Anthony's Film Review

Underworld (2003)

Underworld is an adrenaline-packed action horror flick with a smart plot and cast...

Actress Kate Beckinsale, who plays a vampire warrior named Selene in the 2003 action-horror movie Underworld, manages to leave an impression on the audience with a combination of beauty and brawn. It will not be a surprise if this is one of the more notable movies she will be known for throughout her career. But of course, she isn't the only thing to note about Underworld. The movie is definitely entertaining if you enjoy a healthy dose of intense action along with a well written story about vampires versus werewolves (a.k.a. Lycans). This is a movie that I admittedly assumed was just all action and no plot. Boy, was I wrong.

Underworld provides an interesting mix of elements of ancient horror and those of modern action. Instead of an old Gothic setting, like something straight out of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Underworld takes place in a present-day civilization. Instead of action with dark magic and old-style weaponry, Underworld presents combat involving guns, including small handguns that have the power and capacity of large machine guns. If you think about it, this blend of old and new does make sense when you consider that the war between vampires and werewolves has gone on for centuries without end. The two races are bound to live on into our time, appearing as human as anyone else but otherwise remaining in hiding from them.

I will not go into too much detail about the action in Underworld. All I'm going to say is that it's pretty entertaining eye candy and that, fortunately, there is neither too little nor too much of it. There are other elements of the movie that are worth nothing. For example, the overall dark look of the film, with dim lighting and nighttime scenery for every scene throughout. It fits nicely with the movie's grim story. Of course, vampires and werewolves live at night and do not thrive in daylight, so it wouldn't make sense to have more light in the movie anyway.

As for the plot, it centers on a potentially critical moment in the vampire-werewolf conflict. A human named Michael Corvin (played by Scott Speedman) gets caught in the middle of the war and is turned into a Lycan with a single bite. But Michael does not seem to be just a random character. Apparently, there might be something special about him in the eyes of a werewolf named Lucian (played by Michael Sheen). Meanwhile, Selene investigates this development and ends up protecting Michael, even starting to fall in love with him. I'm not going to say any more on the story because it does get pretty good later.

At first, I thought Underworld would be an OK movie. But once the second half played out, I liked it more. For me, moments that I thought were interesting included the reawakening of the slumbering vampire lord Viktor (played by Bill Nighy), a revelation about how the war between vampires and werewolves began, and even a twist about one character being a double-crosser. The fine performances by the cast also caught my attention by this point. And of course, the exciting action was worth seeing again, even if that was far from being the most important thing in the movie.

Underworld, I must admit, was an enjoyable movie that defied my expectations. As I've said, it's not all action as I first assumed. It has plenty of good plot development and a cast of characters who grew on me. And it ends nicely in a way that wraps up this story while still leaving things open for a sequel. While this movie could just stand alone and leave the story unfinished, it's hard not to have a follow-up to this story. When you consider the things that make this movie cool, how can fans not want more?

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Underworld, visit the Internet Movie Database.

In addition, check out my reviews of the following:

The Underworld Films


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