Great sequel...Critics are DEAD WRONG!!!
Matthew E. Hamilton | Piscataway, New Jersey | 01/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like some people I like to read reviews by critics before I go see a movie. As is usually the case with these so called critics, they are way off the mark with this movie. I guess they go into the movie expecting sir Anthony Hopkins to generate a great "Acting" performance as in Howard's End. Hey, this is a horror/action movie you idiots. Even some critics pointed there negativity on the movie being humorless. HUMORLESS? Last time I checked it wasn't a comedy either.
Many critics also claimed the story to be confusing. I guarantee you they didn't go back and watch the first movie to refresh their minds of the back-story. If the were to, they would see that the story flowed from the prior movie just fine. Critics!! They drive you crazy and unfortunately sometimes hold the fate of a movie in their hands. Thank god for sites like Amazon to get the word out that this is a very good movie.
Kate Beckinsale is the hottest vampiress there is for sure. The story for me made perfect sense as they have an earyly back-story revisited with the history of the sons of Corvinous (William-bitten by a wolf and Markus-bitten by a bat) that are the basis of this movie.
The special effects are convincing and that's all that matters to me. Nothing like Star Wars for sure, but good enough for this type of movie. And man is there a lot of blood....especially in the last scene. Fun stuff. Many actors return including cameos by Lucian, Kraven, Viktor, and a little more from Amelia. There really isn't a "war" between Lycans and vampires as in the previous movie. It's more a pesonal war between Selene(who discovers her real importance) and Markus( who was always defiant when it came to his brother William and he never liked Viktor much).
All in all a great movie that I would watch again and surely buy when the DVD (hopefully an exteneded version) comes out.
One negative in the movie which I didn't follow. After watching the first movie I got the impression they were in the Unites States. I mean the hospital where Michael worked all the employees spoke English. In the second movie, everyone speaks Russian. I don't understand that at all. I does kind of make you ask the question ...this negative (although annoying) certainly doesn't take away from this fun-filled action/horror flick. Let's see another one soon.
Down with the critics!!!"
Kate Beckinsale and crew does the original one better...
A. Sandoc | San Pablo, California United States | 01/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The start of the new year is usually pretty slow when it comes to big films. Most of the time its when films not deemed summer blockbuster or holiday season worthy get scheduled for release. Len Wiseman's Underworld: Evolution is a step up from most of the garbage and fillers that end up being shown in January. This sequel to the Kate Beckinsale's 2003 gothic-actioner continues where the first film left off but with the increase in budget and less of an introductory feel to the characters. The film ends up looking quite good with action sequences that tops the first film and actually provides a story that adds to the mythology created in the first one.
Right from the beginning with its vampire knights and rabid, peasant werewolves, Underworld: Evolution shows that the film will be more rollercoaster ride than a study in character and themes. This is a good thing and Wiseman doesn't try to deviate from this formula. He knows just exactly what his films trying to do and doesn't try to overanalyze the situations. The production design still has the European look to it from the sets and location (coincidentally set in Eastern Europe) to the costume and prop designs. The film also makes heavy use of blue-filters to give the film that industrial look. Sometimes the sequences even takes on the look of a crisp, black and white film when the action is set at night with minimal light.
The story continues the struggle between the vampire clans and the lycan rebels from the first film. This time around Selene and the lycan hybrid, Michael are hunted by both sides as they struggle to search for the answers to their questions about Viktor's (Selene's vampire primogenitor and one of the clan elders) betrayal of her trust and the shared past of both vampire and lycan clans. Wiseman and McBride (the film's co-writer with Wiseman) do a good job in summarizing the basic plot points from the first film through dream-like sequences whenever blood is drank by the last surviving elder (Marcus as played by genre veteran Tony Curran). One doesn't need to see the first film to get the gist of what's going on in this sequel, but it'll still help if one had some knowledge going in. What i found particularly intriguing was the past history of Marcus and how his past tied in with Viktor's, Selene and in the end that of Michael's. An even older character than Marcus makes an appearance that helps tie the two films together.
