Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
179 Reviews
Sort by:
8/10
You know, I really enjoyed it. Michael Sheen is superb in a film where great performances normally don't happen.
The_Amazing_Spy_Rises23 January 2009
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.
155 out of 186 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
More than animals
unbrokenmetal3 October 2009
"Rise of the Lycans", on the surface, makes a perfectly well working prequel. The loss of Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman is compensated by a great Rhona Mitra and especially Michael Sheen's titanic effort. The look and the action are amazing, considering the somewhat lower budget, and the story makes sense to prepare us all for the things to come in the other two movies. All in all, the trilogy is round now and does not disappoint in any department, unless you are taking everything a bit too literally and wonder how werewolves can make babies.

It is interesting, however, to peek below the surface. The makers mentioned in interviews they see similarities to "Romeo & Juliet" insofar as Lucien and Sonja are lovers not allowed to get together. One crucial difference, however, is that Romeo and Juliet came from two noble families, whereas in "Rise of the Lyans", Sonja is a member of the aristocratic pale vampire rulers, who are sipping glasses of blood on the castle, while Lucien is with the ugly, hairy slaves, the werewolves exploited as cheap labor force. We don't really get to see what this work consists of except carrying stones around. Also the love story isn't explained enough in the running time of not much more than 80 minutes PAL until the credits start to roll. But the point is that "Rise of the Lycans" is a hardly disguised class struggle story. Similar to the Italian socialist cinema of the 1960s which would show the rebellion of poor farmers against the rich property owners, the working class has to realise their value (in Lucien's words: "we are more than animals") and claim their human rights. When Lucien says "this is just the beginning", it may seem to the audience that he jokingly refers to other other two movies which have shown us already how the story continues after this prequel. In the subtext, though, he is making a very serious statement that freedom is the foundation of a life worth living, and everything else will be built up now upon this basic condition. It's a pity that the movie doesn't elaborate more on that and doesn't spend some additional time on the character development, either, because it could have been the best of the trilogy. Alas, I voted almost equally 8-7-7 for the three movies.
10 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Best prequel I've seen and worthy successor
overcrest200023 January 2009
I came back about an hour ago from the 3:45 showing here in Toronto. I've seen the first two movies, and I have to say I'm glad they brought back Michael Sheen and Bill Nighy; the second film just wasn't quite the same without those two. Lucian is the character you love to sympathize for and Viktor is the character you love to hate.

I'm so very glad the story was more focused on Lucian as it's a nice change from Selene and Michael being in the spotlight (not to mention Michael Sheen's arguably superior acting ability). As for Rhona Mitra, I won't say she was better than Kate Beckinsale but I can't say she was any less of an asset. Not only did she look great, but she executed her lines superbly. I will however say that I find Sonja's character much more interesting than Selene's. The chemistry between Lucian and Sonja was much better than that of the chemistry between Michael and Selene.

The story was much more intriguing, emotional and tragic than that of either of the previous two expeditions (this being of course subjective), as many who recall the flashbacks presented within will agree. It was also faithful to the material, and it's good that they didn't compromise for the sake of "improving" the story.

Overall, I can't think of another prequel that brought such raw emotion to the table, and regardless of the fact that Len Wiseman was not directing this one (though he was at the helm in other ways), you wouldn't know by watching it as it did a good job maintaining the same feel as the first two. The score also added to a lot of the emotion.

In regards to the possibility of a 4th movie: if they choose to continue on from this prequel as I think they should, they should bring in Amelia as she is one of the few characters that has yet to be explored fully.
135 out of 183 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
All in all? This ROCKS!
Elswet24 January 2009
What I wanted...I wanted an epically filmed visceral movie wherein thousands of Lycans are pitted against thousands of Vampires in full armor on horseback. Wow! What a great movie THAT would have been.

What I got...was somehow...better. I honestly can't say that I'm disappointed, although I just KNEW I would be if they left off that bit. What they give us is story-driven rather than effects or action-driven. I know that sounds ridiculous when talking about a movie in which action and effects are completely necessary in order to properly tell the story, but in all too many cases, they end up overshadowing the story and eliminating any sense of storytelling. I am happy to say that such is not the case with Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.

I won't spoil the movie as so many have. I will say that the obvious parallels between Sonja and Selene's characters are endearing, and Sonja's love of Lucien is breathtaking. The overall feel of the movie is as dark and Gothic as the original work, beautifully echoing the brilliance of that film which caught us so by surprise in September of 2003.

