talk real loud and overdramatic".

All in all I disliked this movie, I wish there were more good Vampire films, but alas no one can fill the bill it seems
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angelic_amy_lee7 January 2004
I liked this movie. Definatley a different take on vampires, other than the things we've seen in buffy! Makes a nice change to see a female hold down a main role, and kate beckansale (sp?) did it beautifully. This is a must see movie, and possibly one of the best movies of 2003.
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Gothic Gangster Movie Kills.
shinymc_shine7 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
"Underworld" culls two races from mythology, vampires and werewolves, and has them co-existing in the same setting. While the two are staples of the horror genre ("Dracula" and "The Wolf Man"), this doesn't play out like a traditional horror movie. This action packed story will please horror fans and convert new ones due to the melding of movie types to create a fresh interpretation to a century old genre.

A male human (Scott Speedman) unwittingly becomes involved in an on going war between vampires and werewolves. When a female vampire (Kate Beckinsale) notices the werewolves following this human, she becomes suspicious and begins to investigate why he is so important, even if it changes everything she has ever known about her life and vampire history.

This monster movie follows the age-old traditions established in the early novels (by Bram Stoker) and movies ("Werewolf Of London") featuring vampires and lycanthropes. Of late, there's been some wanna-be trendy, horror movies that have thrown the standards out the window. Those standards are comforting and we, the audience, expect to see them. Vampires deteriorate in sunlight leading to instant death. Werewolves can only be killed by a silver bullet. "Underworld" takes these traditions, builds on them and makes them their own.

While it reads as a horror, it plays more like a gangster movie. Both races participate in gunplay with specially modified bullets to instantly kill their opponents. The werewolves are brutish goons, wanna-be gangsters with more brawn than brains. On the flip side, the vampires are like a communal family with hierarchy, ancient customs and they're legitimate business owners which funds their criminal endeavours.

Due to the aforementioned gunplay, this is more violent than gory. It's still bloody but there are no scenes that'll make you queasy or nauseous. The violence is another reason why it has a gangster feel about it.

There's a class system subtext that runs through this movie. The lower class werewolves battling the upper class vampires. Working class is possibly a better adjective for the werewolves. They are masculine, unkempt and unsophisticated. On the other hand, the gothic vampires are immaculately dressed with a expensive sense of style. They lounge around looking glamourous as if they're supermodels at a cocktail party. Opulence and high class is the style the production and costume designer has given these blood suckers.

Beckinsale's quite fetching in her erotic, PVC, full body costume. Her bondage like outfit's more interesting than her intentionally emotionless performance. One wonders why she didn't keep her British accent as the cast is made up of international actors with a pot-pourri of different brogues? It's good to see her in a lead role, above the title credit, where she holds her own portraying a strong, forceful character. Of late, she's played the glorified girlfriend part (eg. Michael Bay's "Pearl Harbor"). Here, she's independent, without a partner to justify her significance. While this is the kind of role a man would normally play, she's still feminine and sexy without having to show any flesh.

Bill Nighy has a supporting role as an elder vampire who's resurrected before his time in order to help Beckinsale. Nighy's rightfully become popular in the last few years. He's adept in any part he plays even a centuries-old vampire with superhuman strength. His climatic fight scene never draws unintentional laughs which shows what a convincing actor he is.

The other name star of this movie is Bacardi. Product placement is rife during the opening sequence in an underground train station. This is quite surprising when you watch the entire movie.

Never at any time is there any indication where and when this movie is set. The gothic architecture and vehicle licence plates have you thinking that this could be somewhere in Europe. There are no title cards, characters speak with differing accents and there are no recognizable landmarks used as locations. All we do know is is that where ever they are they have Bacardi. If the moviemakers were trying to create a nondescript world, alien from our own, then why use blatant product placement for Bacardi?