The cast itself did an adequate to admirable job in doing their parts. Thankfully, Wiseman limited Scott Speedman's scene time with dialogue to a minimum. Speedman pretty much spends most of the film in his hybrid form and performing fight scenes. I consider this decision a major plus for the film. Sir Derek Jacobi adds abit of gravitas to the film as an elder, behind-the-scenes manipulator or the two clans. But in the end the film is all about Kate Beckinsale and she's never looked better. She delviers her lines with enough conviction to make them believable, but at the same time shows just how much she's having. It didn't hurt the film that she again gets to parade around in black, tight leather and latex and in one sequence pretty much nothing. She also does a pretty convincing job of being a kick-ass action heroine. I wouldn't mind it if she took on an action-film here and there to supplement her more serious works.
The action scenes were better than the first film, but not so over-the-top that they go from cool to cartoonish like most action-film sequels. The effects work was more polished and this could be due to a higher budget and a better FX crew. The shapechanging from human to lycan was done much better and had less of the computer-generated look to them. The climactic showdown in the end with Selene was action-packed and well-done for a film that was pretty much dumped by Sony Pictures in the graveyard of the film season. This climactic showdown had the audience cheering the most and deservingly so.
In the end, Underworld: Evolution was a very entertaining sequel that didn't try to go beyond its gothic-action film pedigree. I could see this series continue to become a trilogy if Wiseman and McBride have more stories to tell about the vampire clans, the lycans, and Selene. The two films are similar to Snipes Blade trilogy, but this time sexier and with abit more an engaging story than the Daywalker series. The film wasn't anything to write to the Academy voters but it did its job in entertaining the audience. 7.5/10"
This Is How BD DVD's Should be Looking!
Hitman777 | 06/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Blu-Ray disc of Underworld: Evolution is presented in 2.4:1 anamorphic 1080P widescreen, and is hands-down the best-looking Blu-Ray transfer of the bunch. From the opening sequence on, the amazing depth is unparalleled, and more importantly, the film's unmatched black level and shadow detail. This may be the current "best of" for video of all the current HD transfers, Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. Simply brilliant. No compression or artifacting is apparent anywhere.
The audio is available as an aggressive Dolby 5.1 track or reference uncompressed PCM track. The latter is so loud and dynamic that my system was worked to its peak, with crushing eargasms that had me removing earwax from my sidewalls. Dynamic surrounds are active throughout, with a wide soundfield and localized F/X that will keep you looking over your shoulder throughout. Truly awesome.
The extras are sparse, but with video and audio this good, it is irrelevant. Underworld: Evolution is a must-have BD title, and the must-have title on either of the competing formats. Excellent reference transfer.
Excellence is watchable indeed. This movie is it.
Kait O. | New Mexico | 04/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first movie was very good, but in my opinion, this movie blows that one away. The multitudinal plot continues to weave an even thicker blanket as reasons why certain things in the first movie were so came to light... why Selene was left alive was already apparently... but why Viktor killed her family... now that comes out in this one.
Kate Beckinsale, as always, is stunning and excellent, as is Scott and the rest of the cast. I found the character of Marcus particularly intriguing as well.
Anyone who liked the first movie will love this one unless they're... well, retarded maybe?
Anyone who didn't like the first movie, you're an idiot, but to put more fine a point on it, even if you didn't like it, you may very well like this movie. The story is great, if you follow it well enough through the first movie to this one. The action is excellent. The acting, and no, there isn't a ton of it, but you know what, audible acting is sometimes less important than physical and mental acting, which is a great fine high point in this movie.
I gave if five stars because I saw it once in theatres and I positively cannot wait to see it again. I plan on buying it on Pay-Per-View and buying this when it comes out.
The ending leaves room for a third movie, and I sincerely hope they make one because this film-franchise deserves a third wind.
And yes, as other reviews state, this does pick up right where the first movie left off, after a brief glimpse in to the past to set up the principle behind this movie as well as put some finer points on things discussed, but not really went in to that much, in the first movie. Overall, it is a worth-while watch... I plan on finding myself watching it several times the first day it comes out, because I seriously didn't want to leave the theatre when it ended because I wanted to watch it again.
Last but not least, just in the event that by some miracle Kate actually reads Amazon reviews, I love you Kate Beckinsale :-D You're awesome and keep up the great work!"