This still leaves a few small questions, and I would have loved to see Kraven make the deal with Lucien and cut Viktor's mark off of him, but you can't have everything, and all in all, this will run back to front with the original. All that's left now, is an extension of the Story of Underworld: Evolution; one that either gives the viewers a satisfactory ending, or perpetuates the species...of Underworld films, that is.

All in all? This ROCKS!

It rates an 8.4/10 from...

the Fiend :.
113 out of 163 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
A Very Good Prequel
bdc14123 January 2009
If you are a fan of either of the first two Underworld movies you are going to like this one as well. This movie seems to take place a short time after the creation of both races but some time before the events that open Underworld Evolution. The entire story of the feud between the vampires and lycans is told in 90 minutes with plenty of action interspersed throughout. My only complaint is that the movie could have been longer with more character development. An hour and a half is hardly enough time to tell a love story, which is what is at the heart of this movie. Also, a little more depth could have been given to Raze's character as his origins are shown but not in much detail. These plot points are sacrificed to keep the action scenes rolling but the action is great. There are several clashes between vamps and lycans that put those of the first two movies to shame. The special effects are amazing as usual. My hope is that Rise of the Lycans will do well at the box offices and we will all be treated to an extended directors cut on DVD. The plot themes of slavery, forbidden love, and revolution could use a little more screen time in my opinion. Oh and lets all hope for another sequel.
66 out of 92 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
WoW...Better then expected in all areas
FilmFan77727 January 2009
I was hoping it would be good yet I didn't expect it to be 'this' good.

Honestly, this was 'so' well paced. Actually got me anxious, and thats a bit of a rarity. And in a good way.

First off the story was very interesting from start to finish and the script very well crafted. All of the elements... Love, machismo, heroic, underdog, special abilities, honor, suspense, scandal, comradeship, good vs bad just so many elements. However the difference with this film is they were all intertwined so well. Not the usual 'chemistry cocktail' roll of the dice.

The cinematic hat trick... acting, directing and the written story itself all melted like cheese on a hot Philly steak.

I understand the "Category" this film falls near however, over all very well crafted. Some other "Film Makers" should take a few lessons.

I hope there's another.
62 out of 91 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Very EPIC -- at a smaller scale.
SophomoreSlump29 January 2009
In a nutshell:

The GOOD: The storyline is great. It's a very appropriate prequel for the Underwolrd series. DEFINITELY for fans, and also for anyone that want to start getting into the series. There's a BONUS at the end.

The acting is believable and somehow very emotional. Although, nothing Oscar-worthy, it's really worthy of your time.

The special effect is quite amazing. Looks like those 1980's horror flick. Very classic, in a way.

The tone is everything! I really love the moody tone of the movie. Very effective in this type of movies.

The BAD: Although I mentioned some goods there are a few bads. Everything just wasn't enough.

The castle looks very small. Hence, really takes away the epic feeling to it.

The war was also quite small. Walking into the theater, I was hoping for an epic war between the Vampire and the Lycans. But no, the fight focuses on the main characters.

I was also expecting more for the special effects and costumes. Especially in this era of movie-making. The filmmakers should've gone a step further in bringing us the realism of the picture.

OVERALL: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is a great movie to catch. Full of drama and action. Definitely worth the money and time, especially for fans.
83 out of 127 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
The Lycans are here...
Thanos Karagioras16 February 2014
"Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" is the third movie of the Underworld series and in this one we are back in time where the race of aristocratic vampires had Lycans as their slaves and we watch how they rise up against the cruel vampire king and what happened next.

I liked this movie because it was something really different from all the other vampire movies and I also liked the thing that it turned us so back to show us how the things were there and how all this things started from the beginning of them. The interpretations of Michael Sheen who plays as Lucian, Rhona Mitra who plays as Sonja and Bill Nighy who plays as Viktor were simply outstanding.