The colour film stock has been manipulated intentionally to give a blue hue to it. This reinforces the gothic style of the movie. Blue isn't just a colour, it's also an emotion. It's constantly raining which adds to the cold look the cinematographer and production designer have created. These races are unemotional people which also strengthens the blue tone.

Computer generated visual effects were used for the movie which is far removed from John Landis' "An American Werewolf In London". While the special effects are impressive, there is no mystery into how they were achieved. Special effects and make up were a real art form before the days of CGI. These technicians are a dying breed due to computers. It's a shame that moviemakers rely heavily on CGI as it's slowly becoming run of the mill.

Overall, "Underworld"'s a good action/horror/gangster movie with a strong female lead. This hybrid is filled with polished set pieces and seamless CGI. There's talk that this is the first of a proposed trilogy and I hope the next two will be as strong as this.
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This movie was a complete BUST
Warwolf24319 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Underworld was a travesty.

A complete and utter travesty.

This movie was touted as featuring a battle between werewolves and vampires. Yet the movie rarely saw any real combat besides overly clichéd gun battles. The plot, for much of the movie is non-existent. Werewolves were once slaves to vampires until one werewolf (just a side note werewolves are called Lycans in this film, by the way) took a vampire for a bride. Her father, Viktor, kills his own daughter and makes Lucian, the Lycan in question, watch. This starts the war. Mainly cause Viktor feared the creation of a Lycan-Vampire mixed breed.

All this comes out in about the last ten to fifteen minutes or so of the movie by the way.

Meanwhile, we have Selene, a 'Death Dealer' (a vampire who hunts werewolves), who hunts them out of revenge, falling in love with Michael Corvin (I'm having flashbacks to the hideous Crow 3 here folks, even if the guy's last name IS from Crow 2) who's the descendant of some guy named Corvinus or something like that. Supposedly he has the potential to become both vamp and Lycan. Which he does.

And yet in the end it's SELENE who kills off Viktor, who had killed her family 600 years prior to the events of the film. This is another clichéd plot twist. I mean come on. "Werewolves killed my family, so I kill them to satiate my lust for vengeance against werewolves who may have already been killed anyway." Yeah, who the hell DIDN'T see that coming by the time this movie was ended? Seriously, show of hands.

Any takers? No? Good for you. It's too completely obvious.

Here's the kicker. Lucian (Lucien?) has been trying to turn himself into a cross-breed Lycan-Vamp, which would make him more powerful than either race. Well, as you might expect, Michael gets bitten by a Lycan. Goes through most of the movie having 'hallucinations' which are actually Lucian's memories of what started the war between the two races. Gets shot and nearly dies because of some idiot SOB (who is Viktor's second in command of course.), gets bitten by Selene, and becomes the hybrid Viktor is so afraid of seeing come into existence. Cue the only DECENT fight scene in this movie. Viktor and Michael go at it pretty well. It looks like it's going to become the sole redeeming quality in this movie. Then Viktor gets Michael in a headlock. (Hey, when did this turn into a wrestling match?) Guess what. Selene gets involved and slices Viktor's head in half diagonally.

Making the concept that Michael is supposed to be more powerful than both Lycans and Vampires (and let me point out here that Lycans in this film are also supposed to be immortal once changed, and that all either race has to do is a simple bite.), abso-fricking-lutely POINTLESS! Whoever wrote this movie must have been on crack. I mean it. The story was contrived, the 'fight scenes' shallow except for Michael vs. Viktor, and they actually managed to RUIN that fight by having Selene get in the killing blow. This type of flagrant sexism in horror movies in which the villain/monster/alien from beyond/whatever almost always dies at the hands of a woman has always dragged down my enjoyment of most horror flicks in general, and utterly annoys me throughout Underworld as Selene is like a female Blade in reverse with NONE of the potential that Blade has to be in potential danger even if he's just faking it. I never get the impression that Selene is in any way harmable because she's far too much like Blade mixed with the Punisher mixed with Daredevil. She also is the driving force of this film, which means that Michael, whom she's supposed to be in love with, and who, from the apparent standpoint of the movie, is supposed to be the character around which all of this utter stinkbomb revolves, is little more than a footnote, and appears in barely a quarter of the movie. He is more or less just a helpless idiot throughout most of the film. Then, they remove any power and presence his transformation is supposed to give him by not only having Viktor in a position to kill him, which should have ended with Viktor's hold being broken by Michael's supposedly superior strength speed and power, but by having him be rescued by Selene, who has basically been the only character who really DOES -anything- in this entire movie.

