Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Bill Nighy, Shane
The first Underworld set a
stage, revealing a conflict between vampires and werewolves,
while focusing on the vampire "death dealer", Selene, who
had long believed that her family was killed by werewolves.
Through the events of the story, a history and mythology was
created that is fully revealed in the sequel. Underworld:
Evolution picks up quite literally just after the first
movie. Selene and Michael, the werewolf/vampire hybrid, are
on the run after killing Viktor, one of the elder vampires.
Of course, it doesn't take long before they're under attack
by humans and another vampire elder, Marcus, who has also
become a hybrid. As the opening sequence tells, Marcus and
his brother, William, were the first of their kind (vampire
and werewolf). William was feral and out of control when the
vampires captured him. Not that Marcus has awoken again and
Viktor is dead, he plots to release his brother. At the same
time, Selene and Michael try to stop Marcus before he releases
an uncontrollable beast on the world.
I could waste time going into all the history and machinations
present in this film (which obviously spill over from the
first), but honestly, they serve as a means to string together
a number of awesome action sequences. There are some especially
fun sequences that really ramp up the adrenaline, only tempered
by a much more developed relationship between Selene and Michael.
While Beckinsale didn't get a lot of time to be anything other
than an ice queen last time around, this time, the focus on
her and Speedman's characters really establishes their relationship.
From a production standpoint, Underworld: Evolution
does a lot with the money they have. The costumes and sets
are packed with character and style. Many of the set locations
serve as wonderful frames for the action content delivered
there. The visual effects are excellently done and work hard
not to standout from the real world action. The chase sequence
where Marcus is after Selene and Michael in the truck is so
well done that I'm impressed at how clean the visuals look.
I won't paint Underworld: Evolution as some kind
of masterpiece. The story works well for delivering the stylish
action and anyone looking further than that really shouldn't
be watching sci-fi action flicks. I enjoyed the film, despite
some minor continuity flubs and a few convenient plot devices.
If you really just want to see high intensity action with
a decent backstory, Underworld: Evolution should serve
your needs nicely.