Finally I have to tell you that I strongly recommend this movie such as all of the Underworld movies.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Overwhelming prequel that explains the origin of taking on between vampires and Lycans
ma-cortes4 July 2010
Again the eternal fight between vampires and werewolves in this exciting prequel set in the Dark Ages. This original and gore-soaked vampires film begins centuries ago. Unknown to humanity, centuries old blood feud raged between aristocrat vampires and subdued legion of werewolves known as Lycans who work as slaves. For centuries Sonja ( Rhona Mitra ) is a loyal soldier of the vampire clan, but she falls in love with the Lycan Lucian ( Michael Sheen ). The tale traces the origins of the confrontation between a ruling class of bloodsuckers and their onetime slaves, the werewolves . A young Lycan named Lucian emerges as a powerful rebel who rallies the rebellious werewolves to rise up against Viktor, Sonja's father and the brutal vampire king . Lucian is joined by his secret lover, Sonja, in his struggle against the Vampire army and his fight for Lycan freedom . Neverheless , the war was not as it had seemed. In one night, the lies that had united the kind vampire had been exposed. Sonja has formed a secret alliance with Lucian, ruler of the werewolf clan to overthrow Viktor ( Bill Nighy ), vampires leader who has enslaved them . But Viktor's lust for power and domination has failed. As Viktor was not the savior they had been led to believe . Soon the hunt would be on for his killer . As the war between vampires and werewolves get more personal and deadly , they decide to launch a full-scale attack on the hideout in order to extinguish the race.

This amazing movie displays noisy action , thrills ride, stirring fighting , graphic violence , brief nudism with mild sex scene and is pretty amusing . It packs large loads of guts and gore , there's a huge body count, this one actually knocks off an immense amount, several vampires and werewolves are staked bloodily in the chest, even more impaled with large claws. There's really savage decapitation, plenty of bodies ripped in scraps and half, including some of the most tears ever, that spill lots of blood and numerous get shot up with arcs . Most of vampires, Lycans and humans victims are relegated to being bitten in the throat and neck and the breathtaking fighting scenes are realized with magnificent special and visual effects as well as excellent make-up department . The film blends horror, suspense, struggles, rip-roaring action, terror and lots of gore. Set design is of first class , settings are stylized, Gothic scenarios , and spooky and ghoulish atmosphere. Specials effects are breathtaking, part of them are made by means of computer generator and part by make up . Bone-chilling and atmospheric musical score by Paul Haslinger and colorful and dark cinematography by Ross Emery. Spectacular and moving direction by Patrick Tatopoulos. He's author of set design and production design of Underworld I and II and known blockbusters, such as ¨10.000 BC, Indepencence day, I robot, Resident evil, Pith black ¨, among them . The interesting screenplay is written by Len Wiseman, who directed the former entries , along with Danny McBride and Kevin Grevioux . All actors and technicians participated in the previous outings with exception Kate Beckinsale , being well replaced by Rhona Mitra as relentless action woman . Recommended to those who amuse those kind of vampires-werewolves films or those enjoy in general.
10 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I Am Spartacus!
mbrooks-87 May 2009
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans : In this prequel we get little of Romeo and Juliet and a dash of Spartacus. The vampires have bred themselves a race of Lycan slaves to guard them during the daylight hours, but when Lucian, the favored pet of Viktor the ruling vampire, falls in love with his daughter things go bad rather quickly. The CGI werewolves are leaps and bounds better than their previous incarnations in this series and the only CGI complaint I have is to the occasionally bad CGI blood spray. Rhona Mitra makes for a hot vampire, and Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen return to chew up some nice scenery. After watching the big battle one is forced to ask the question that pops up after watching any of the Underworlds movies, "How did the Lycans lose the war?" Seriously, the vampires in these films are as fragile as a 1978 Ford Pinto.
12 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Phew!!! (may contain mild spoilers about all 3 Underworld films)
kalideva923 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I was going to wait until Sunday to go see this with my niece and her friends but I was a little apprehensive about how violent it was and wanted to check it out first...Okay, okay, that was part of the reason. The other reason I went to the first matinée showing on opening day was because I was so *nervous* about this film. I so wanted to like the Underworld franchise. I love fantasy, sci-fi and especially vampires and werewolves. I am always anxious to see how another writer, actor, director or other artist brings them to life (er, so to speak). I, however, have never been quite so underwhelmed and disappointed as with the first two of this series. I can appreciate what Len Wiseman and Patrick Tatapoulos were trying to achieve with their new version of werewolves - "lycans" - but I was actually embarrassed by their world's version of vampires. What a bunch of poseurs! Well, Bill Nighy aside. Even Kate Beckinsale, whom I do like as an actress, failed to give me, a female, that "you go girl" pumped-up feeling about a tough-as-nails heroine. In fact - and I'm not so sure this hasn't been the intention all along - it gave me a whole new appreciation for werewolves. Oh yes, and Michael Sheen.