I put off buying Underworld for almost two years because I was wary of it. Mostly because of the way I disliked the werewolf costumes in the trailers. I will admit, I have come to like the werewolf suits, but not enough to consider them a saving grace of the film.

This film managed to ruin the one thing which could have redeemed it in my eyes. And sadly, it hints at a possible sequel at the end with another of the Vampires who is supposedly as old as Marcus and possibly a halfbreed himself taking over as the main villain. Which means this pile of utter waste is likely going to have a baby brother.

Avoid it at all costs folks. This movie was a bomb. BIG TIME.

As a fan of both werewolves and vampires, I feel embarrassed on behalf of both creatures for this disgusting film.
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If They Show Movies In Hell...
Kenn Hoekstra23 January 2004
Warning: Spoilers
...Underworld will be on the Ultra Screen. *shudder*

Oh my God is this movie awful. One of the most worthless pieces of mindless, plodding drivel ever committed to celluloid. How is it that people on this board can actually LIKE this film? Did you watch the same POS that I did?



What's the point of being a Vampire when you don't have to worry about drinking blood? Hey, it's cloned now so no worries, eh? Why? Vampires do nothing "Vampiric" in this trash heap of a movie at all...they don't drink blood, they don't sleep during the day (because there is no "day" in this movie), no super speed, no hypnotic gaze, no transformation into wolf or bat, no flight, not affected by holy symbols...and they CAST SHADOWS AND REFLECTIONS!!! WTF?

At one point, Kate Beckinsdale's Vampire character gets stabbed with a knife (and passes out from blood loss (seriously...I'm not making this up) and rolls her car!?!!? Um...gee...last I checked, Vampires REGENERATED! Blood loss? Agggghhhh...

Werewolves climb on the walls instead of bounding after you? Why not call them Spider-Wolves? They seem to be totally inferior to the Vampires in every way, even though the Vampires are nothing special. What's the point of this conflict if the Werewolves have no chance? If you were a Werewolf, wouldn't you try to fight back against the Vampires during the day??? Oh, wait... I forgot. There is NO DAY!

I wouldn't have problems with any of these things if they even TRIED to explain ANY of it. Bottom Line: The worst Vampires and Werewolves in cinematic history.

The end fight scene is an absolute joke, too. I won't ruin it, though. You have to SEE it to believe it. Ugh.

***End Spoilers***

Acting was sub-par...especially the guy who played "Kraven." Logical leaps abounded. Nothing was explained satisfactorily at all. What was explained was done so in single, throw-away lines or long, drawn out boring flashback speeches. No middle ground at all.


  • Kate Beckinsdale is easy on the eyes (only reason I didn't turn it off) - Cinematography is nice. - Some pretty cool direction at times...a handful of cool shots.

In short, if you care nothing about plot, dialogue, story, acting, pacing or Vampiric and Lycan mythology, this is YOUR movie.

I gave this movie a 1 out of 10 on the IMDB scale. Why? Because it wouldn't let me rate it any lower than that. Strike one. Two. Three.
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Not Good At All
Nephalim2 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
*Minor Spoilers - don't worry, you spot them coming a mile away*

Some of the fights were decent. The morphing thing on the werewolves was good. The costumes were interesting, if not a tad redundant, and the setting kept very gothic and fitting for most of the film.

That is where the virtues of this film end.

