Anthony's Film Review
Underworld: Evolution (2006)
The sequel to Underworld has a quicker plot, but everything else still rocks...
Underworld: Evolution is a direct sequel to 2003's Underworld, continuing exactly where that movie left off. After a thrilling prologue set in the 13th century that explains the origin of the first vampire and first werewolf in the war between the two races, the movie shifts to the main character of the vampire warrior Selene, played once again by Kate Beckinsale. She briefly explains the events of the last film, accompanied by a flashback of scenes from that movie. It almost looks like the beginning of a television show episode that follows the previous episode ending with a "To Be Continued" cliffhanger.
If you've seen the original Underworld, you can expect the exact same overall look and feel in Underworld: Evolution. The events of the movie take place under the cover of night and often in dim lighting, except for a few moments where the sun starts to rise. The action is the familiar gory, bloody, and explosive eye candy that made the first Underworld movie a real thrill. And, of course, the plot and characters are just as engaging as before.
Once again, the movie focuses on Kate Beckinsale as Selene along with Scott Speedman as Michael Corvin, who was once human but is now at this point a vampire-werewolf hybrid. This time, they are fugitives on the run, given the violent events of the last Underworld film. One character who is after them is the vampire elder Marcus (played by Tony Curran), who is awakened after centuries of slumber. (As explained in the first Underworld movie, the custom is to have three vampire elders, with one awake and the other two staying in hibernation.) Another vital character here is Alexander Corvinus (played by Derek Jacobi), an immortal who has an important connection to the vampire and werewolf races.
Now I come to the thing about this movie that makes it just a bit inferior to its predecessor. Whereas 2003's Underworld was two hours long, 2006's Underworld: Evolution is 20 minutes shorter for a running time of just a little over an hour and 40 minutes. While it is still possible to tell an engaging story in that much time, it seems that this movie goes a little bit slower than expected for a 100-minute movie. In fact, I remember checking my watch when 40 minutes of the movie passed by, and I could swear that it felt like the movie was still just beginning. But it's not all bad. Things get interesting when Selene and Michael visit an exiled vampire named Andreas Tanis (played by Steven Mackintosh). Selene learns more about the origin of the vampires and werewolves and briefly looks back at her own history. Pretty soon, another important fact emerges, one related to the significance of an item first seen in the previous Underworld movie.
even with a slightly shorter plot, Underworld: Evolution is enjoyable enough for the same reasons the first Underworld is fun: an engaging story, developed characters, bloody action, and frightening special effects. Interestingly enough, this movie ends in the same way as the last Underworld movie: wrapping up the story while still making it possible for a sequel to be made. And like that last movie, one can choose not to make a sequel, but it's hard not to because Underworld is entertaining. With two hard-hitting movies, it could easily be the beginning of a series, another argument for having a sequel to please the fans.
For more information about Underworld: Evolution, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews of the following:
The Underworld Films