I'm not even really going to touch on Underworld: Evolution because it was excruciating to sit through and, except for Tony Curran (Marcus) and getting to see the proto-werewolf, William, it was a waste of celluloid. Underworld 3 *should* have been Underworld 2 (or 1, even).

So, hence my apprehension. I really wanted this movie to be good, but had already been fooled twice by this franchise. What brought me back? Three things: Len Wiseman *wasn't* directing, Kate Beckisnale's Selene character was *not* an integral part of this plot, and Michael Sheen's Lucian was. Lucian and Viktor (Nighy) were the only things that kept me in that theater seat in the first installment. (The second I watched on a Starz movie channel, couldn't even bring myself to rent it.) Well, I went and saw it and my anxiety has abated and I somehow feel...vindicated. This movie seriously rocked it out. First of all, it made sense. I had to watch the first movie a few more times (in pieces) to really get a grasp of the whole story. Second, the characters were engaging. Rhona Mitra, while not really allowed to show off much but her gorgeous figure and face, was still a much more sympathetic character than Selene ever was. (Edit: After a second viewing, I've had a new appreciation for Mitra. She plays a perfect tough but tender kinda broad and that final scene between her and Sheen...guhhhh! Ripped my heart out.) And maybe this is because I'm a girl but I seriously missed the romance from the first two. (Truly, the Sonya/Lucian angle was the only one - forget whatever that was between Selene and Michael...and what *was* that???) Third, the creatures are absolutely fantastic in this. Rarely did I ever get that feeling in this film that I was playing a video game. And fourth- well, actually fourth and fifth- Michael Sheen and Bill Nighy. I don't know if it's their British accents (to my American ear) that allow them to bring gravity to an otherwise sparse script, or the fact that I'm still trying to rectify in my mind that these are the same guys that I just saw in "Frost/Nixon" and "Notes on a Scandal", respectively. Michael Sheen a sex symbol? Yeah, believe it. I'd love a nice life-size Lucian poster for my room. *blushes* Ahem, anyway, where was I...

...Right. The movie is only an hour and a half long and it flew by for me. The other two were hovering closer to two hours and they both felt twice as long and I was fidgety in my seat the whole time. It is a violent movie, natch, but with the bullets replaced by arrows, it was no less bloody but maybe a bit less jarring and a little easier on the eardrums. And maybe I enjoyed it a bit more this time with a nice balance of romance. It's no Academy Award winner, but then again I don't put much faith in Oscar these days. If you've never seen the other two movies, don't feel you have to see them to appreciate this one. It is a prequel but should have been first. It is a nice bit of fantasy escapism. If you are delicate about violence and gloom, this might not be for you, but I for one am looking forward eagerly to seeing it again on Sunday.
30 out of 45 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Bitter sweet Movie
trevaris brown6 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
For the most part this was a good movie great action, good plot and storyline. But the main problem with this movie (spoiler alert) the vampires in this movie were extremely underpowered . It was almost Luciana vs humans . the vampires showed no speed there was only one show of strength, but other than that they were humans. where as the lycans showed all of the typical abillities of werewolves speed, strength, blood lust the whole nine. but im just one person. like i said other than that it was a great action packed movie . it also was a great back story to the other movies.in the future i would recommend focusing more on the characteristics of the characters them selves .

  • Trevaris
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
The Prequel to Underworld. "Rise of the Lycans"
aegiswiz-accede28 October 2013
"Rise of the Lycans". That's a pretty good thumbnail view.

I liked this third outing of the Underworld series of movies. 7 of 10. No Kate Beckinsale as Selene, as this is actually a prequel to the Underworld series of movies. Enter the beautiful Rhona Mitra as Sonja. Folks may know Rhona Mitra was Claire Radcliff in the wonderful TV series, The Gates: A vampire and werewolf TV series that was sadly canceled after the first season. Off topic a second…, I can never understand that when one of the "networks" has a hit series they are compelled to dump it in such a way as to frustrate as many people as possible. The cables, like TNT, A&E, etc., seem infinitely better at making the "cancel series" decision… but I digress.

The point I slipped off of is that if you're inclined to beautiful goth women in vampire type movies, Rhona Mitra is not a step down from Kate Beckinsale.

Rise of the Lycans is another double down of the Romeo and Juliet plot… which made Underworld as touching as it was exciting. Because of this plot, the movies, except perhaps "Evolution", should have at least some appeal to those who crave some romance in their movies.

