I thought Underworld stank. A tedious effort in style over content where
a) the style was second hand rubbish
b) the content should have been great.
It is, after all, a story about a centuries old secret war between vampires and werewolves. But caught between buying too much black for the set design and the charisma vacuum that is Kate Beckinsale, it merely limped forward with its rubbish “son of both vampires and werewolves” plot pleasing at best a handful of goths. Underworld: Evolution, was not only completely pointless, but even more offensively tedious than the first – turning Scott Speedman into some sort of giant smurf creature and just about getting Beckinsale back into that corset.

So why did I see Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans? Well it didn’t have La Beckinsale on Mr Speedman in it (despite the poster looking like she might be – good work in hiding Mitra’s face there). Its a prequel, and generally I think prequels are a waste of space, but it promised the return of all the good characters from the Underworld films. Namely Bill Nighy’s effete king of the vamps and Michael Sheen’s boss of the werewolves. It is the untold tale of the genesis of the war between vampires and werewolves – except the tale was told in Underworld in two minutes with the suggestion Nighy likes Beckinsale’s Selene because she reminds him of his daughter. Well maybe slightly in fashion sense, but Rhona Mitra is much more convincing as a moody vampire warrior in love with a werewolf than Beckinsale ever was. So while the film is, on the whole, a worthless retread of themes in the previous two, it is acted better, played to a more tragic hilt and has a more interesting medieval setting. No giant blood pies unfortunately.

I can confidently say at this point that Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans, will not feature in my worst ten films of the year (I have already seen three worse). If this had kickstarted the franchise, maybe I would have looked forward to the others. That said, I saw them all, so they wouldn’t have made any more money. (Note, I did not pay to see any of the three). And it may also have the distinction of being a threequel which is better that either of the previous two. Any suggestions