We have been waiting almost ten years for another decent vampire movie, and we keep getting cliched disappointment after another. Vampire culture barely factored into it. We hardly see them demonstrate any of their powers. This could very easily be about human werewolf-hunters, and the plot would need only a little tweaking. That aside, the plot was still quite bad. The avenging-murdered-family bit is getting very old and very tired and it's pulled off in uncreative enough a way not to give them the benefit of the doubt.

When Selene (Beckinsale) and Mike (Speedman) inevitably fall in love, you begin to wonder why, as nothing has really happened that merits any feelings for one another. Their first kiss comes from out of nowhere. I realize this is primarily an action movie but let's put SOMETHING behind the relationships.

That being said, the action sequences that were rewarding to watch were few and far between, and none of them involved Selene. Kate Beckinsale seems very out of place in a fight. And in the final battle, the death of the big bad guy is actually very comical, and the cinema I was in burst into laughter when he died, which I somehow doubt was the intent.

And finally, as a horror film, it doesn't even try to scare you. I can't see it being considered a horror film in any serious capacity.

And as a detail, why didn't we just call them "Werewolves" instead of "Lycans" which sounds exactly like "Lichens."
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Fantastic film about facing between vampires and werewolves
ma-cortes26 July 2004
The movie deals with vampires and werewolves , each other taking on , vampires led by Kate Beckinsale and wolves ruled by Michael Sheen . There is a third starring Scott Speedman, a human whose blood has a terrible secret .

Both groups ,vampires and wolves will confront to obtain their purposes , the fighting will be to death.

The film blends horror ,suspense, struggles , rip-roaring action, thrills, and a little bit of gore and guts.

Set design is of first class , settings are stylized , Gothic buildings, shading slums , all of them originate a spooky and ghoulish atmosphere.

Specials effects are breathtaking , part is made by means of computer generator and part by make-up.

Cinematography is glimmer likeness to stirring soundtrack however has too much rock music and little symphonic music.

Kate Beckinsale is wonderful , she is a true action warrior women, Scott Speedman is nice but is shaded for her.

The flick will appeal to emotion buffs and spooky action lovers.

Rating: 7/10 , good . Well worth seeing.
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Should be a comic book
dee.reid20 September 2003
For all I know, there could already be a comic book in the works for the vampire-werewolf fantasy, "Underworld." I just got back from seeing it and I must say that this movie should stand up pretty well in the face of all the ridiculous (read: pointless, useless) "Matrix; Crow; Blade" comparisons. I've heard that this movie is based on some RPG game I have never heard of and if that's true, I don't really care; this movie could probably beat the hell out of it.

"Underworld" really has a unique feel to it. The story doesn't stand up well under a whole lot of thought, but that doesn't really matter. What should really capture some people, are the special effects and the sets. There are some pretty nifty werewolf transformation scenes that certainly deserve Oscar attention. The sets, highly Victorian as they are, also should get some props. This movie is going to be a comic book; I can tell. It certainly has the look, feel, and story of one, yet that still doesn't make it bad.

Speaking of the story, though it isn't strong, it gets to you. The thought that vampires and werewolves have been duking it out for thousands of years right under our noses is intriguing, even if it hasn't been fleshed out that well in the film. Even still, it gets you thinking about everything that war means to them and us.

As for the action scenes, they are certainly well shot and violent. Surprisingly, there isn't that much gore here either. But what is really surprising is that the movie doesn't offer us pointless action scenes to fill in for lack of story; there's actually meaning behind it all.

"Underworld" is a pretty well-done fantasy that deserves to be immortalized in the comics.