It is entertaining to see what they've done with this movie in relation to the other Underworld movies. They've taken some of the back-story that is hinted at in Underworld and filled in many of the blanks. I watched this third, as it came out third, but if I had better knowledge I would have watched this one first in the series of movies.

If you're looking for a review that critiques acting, cinematography, CGI, how realistic stunts were, etc., this is the wrong review for you. I watch movies to be entertained, to relate to the characters, and essentially enjoy myself. Unless it is just bad, like SyFy seems they must fill that nook, I don't notice much of that because I'm into the story. And this movie has one. If some technicality made it difficult to watch I'd say something but this movie doesn't get in the way of the story.

"This movie is dark!" What does that even mean? Vampires, underground, no sunlight… dark. Or is it because the characters aren't politically correct… does that make it "dark". This movie does move quickly. A twist in the plot, a surprise, an unexpected turn… I call that fun. Only better way to get that kind of fun is to read a book or do exciting things, like skydive or something.

Finally, a confession: I actually had no interest what-so-ever in the Underworld series until I checked up on an old favorite screenwriter of mine, J. Michael Straczynski. Turns out he is the writer of Underworld: Awakening. So, I wanted to get the earlier movies in my head before watching Awakening. That JMS associated with the franchise and even wrote a script for it was enough to spark my interest. I'm glad I took the time to watch this movie and the two earlier movies. Now on to the JMS screenplay, Underworld: Awakening.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
One of the Greatest Prequels.
zardoz-1311 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This epic vampires versus werewolves prequel to "Underworld" and "Underworld: Evolution" qualifies as first-rate entertainment that resembles a combination of an old western and a variation on "Spartacus." The vampires are forted up in a medieval castle, and the werewolves lurk beyond the walls in the dark woods like hostile Apache Indians. The action is fast and furious and it sticks to the exposition from "Underworld" and concludes with Kate Beckinsale perched on a window ledge. Director Patrick Tatopoulos' "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" occurs before Death Dealer Selene came onto the scene. "Lycans" chronicles the franchise when Viktor (Bill Nighy) commanded the coven and clashed with his rebellious daughter Sonja (Rhona Mitra of "Beowulf") who has an affair with a Lycan. The scene when the Lycan attack the vampire castle and Sonja's lover, Lucian (Michael Sheen of "New Moon") fires gigantic cross-bow arrows at the rampaging werewolves is unbelievably cool! Prepare yourself for an unhappy ending.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
One of the Best
fxbgrd29 January 2012
Great film: definitely the best in the Underworld series. The story line is full of interesting twists, and adds a sense of completeness and maturity to the overall arching story of the Underworld series. The acting and script was very professional. The pace was just perfect - it isn't everyday that one gets to watch a film with just the right dose of action, drama and suspense. This one hits the nail on the head. The characters in this film are very rich and sophisticated, just like the story line itself. Now add to this the brilliant performances by the actors and you have a winning recipe: the film draws you in from the start right to the end, and you lose yourself to the story with a sense that you're living it as the characters are living it themselves. The FX, the set, directing, etc. all just gelled in so well. The resulting end product was a film well worth watching again and again and again - one for the DVD collection, without a doubt; doesn't lose its interesting aspects regardless of how many times I watch it. Can't praise it enough.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Monster-mash SPARTACUS!
george.schmidt9 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
UNDERWORLD : RISE OF THE LYCANS (2009) **1/2 Michael Sheen, Rhona Mitra, Bill Nighy, Steven Mackintosh, David Grevious, David Ashton. Fair to middling prequel to the vastly popular monster-mash franchise with Sheen as a lycan Spartacus if you will, whose people are enslaved by Nighy's vampire empire is further complicated when he falls in love with the king's princess daughter (sultry Mitra who makes a formidable presence in her feistiness), causing a war between creatures of the night. Directed by Patrick Tatopoulos – who worked as the previous film's special effects chief - does yeoman work with some decent visuals and transformation sequences with the furry beasties yet ultimately it wears out its grisly welcome by the climactic battle royale.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Sit down
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews30 January 2010
The series continues to entertain, but also not quite succeeding in winning me over. To be honest, if it hadn't been for the return of Raze, I might not have given this a chance at all; Kevin Grevioux is just plain a bad-ass. That's his *real voice*! Seriously, listen to interviews with him. While I would have liked more of him in this, I'm honest enough to admit that the entire 80 minute running time could have had him in every shot, and I'd still be saying that it's not enough. For Tatopoulos having relatively little experience at directing(I guess he got tired of being consultant for when giant mutated lizards attack), he does rather well. And this definitely has a *gorgeous* Gothic look, and the dark tone of the first two. The cinematography and editing are great, and the use of hand-held is effective, although several bits go by so fast that you can't tell what is going on. Nearly every(and certainly every lead) performance is impressive; Sheen continues the stellar work, Nighy(apart from being over the top at points) is marvelous, of course, and I wouldn't mind seeing Mitra be the lead in something else. I hadn't seen her in this large a part before, and she does well. The action is cool, intense and fun; of course, given that this is a prequel, you may miss the shoot-outs and car-chases of the prior 2 entries. With that said, the sword-fighting is great. The FX are excellent, and smoothly integrated. To its credit, at its core, this is a story about slaves rising up against their masters, and it does engage pretty well. There is plenty of brutal, bloody violence, a little sexuality(hot, though not graphic; and this has eye candy for both genders) and brief male, infant nudity in this. The DVD comes with an informative and amusing commentary track, three well-done featurettes of 9, 20 and 13 minutes length, respectively, a music video and a handful of trailers. I recommend this to any fan of the franchise(and this is best watched after the others). 7/10
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
One of the Best Trilogies Ever
Claudio Carvalho18 August 2009
When the human son of a werewolf is born in a cell, the evil leader of the clan of vampires Viktor (Bill Nighy) spares his life and names him Lucian; forces him to transform other humans in the new breed Lycan; and raises him as a slave wearing a leash to control his ability. Along the years, Lucian (Michael Sheen) becomes a brave warrior with a great leadership over the other Lycans, protecting the aristocratic vampires during the daylight against the vicious and infectious breed of werewolves that are unable to take human form ever again. However, Viktor's daughter Sonja (Rhona Mitra) and Lucian are lovers and they secretly meet each other every now and then. When Lucian unleashes and transforms in a werewolf to save the life of Sonja in a battle against the werewolves, Viktor sentences him to be brutally whipped thirty times and then imprisons him in the dungeon. However, Sonja saves Lucian and he escapes with other prisoners to the woods. When Viktor discovers that Sonja is pregnant and in love with Lucian, he locks her up in her room to force Lucian to return to the castle to rescue her, in the beginning of the feud between the two bloodlines.

