Metal. Monsters. Mayhem.

Werewolf Wednesday: Underworld

Underworld (2003 film)

I had no idea when I first wrote about Underworld during a stint as movie reviewer for Uptown Magazine that the movie would spawn a four-movie franchise, the latest of which, Underworld: Awakening, hit theatres in March this year.

I’m afraid I never got past the sequel.  This first instalment had its moments (few and far between) but the second, despite Derek Jacobi doing his best Hunt For Red October riff as a sub captain hunting paranormals (if you’re saying “huh?” I say: exactly), was a hot mess.  And that’s kind of unfair to words denoting temperature and chaos.

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4 responses

  1. Actually, I kind of liked the movie. I never even thought of “lichens” though… I’ve just played too much D&D in my time. And I think Selene, if I remember correctly, eventually did give a reason for hating lycans, although it turned out to be misguided.

    April 25, 2012 at 10:43 am

    • I admit, the “lichens” thing might be a result my of spending lots of time in the Canadian Shield growing up — I’d never heard “lycanthrope” abbreviated that way then and at the time I don;’t think it was that common. Now, of course, the paranormal market has grown so huge, it’s probably not strange anymore.
      I think I really wanted to like this movie — you could tell the filmmakers were really trying to do something with it, but they buried what was unique about it under tons of flash and sizzle that went nowhere.
      Much better, with a sort-of similar concept, was Night Watch — loved that movie, and the book as well.

      April 25, 2012 at 10:50 am

  2. The thing between vamps & werewolves goes back a lot further than Underworld, but I think they were the first to really put it front and centre on the big screen. I do have a soft spot for Underworld, but when it comes to this franchise, stick to the odd numbers. 1 & 3 are good – 2 & 4 are a waste of time.

    2 doesn’t make sense, and even pisses on a lot of its own mythology laid out in the first film. The 4th one, well… I can hear the bottom of the barrel being scraped from here.

    Its camp and stylized, and thankfully doesn’t take its self too seriously. Bill Nighy and (of course 😉 ) Michael Sheen make it worth while watching. Another point in Mr Sheen’s favour, is that although the press always talk about his more high-brow stuff, like Frost Nixon, or The Queen – he freely admits he prefers doing stuff like Underworld or Tron.

    April 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    • Prior to this, the main vamps-vs-werewolves meme I was aware of was the Vampire: The Masquerade and related Werewolf game, which were so huge in the 1990s.
      I’ll take your note and give No. 3 a try. Isn’t Sheen in that one? 🙂 He was great in Tron, as well — another movie that looked fantastic but left me a bit cold.

      April 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm

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