Underworld Prequel Lacks Original Magic
January 27, 2009
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I am not a fan of trilogy movies. In most trilogies, the third movie (whether it is a second sequel or a prequel) lacks the novelty, angst, and surprise of the first two films. The actors and actresses, if they return, are not nearly as good as they were in their original debuts and the story lines lack the essence that made them so catchy in the first place.
As with many prequels, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans brought minimal promise. The plot line was already written out: the vicious lycans (werewolves) somehow caused a revolution against the vampires. Viktor (Bill Nighy), the leader of the vampires, causes his own downfall by taking in an orphan Lycan (Lucian, played by Michael Sheen) as a slave. I wondered right away if there would be room for originality in a story I already knew so much about.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans managed to impress me, although I think it was my love for the series that carried through more than the movie itself. The love story between Lucian and Viktor’s daughter Sonjia was extraordinarily touching; however it seemed as if it was a poor replacement for the entrancing and beautiful Selene (Kate Beckinsale).
The oppressors versus the oppressed storyline seemed boring at best and the extremely dark scenes made for predictable and boring pictures. The vampires were too perfect and the constant back and forth of the Lycans made them seem more barbaric than usual. In contrast, the battle scenes were staged well and the weaponry worked great on the big screen. The constant flashes of Lucian’s splattered blood added to the images and I felt drawn into the battles. It is also important to note the sheer acting powers of Nighy and Sheen: both delivered superb performances and brought even more depth to their characters.
Walking out of the theatre, I felt like I could have spent my money more wisely by renting the newest Underworld movie. That way, I could have been able to skip the drawn-out romantic scenes and dark monologues to focus more on Sheen, Nighy, and the best battles of all three movies. If you enjoyed the Underworld series, I would suggest seeing Underworld: Rise of the Lycans but otherwise spend your money on a bigger, and hopefully a non-prequel, blockbuster.