I usually do not like prequels and sequels of successful movies, but "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" is an excellent prequel of one of the best trilogies I have ever seen, and maybe the best of the three great movies. The tragic romance between Sonja and Lucian has elements of Romeo and Juliet and is engaging, providing a great justification to the beginning of the feud between vampires and Lycans. The cinematography is wonderful giving a stylish support to the outstanding screenplay. Rhona Mitra resembles Kate Beckinsale that makes a cameo in the very last scene, and shows a great chemistry with Michael Sheen. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Anjos da Noite – A Rebelião" ("Angels of the Night – The Rebellion")

Note: On 27 January 2017, I saw this film again.
25 out of 45 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
OK for a Prequel...
Conrad Carlo Venzon13 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I just wanna say that this is one fine prequel.. Although, they could have done better fight scenes.. Especially Lucian's fight with Viktor. It didn't have much of a spark in it.. Within moments, it's finished without any satisfying result. Well, for me. (^^,) Well, on with comment..

Bill Nighy is so awesome in bringing the character, Victor, to existence once again. And so is Michael Sheen who brought Lucian back to life again. Rhona Mitra is superb, beautiful and "HOT" as she takes the character, Sonja, Viktor's beloved daughter. Kevin Grevioux returns as Raze, as does Steven Mackintosh as Tannis. Both are given considerably more to do this time and both are welcome familiar faces and characters. The single omitted character was Kraven, a slight dissatisfaction, but not one that discolors the film.

There isn't a great deal to state here other than getting the full back-story of the prohibited love between Lucian and Sonja, which eventually leads to the Lycans's war against the vampires. Sheen and Mitra have an incredible chemistry and anyone knowing their love story on screen, is to anticipate fatal outcome.

Fans of Underworld won't be saddened here. I wish that the next movie will get back up with Selena and Michael now that the origin of the story has been fully told.

Well, all in all, one fine prequel
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
What an Underworld movie should be like!
KateB81925 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The first Underworld was good, the second one was a disappointment… But the third is, in my opinion, surprisingly better than the first two combined. Going into this movie, I wasn't expecting much, especially after the disaster that was Evolution. Evolution lost everything that made Uw1 so good – the story, the characters, the dynamic between Lycans & vampires, the love story of Selene & Michael, and even the music. It seemed to focus around Selene kicking butt and mindless explosions and gore.

