Sunday, December 9, 2018


Movie Name: Underworld
Year of Release: 2003
Director: Len Wiseman
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, Sophia Myles, Wentworth Miller, Kevin Grevioux, Erwin Leder
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
"Underworld" is the directorial debut of Len Wiseman, who made a name for himself directing music videos for the likes of Megadeth and Rufus Wainwright. The film follows the story of Selene, a death dealer, a vampire who has been tasked with hunting down Lycans (werewolves). In one of her outings, Selene comes across Michael, a young medical student, who is being targeted by the Lycans, for reasons that are unknown to her. As she starts to trace what is happening, she comes to realize that the web of deceit and treachery looms all around, including in her own coven. She decides to awaken one of the elders, in order to provide guidance, but that awakening has unexpected results.
"Underworld" was a low budget foray into the vampire genre, one that was insightful and successful enough to generate interest, and that has multiplied to 5 other sequels (so far). The film mixes the vampire mythology, with a Romeo and Juliet type of love story (opposing factions falling in love), and it does so with an aesthetic and stylistic approach that makes it stand out a bit more than previous versions this story might have had. The story of Selene and Michael, and how their paths cross, is somewhat predictable, but the director manages to stage the events in a surprisingly effective way, with a tone that borderlines on a B-movie with a slick gothic style, that fits this unpretentious story perfectly. The characters are rough sketches, and some of the actors don't get to do much, but the film is exciting enough, particularly when the great Bill Nighy enters the narrative. The film introduces this universe, without much backdrop explanation, but again, it's efficient in making the opposing factions seem vivid and motivated. It's not much of a start, but it's fairly entertaining, for a director who knows how to cultivate a slick B-movie aesthetic and approach to his films.