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Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 95,387 users   Metascore: 44/100
Reviews: 160 user | 160 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

An origins story centered on the centuries-old feud between the race of aristocratic vampires and their onetime slaves, the Lycans.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Geraldine Brophy ...
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Alex Carroll ...
Young Lucian (as Alexander Carroll)
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Jason Hood ...
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Timothy Raby ...
Janosh (as Tim Raby)
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Storyline

The prequel story traces the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires and their onetime slaves, the Lycans. In the Dark Ages, a young Lycan named Lucian emerges as a powerful leader who rallies the werewolves to rise up against Viktor, the cruel vampire king who has enslaved them. Lucian is joined by his secret lover, Sonja, in his battle against the Vampire army and his struggle for Lycan freedom. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

vampire | slave | battle | werewolf | warrior | See more »

Taglines:

Every war has a beginning.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bloody violence and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

23 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Underworld 3  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£990,285 (UK) (23 January 2009)

Gross:

$45,802,315 (USA) (27 February 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While filming this movie, Michael Sheen was asked by Ron Howard if he could record a quick moment of dialog for Frost/Nixon (2008). Sheen, covered in fake blood from the days filming, went to his trailer and recorded the dialog, he asked someone to take a picture of him doing it and sent it to Ron Howard, who had it framed and displayed. See more »

Goofs

When Sonja cries, her first tear comes down to her mouth twice. See more »

Quotes

Death Dealer: My lord, your daughter has escaped.
Viktor: [sighs] Ah, of course she has.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Underworld: Endless War (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Underneath the Stars (Renholdër Remix)
Performed by The Cure featuring Maynard James Keenan/Puscifer and Milla Jovovich (as Milla)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
You know, I really enjoyed it. Michael Sheen is superb in a film where great performances normally don't happen.
23 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Very rarely do prequels match up with their predecessors. As I'm not the biggest Underworld fan, I can honestly say that I wasn't expecting much. However, I should've expected more, as the latest, yet earliest installment is easily my favorite in the series. It ain't art, but it's the shining example of why we go to the movies: to escape into a world of mythology, fantasy, and crazy vampire/werewolf action.

For the first time in the series, the filmmakers have decided to leave out the rock that probably was the reason the films have been successful: Kate Beckinsale. I'm guessing this was a production risk/choice, but it seems to have paid off. Selene's absence from the story is necessary to tell the story of how the Lycans rose to power, how Viktor was driven insane (though we pretty much already know how), and, as off topic as it may be, how simply awesome Michael Sheen is.

Very rarely do the actors make an action movie good. Most action movies rely on explosions and (surprise!) action to enhance the quality and generally feature run of the mill copycat characters. Sheen's Lucian and Bill Nighy's Viktor will always stand out in the realm of action/fantasy characters to me, and it's easy to see why. Sheen's turn as Lucian is fierce, determined, and one of my favorite performances in an action movie I've seen in years. Despite playing a (mostly) villainous role in the first film, Lucian is the hero of this film, and it totally gives you a new spin on things. Sheen's brave and dedicated performance really makes the character work, while Bill Nighy is once again effectively creepy as Viktor. Rhona Mitra's presence as Sonja is welcome, though she doesn't carry the same charisma that Beckinsale does, making her an ill advised choice to be Selene's replacement (as she so obviously is).

The action in Underworld, though obviously restrained by a lower budget, is once again great. There's some nice dueling, the obvious gore and blood galore, and a nice Lord of the Rings style battle at the end. What it comes down to is that Underworld does nothing new, but does everything right in maintaining a steady river of entertainment. I was never bored, and I don't think you will be either.

The film does answer a lot of questions and provides some nice insight to the Lycans (which were my favorite parts about the first two films), though it suffers from the same fate as most prequels do...even a casual viewer of this series knows which characters will live, which will die, and how it will end. The film isn't really about the resolution, but rather the journey to the end. In fact, it's made in such a way that you can certainly watch the trilogy in chronological order.

When it comes down to it, I liked 'Lycans' a lot. It's a worthy installment in the series, and certainly not a disappointment to me. It's got good action, a wonderful lead performance from Michael Sheen, and should satisfy fans of the series and fans of mythological stories altogether.


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