Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)

Genre(s): Action / Fantasy / Horror / Thriller
Screen Gems || R - 92 minutes - $28.96 || May 12, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-05-03


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Patrick Tatopoulos
Writer(s): Kevin Grevioux and Len Wiseman & Danny McBride (characters), Len Wiseman & Robert Orr and Danny McBride (story), Danny McBride and Dirk Blackman & Howard McCain (screenplay)
Cast: Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, Rhona Mitra


Theatrical Release Date: January 23, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 3 Featurettes
  • Music Video


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Thai (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Thai

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.::THE FILM::.

Alright spoilers may follow.

This movie sucked.

End of spoilers.

Rise of the Lycans deals with the back history of why Lucian (Michael Sheen), king of the Lycans, has so much hatred for Viktor (Bill Nighy), king of the Vampires. These events happen prior to the first two films in the Underworld series, a fact which I didnít figure out until the movie ended.

Viktor is in charge of getting rid of the were-wolf creatures of the world, called Lycan, but one day he sees a child near the prison cells where they are caged. He takes the child, and rather than killing it, he chooses to raise it as his own and names it Lucian. Lucian serves under Viktor as payment for saving his life, and is quickly seen as his favorite which is frowned upon by the other vampires and the elders for having a Lycan in such close range. However all Lycans, regardless if they are servants or prisoners, must wear a collar that prevents them from going into were-wolf mode. Lucian is a devoted servant to Viktor, and saves the lives of a carriage under attack once he grows up. Another hunter comes in by the name of Sonja (Rhona Mitra), who is Viktorís daughter, and scolds Lucian for saving her life.

Back at the castle Lucian intervenes to sort of save the life of a Lycan being beaten to death by a vampire, and gains the respect of the other Lycan for doing so. The council has a meeting and decides that Lucian should become head of the Lycan army, and control them to make them do what the council ultimately wants. Since he already has trust among them, it shouldnít be too hard to manipulate them to do their bidding. Viktor doesnít want to do so, for fear of Lucian coming into harmís way, but reluctantly agrees to do so.

The next night Lucian heads in the sewer passages underneath the castle and goes into Sonjaís quarters. The two practically get it on, and Lucian shows her the key he made to release his collar in case he ever needs to escape. He asks if she would come with him in the event he does make a getaway, and she says it would be tough since she would be hunted and killed by Viktor for running away with a Lycan. The two part ways, but Tannis (Steven Mackintosh), one of Viktorís servants, sees the two and knows whatís going on between them. Even though Sonja rejects Lucian in public itís clear to him that the two are in love.

Sonja is escorting some of the humans and slaves in the forest when they are ambushed by were-wolves from all directions. She tries to fight them off but canít, that is, until Lucian arrives by using the key he made to release his collar and turn into were-wolf mode. Because of this, Lucian is severely punished and beaten even though Sonja desperately tries to get Viktor not to do so since he saved her life. Viktor could care less, and Lucian is imprisoned along with the other Lycan including Raze (Kevin Grevioux). Can Lucian and Sonja be together someday? Even though Tannis knows the secret of the two lovebirds will he tell and ruin their fate? Wasnít there already something like this called ďRomeo and Juliet?Ē

I hated this movie. The series is supposed to be about action and fighting, but this one takes it to a stupid level that boggled my mind. The action sequences are needlessly violent and bloody, and donít really add anything to the movie. The characters are also poorly developed, as Lucian is such a wuss in the movie and Sonja is too. The final battle between Lucian and Viktor is also heavily disappointing and lasts thirty seconds before an abrupt ending that doesnít make sense. This is a horrible addition to the trilogy, and hopefully ends the saga that was great but doesnít need to go on.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Filmmakersí Commentary: Tatopoulos, and the producers join together for the movieís lone commentary. I couldnít really understand one of the commentators, and he talked often, so that probably didnít help much. The rest of the crew discuss about some of the scenes in detail as well as the actors. Itís decent, but not something Iíd ever listen to again.

From Script to Screen (9 minutes): The crew talk about rushing production of the film due to the actorís time frame among other problems. This film was rushed?

Origin of the Feud (20 minutes): This dives deeper into the history of Lucian and Sonja, as well as history of the film overall. Since I didnít enjoy the movie at all I found it to be trivial and not that entertaining. If you were a fan of it, then be sure to watch this.

Re-Creating the Dark Ages (13 minutes): The director and other crewmates talk about creating some of the scenery as well as the costumes that the cast wore during the movie. Iím a fan of the medieval times era, so this was interesting to me.

Music Video - ďDeathclubĒ (4 minutes): Itís sad when the best special feature lies within the music video for the film. This is a great tune that caused me to go out and buy the soundtrack to the movie, which sounds awesome. One thing that the Underworld movies have never lacked is an excellent soundtrack. Needless to say, the tune is addicting and the video is cool.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The film is dark in nature, and rarely were there times when I could accurately see the characters without them being overshadowed. Itís presented in mainly black and blue colors, for whatever reason, and while itís meant to be like that I didnít think it looked as good as the previous films in the trilogy. Flesh tones when they are visible on the screen look a bit bleak and outdated, which sounds odd since thatís maybe how theyíre supposed to look. But regardless I just didnít think this video is top-notch like the rest of the trilogy.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track accompanying the movie is dull and flat. I was heavily disappointed with it, as the action scenes of which there are many sound absolutely horrible. There was rarely an instance were surround use was proper, as some of the dialogue scenes sounded better than the fight sequences. Levels were clear but a bit low in volume, and the fighting scenes once again sounded flat. As if it wasnít obvious enough, this just wasnít up to par with the past releases.



.::OVERALL::.

I canít stress the fact enough that seeing this movie absolutely ruined the series for me. This is an atrocious attempt at continuing the Underworld franchise, which you canít do without Beckinsale. The plot is stupid, the fight scenes too bloody to be entertaining, and thereís no character development what so ever. The special features package isnít the best, but the audio and video are decent. This is one Lycan you need to rise up out of your seat and not bother watching.