Thursday Night Movie Club
Underworld Evolution
star rating graphicstar rating graphic½
Release Date: January 20, 2006

Director: Len Wiseman
Kate Beckinsale
Scott Speedman
Tony Curran
Derek Jacobi
Bill Nighy
Steven Mackintosh
Shane Brolly
Brian Steele
Zita Görög
Scott McElroy
John Mann
Michael Sheen
Sophia Myles
Richard Cetrone
Mike Mukatis
Michael Corvin
Underworld Evolution movie poster
Click on the photo of Kate Beckinsale as Selene in Underworld Evolution Underworld Evolution is not a great film, but I found it to be a lot of fun to watch. Make no mistakes. This is not a horror movie, it is not a vampire or werewolf movie. It is an action movie. On that level, the movie never lets up from the onset.

The original Underworld had several references to the history of the vampires and lycans (werewolves) and their ongoing feud.Underworld Evolution fleshes out those references.

To recap: A virus gave immortality to Corvinus, the only survivor of a European plague that wiped out his village. After Corvinus became immortal, he fathered two sons. One was bitten by a bat, the other bitten by a wolf. Hence the start of the races. The werewolves were the daytime protectors of the vampires. All was fine until a werewolf took the daughter of Viktor (vampire) as his bride. Viktor feared a blending of the species. He had his pregnant daughter killed. Werewolf Lucien escaped before he could be executed, thus setting up the current day's strife.

Underworld Evolution begins within hours of the first movie's end. Two of the three leaders are dead. Vampire Marcus has been awakened by the blood of a werewolf scientist. This is not a good thing. As the original pointed out, reawakening a sleeping vampire is a tricky situation. Thoughts, images, memories, histories must be carefully implanted into to awakening consciousness.

Marcus isn't so lucky. The memories of the werewolf show of the deception that has happened in the vampire clan. He awakens to a murderous rage killing all of the vampires of the clan, both loyal and deceivers alike. There are very few vampires left.

Photo of Kate Beckinsale as Selene and Scott Speedman as Michael in Underworld EvolutionThe only remaining threats to Marcus are Death Dealer Vampire Selene and her lover, Michael Corvin. Michael is the key. He has become a werewolf and bitten by Selene. He is the first true blending of vampire and lycan. Exactly what Michael has become is open to conjecture or a possible sequel. Let's hope! Kate Beckinsale in skin-tight lycra will get me into a theater seat.

Underworld Evolution begins with a flashback sequence depicting the beginning of the lycan race. Werewolf brother William has become uncontrollable. He is on a rampage. The vampires unite to destroy him. Marcus intervenes to spare his life. Williams sentence is to be imprisoned for all eternity. Now that Marcus has arisen, the only family he has left is brother William. Marcus desires to be reunited with his brother. Marcus and William are the originals of their species. Dying Viktor begs Marcus for immortality. Unfortunately, Viktor is the stronger personality and assumes control over all of the vampires. In the current age, Marcus is no longer subservient. Terror reigns supreme. Ahhh!!!

Not quite! There is still a Death Dealer and original immortal Corvinus, wonderfully cast by Derek Jacobi, makes an appearance. Corvinus is saddened by the events that have separated his sons. Always the doting parent, he silently cleans up the mess his sons cause so the outside world remains mute to the existence of vampires and werewolves.

By now, it should be obvious that the story and all of it's undercurrents are easy to follow, even though my prose make sound confusing. I'm not using Cliff's notes or other reviews to write this. Underworld Evolution is easy to follow even if you haven't seen the original. This is a testament to the script writers.

Photo of Kate Beckinsale as SeleneThe cinematography is wonderful. Like the original, the movie is cast in a bluish tint. This helps to enforce the notion that these characters are all dead, or more fitting, the Un-Dead. Bram Stoker used this term in his novel Dracula. The term never appears in the Underworld movies. There is no need. The cinematography clues in the viewer.

My only regret of Underworld Evolution, there is finally a love scene between Selene and Michael. Unfortunately, director Len Wiseman doesn't show Kate's wonderful body. After two movie of watching her in that outfit, I was hoping for a gratuitous encounter. Since hubby Wiseman directs the movie, no such luck there. Oh well, lets hope for a sequel. Once again, the ending opens up new doors for future discovery of what partakes in the vampire/lycan universe. I'm hopeful for more. Underworld Evolution is a fun action movie, well written, that plays upon and successfully changes the preconceived notions of vampires and lycans.

Stupidest Scene: As the sun rises, Michael tries to find a safe haven for Selene. He drives into an abandoned factory, excessively destroying doors, chained fences and automobiles. Trying to block out the sunlight, Michael uses his claws to rip open paint cans and throws the paint on the exposed windows to darken them. Since he is a werewolf and can scale walls, he could have easily ripped off his shirt and used that as a paint brush. This would have accomplished two things: he would have used less paint and the female members of the audience would have been treated to Scott Speedman's bare chest. Well, there is always hope for a sequel.