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A dull ride
ash_077720 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I have rarely seen a movie that had SO much potential, and seemed to ignore it almost on purpose. The premise is sound: a secret war is being fought between vampires and werewolves. a great premise, but unfortunately, the flaws hold it back from being either an action or a horror, and especially from it ever being a romance. The first flaw is noticeable all through the movie. Let me get this straight, these two creatures have been fighting for years, and years, yet humans have no idea. They shoot in subways, and hotels, and sewers, yet we have no idea. In Blade the humans who knew about vampires became Familiars. They worked along side them. Here, they just don't exist. Oh, except for speedman, he exists solely for the plot, to give it a bit of life. Sorry, nothing could give this bore-heap life. The other huge flaw, is the supposed romance between Speedman and Beckinsale. It has no merit. It just evolves without rhyme or reason. There's no connection or chemistry. The script calls for a love relationship between the two, so it seems like they just through it in. They kiss, they fight along side each other, but never have chemistry. It just goes through the usual motions. Most of the characters are generic and dull. They all seem to just exist on the most basic level. They simply go on pouting or scowling the whole movie. My favorite example of this is Kraven (Shane Brolly). He keeps one angry expression on his face the entire time. He looks about two seconds away from a temper tantrum. The last big gripe I have for this movie is simple and basic: Where oh where was the action through all this? I counted two and a half basic action scenes. I wish I could have slept through this boring mess, but my insomnia was acting up that day. My rating? 1 out of 10 My advice? If your in the mood for a GOOD action horror, stay away, go rent a Blade flick.
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Stolen and cliché-filled
CornbreadRangers26 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I swear this is the single one film that made me throw up my hands and yell "what's the use?" It is the single most cliché-ridden film I've ever seen. In corner number one, we have vampires. (How original!) In corner number two, werewolves. (I didn't see that coming!) The two creatures are so clichéd that the very mention of them is a cliché. Of course, the two races are at war. (That one blew me away, it came out of nowhere!) And they both have their weaknesses; vampires to sun and werewolves to silver. (Where do they get these fresh ideas???) A vampire is in love with a werewolf. (I couldn't believe it!) And the bad guy wants to combine the two into a super-being. (Really??? OMG Best. Plot. Device. E-var!!) The movie is a direct copy of not only a novel, but two games as well. Not to mention a shameless copy of Romeo & Juliet. I mean, come on!! Why are people still copying a 500 year old play? And not even changing a single detail!!! Writers should be able to write a novel without being afraid that some producer will come along and flat-out steal the ENTIRE thing!!! And the worst part of it all is the way it shows off the worst in humanity; the mindless killing just for the sake of killing. There's no point, no plot, no point, no nothing. I've seen it all before, I don't need to see it again. What a travesty.
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All Style, No Substance!
tyrellcorp2719 September 2003
Warning: Spoilers
First time director Len Wiseman definitely knows how to make a good looking movie, but not much else. Mr. Wiseman has nailed down the look that is evident is most of today's vampire movies: dark, grainy, gothic, leathery, bluish hued skin and RAIN! Lots and lots of RAIN. Most annoyingly, outside of the terrible overacting of Shane Brolly as Craven (he espouses anger in EVERY look and in EVERY word he utters) and the stoic, zombie-like acting of Kate Beckinsale is the director's use of DOORS! Every damn scene of this movie either starts or ends (and sometimes both)with someone slamming open/closing a door, or gate. My guess is that doors must swing to and fro over 100 times in this movie. This must have been the editor's first movie and asked the director to use the doors as cues for his cuts. Once I pointed this out to my friend, he couldn't stop laughing every time a door swung.

The plot is pretty thin and close to being stupid. Plot spoiler follows: Why would the leader of the vampires and the werewolves want to create a mixed, super breed of half vampire, half wolf? The new super wolfpire would surely doom the vampires and werewolves to extinction. Secondly, we are continuously told that the vampires defeated the werewolves and pushed THEM to the edge of extinction. Yet, except for the finale, every fight between vampires and werewolves is dominated by the werewolves.

So if you just want to have a good laugh and watch a stylish vampire flick, "Underworld" is for you. But if your looking for a crafty, fast beat, well directed movie (e.i. "Blade II"), it ain't this one. You'll be bored to death and you'll learn to HATE DOORS!
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