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Underworld goes Commando!

January 21st, 2006 · No Comments

Okay, so we saw the world and the outfits in Underworld, and although it seemed like it might have been just a tad tough to keep all that werewolf hunting/vampire fighting secret from the rest of the world, it kind of worked, mainly because it looked cool.

Well, Underworld 2: Evolution looks cool too, and basically there’s only just enough plot there to stitch together the action scenes, plus they added a couple of new creatures.

In short, if you liked watching Kate Beckensale run around in a tight rubber suit kicking ass, or Scott Speedman running around without a shirt being rescued by Kate in Underworld, then you will certainly like Underworld Evolution, because it’s that’s sort of the story again.

The weakest part of the movie is the opening, where Bill Nighy (Victor from the first movie, the step father in Shawn of the Dead) and a bunch of other Brits act out some 12th century village pillage. Bill has an accent right out of the EastEnders, and the rest of them sound like they’re part of the Royal Shakespeare company, which made even me, a tin-earred Yank go, "What the Fuck, Bill?" (Actually, we’ll find out later on that an actual member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Derek Jacoby, is the father of all vampires and werewolves, but I only mention it so you don’t think I’m exaggerating.)

Once we get to present day and Kate running around blowing shit up, the movie picks up, and tends to move fast enough that you can’t really take the time to find all the gaping holes in the plot. And as soon as you get a moment to think, there’s Kate’s PVC-wrapped booty waving at you again, (or Scott Speedman’s tastefully oiled pecs, if you’re a lass) to keep you from going, "Hey, that didn’t make a bit of sense. Where the fuck is this taking place, anyway?"

But, lest you start to think that they’ve just put Kate and Scott out there to be sex objects, about half-way through the movie Kate gratuitously kills two Victoria Secret models/vampire body guards — thus showing us the difference between a sex object that’s there for looking at, and one that’s there to bash your brains out on the rocks. And I have always been pro choice, so I thought this was fine political statement for the film to make.

Okay, you still think that you need to know the plot? (Why? Why? Why?) Without reference to the first movie? Okay, here goes.

Werewolves and vampires have been at war for 800 years, since two brothers, sons of the same randomly immortal guy, got bitten by a wolf and a bat respectively, and now, one of the brothers is awake, the vampire, and he wants to free the werewolf brother who has been locked away for 600 years for being a bad dog. Oh, and all the conflict in the first movie, and for the last 800 years between the two races is due to the lying of one guy who is dead before the movie starts. And so, the father – oh my God, Kate and Scott are totally naked and doing the nasty in a shipping container!

And there are lots of guns.

As with any big-budget movie nowadays, the effects were great. The creatures were cool. And they did pay some attention to the laws of physics, so unlike Van Helsing, you don’t just throw your hands up go, "Well fuck, why don’t they all just fly!" And generally since there are almost no humans in the cast (I mean of characters, not of actors. I’m sure a lot of the actors were humans, except for the Canadians) it’s okay if they take a licking and keep on ticking. Also, Underworld 2 is very much in the “steam and wet asphalt” school of cinema, with 95% of the scenes happening at night or inside of caves or castles. Still you can see what’s going on and the action scenes don’t get so tight that you can’t follow them.

I give it it a solid 3 out of five ghouls on a five ghoul scale for vampire movies, and a four on the gratuitous violence and booty scale

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