Underwhelming 'Underworld'

Underwhelming 'Underworld'

Movie Review

Let's take a time machine to the past. Whirr, click, Bam. There, it's now 2003 and a terrible movie has just been released with the striking Kate Beckinsale in the lead role of a vampire who hunts down werewolves and kills them. All is not as it seems, a lot of bad action sequences take place and one of the more disappointing vampire films fades quietly away. Then for some unknown reason, maybe the blood and gore, maybe the skin tight latex Beckinsale wears, the movie gets a cult following and, Bam, we're back in 2006 and "Underworld: Evolution" has been released.

Well, the three years have made the film three times as good but three times zero is still zero. The first 30 minutes is spent spewing out characters from the previous film in what might be called an attempt to recap what happened but is really just a bunch of confusing cuts and blurry flashbacks; director Len Wiseman's time machine must of been broken. Though it's not broken enough to send him back and let him pick up the technique of over cranking which might of been a nifty trick if it wasn't so out of place.

So unless an audience member has seen the original recently then they are going to be spending the first 30 minutes of the film asking what is going on and the second hour wondering why they didn't just leave when they were less confused in the beginning.

However, if we took our time machine, the one that works, and jumped from action sequence to action sequence we might enjoy ourselves a bit more. Forget about the characters and the over-complicated plot because in reality it does not matter. Looking at the plot line, the film is incredibly simplistic. Big bad vampire comes back, good vampire has to stop it from freeing bigger badder werewolf monster. It just happens that the screen becomes over-crowded with needless back stories and characters which our time machine can easily get rid of by bypassing all that pesky talk.

The action is far and above the original's with an impressive truck chase and a final death that rivals many of the great villain deaths in cinema history. Two words: propeller blades. Though the special effects look like they took their own time machine back a few years they're passable and don't do the action any harm. Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman also have a pretty hot love scene although everything is kept PG-13 during that part of the film.

Not for the rest though.

Blood flies in copious amounts with multiple beheadings and bodies being ripped apart by bullets.

Beckinsale could also use a time machine to take a few classes in emotion. She is pretty to look at in her skin tight clothing but her performance emotes as much as the latex she's wearing. Sure she kicks butt well but a little connection with the character, beyond her eyes being made digitally brighter, would be nice.

So here's the plan: Hop in the machine, jump to all the gore, action and sex, skip the confusion and plot turns that are just a bit too convenient, and walk out of the theater a much happier person.