But this movie totally blew me away. I'm writing this review over a day after I've seen it, and I'm still jittery from how good it was.

**Okay, bad points (there are only a few main ones):

The sex scene -- not as bad as the one from Evo, but we could've done without it. If I had a say in the matter, I would say just edit out the last part. Those who have seen it will know what I'm talking about. While very original, it made everyone go "WTF."

Luka -- not quite sure what was up with her character, but it was kind of a meaningless character that they introduced…

A couple of scenes or shots were a bit awkward… like Lucian falling off a cliff with two vampires – it seemed like that scene from Psycho when Martin Balsam's character falls down the stairs… Some of the dialog was off – either cheesy or too predictable.

WAY TOO SHORT! I know a lot us would've liked to see more development in Sonja & Lucian's relationship, and starting it where it did just kinda left some us going "…?"

**Good points (plenty here)

RHONA MITRA. From the beginning I've been supportive of her taking on the female lead. The writers did a good job with her – independent, strong, witty, rebellious without being annoying. She played the character extremely well! Going in I didn't think I would be so attached to her character at all – and I wound up liking Sonja more than Selene in the end (and this is saying a lot!). Sonja has more depth than Selene did (especially after Evo). Kudos, writing staff and Rhona.

Chemistry. I couldn't help but feel so much for these Sonja and Lucian, characters that weren't even on my "top three" until the end of this movie. Now they're at the top. Their relationship, although rushed, was truly touching. I found myself invested in their fates and getting emotional over something I knew was coming.

The writing was pretty good – better than Evo. There was a story, and the dialog did justice to all the characters. Tanis and Viktor, who I was afraid I would wind up hating now that Kraven is not there, were written in a way that you just had to admire and love the more. The addition of Raze, as well as some clips from the first Underworld tied ROTL with the first one.

The acting. I think there may have been one weak character, and the rest of the cast worked well together and alone. Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, Steven Macintosh, Rhona Mitra, and all the supporting cast were superb. You simply cannot ask for a better ensemble!

The music, in my opinion, was added at the right time/scenes, at the right volume. The score and soundtrack have the same feel as the first movie (which it should, considering it's the same fabulous composer).

The beginning and the ending… I would not change a thing. It was perfect. The beginning is a wonderful introduction to the movie, and the ending is a nice connection to the first movie.

I think this movie worked out so well because it has a nice mixture of what made the first two movies good in my opinion. It had most of the original cast and characters, a strong female lead with a strong male counterpart, it wasn't so long that it lost your interest, and it had a strong enough plot line to carry the movie in spite of a few weak points.

Overall, this was a pleasant surprise for devoted Underworld fans that waited 3 years and 3 days to see it, and any new-comers that were looking for a decent movie to watch in theaters.

**VOTE: 9.0/10
19 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Actually this is pretty good
dbborroughs22 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
How the blood feud between the werewolves and the vampires seen in the first films started. Despite a lack of passion by the films director this is a well made and very well acted prequel to the earlier two Underworld films. Not a fan of the first film, I liked the second even though I had little idea what was going on. Here the plot is easy to follow and in some ways this is very good film, but someone behind the scenes didn't care so you're never completely drawn in, simply put there is a lack of passion in how the film proceeds. I can't blame the script which moves along at a good clip, nor can I blame the cast which includes Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen since they sell the material in more ways then it deserves. The film ultimately is a good little film, worth the effort to see, especially if you're a fan of the first two films.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
5/10
Cheap without thrills
badidosh23 January 2009
The whole Vampires-versus-Lycans tale leaps back centuries earlier in "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans", a Kate Beckinsale-less prequel to the first two "Underworld" installments, which aside from providing viewers an extended look at the franchise's oh-so detailed mythology, has virtually no innovations to offer to keep it from being derivative. That the narrative is also predictably headed to a foregone conclusion proves to be the film's greatest undoing in whatever mild interest the script presents in bringing back its implicit societal classes allegories.

Lucian (Michael Sheen) plots to rally his fellow Lycans into freedom from slavery by the aristocratic vampires ruled by Viktor (a barbarous Bill Nighy) but such goal is complicated by Lucian's clandestine romance with the latter's daughter Sonja (Rhona Mitra), a mere subscript to Lucian's expanded role. While Mitra adequately steps up as the story's central enchantress, her character's reduction to a deliberate plot device makes one wish for Beckinsale's cheesy-yet-sexy fight scenes, which are the predecessors' selling point.

Long-time creature designer Patrick Tatopoulos steps behind the camera and his film (written by Danny McBride, Dirk Blackman, and Howard McCain) still captures the viciously frigid environment co-creator and erstwhile "Underworld" director Len Wiseman have brought. But the chintzy amusement, while still there, is scant, no thanks to a rote product that recalls its predecessors' B-movie goodness with not much success, and its confusing action scenes and perpetually dark cinematography that can't mask the absence of the genuine excitement in this third-rounder that's showing signs of debilitation. It's just the beginning, says Lucian. Yet somehow, it feels as if it's way past its zenith.
19 out of 36 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
Teen Bait and Goth Fodder
blacksun_redux19 February 2009
I can't believe this movie is getting the rating that it is here on IMDb. Of course, I've come to conclude that IMDb is somewhat worthless for actually finding out if a movie is good or not as 99% of films are rated from 6 to 7. It's the conclusion and failure of crowd-sourcing on the internet. For this purpose an average is taken of most people, and unfortunately, most people are simple minded easily entertained fast food lifestyle morons. But I digress. The movie. I really don't want to waste my time writing about it. Let's just say I found it to be tailor made for seemingly two groups of people, young teens, at the age where violent action movies of any sort just hit the spot, and goth types that just love to choke down whatever Gothic vampire fantasy they can get their hands on. If you aren't in one of those categories, you will find this movie absurd. I did enjoy the first Underworld. It was fresh at the time and held a sort of edgy quality. The second was a bit trying in plot, but I did enjoy the direction and cinematography at times. But this whole movie felt like a sci-fi channel production or even a TV series. I found the actors to be over-directed. Their body language stiffened into un-natural idealistic poses that seemed contrived. Lines were spit out like young actors would spit out lines of Shakespeare, reveling in their own egoistic glory at being in such a role, but in doing so, crudely bludgeoning the role. The plot was dry and predictable right from the start. I found myself wishing things to just "move along" as it was so easy to tell what was going to happen. I tried to care at first, but my brain was forced to shut off. By the end climax, I actually caught myself falling asleep. There were so many parts that were inconsistent and didn't make sense that it's not even worth listing them all. If you're a pimple faced teen or a chronic goth, sure, have at it. For the rest of us, forget it, like I'm about to do right now.
26 out of 52 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
4/10
A visually captivating disappointment
The_Factor23 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I, like many this evening braved the frigid winter and long lines to see what I had anticipated to be one of the best movies of this year. However, I was left sadly wanting in many ways after the credits rolled. But to be fair, there were redeemable qualities (although very few). Let's start with what worked. First, the Lycans: on point in every way – from their terrifying physicality to their sheer ferocity. The action: sublimely visceral – when it did occur. Nighy/Victor and Sheen/Lucian: Perfect. Now, what did not (and there is plenty). This was less a movie and more a collage of sequences (and do not expect to see any supporting characters from the other movies except Raze and Tannis). Profoundly missing was a well written storyline and anything of real substance to bring these pieces of film together. The story seemed to start right in the middle – at the cusp where Lucian had made up his mind to rebel. Therefore, there was no context; no tension; no sense of betrayal – the devices needed to make everything else work. Moreover, it ended at where the climax should have begun (which needed to be after the feud had simmered for a bit). Oh and it was way too short. Purist will also find offense in some liberties taken to certain facts previously revealed in the first two movies…but judge that for yourself. In the end, this movie lingered to long on what should have been brief "background" scenes (e.g. various council scenes), and as a consequence we never really got to know or care about the principal players...or the movie (ouch). -D
12 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Absolutely Loved it!!!!!
l-hayes-124 January 2009
This one is my favorite of all of them!!! I loved Underworld and Underworld Evolution but since this one revolves around my favorite character it has become the best one to me. I loved the casting of Rhona Mitra as Sonja. It's very evident why Victor was so attached to Selene. Michael Sheen as Lucien as always was awesome, only in this one there's so much more of him, scenes and personality. The story is good, the action is GREAT!!! In this one you really see why Lucien was such a menace to the vampires and not just an inconvenient annoyance. Just saw it last night and could have gotten in line to see it again when it ended. Plan on seeing it again this weekend.
16 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews