Get ready to enter a goth-punk world of mayhem and blood feuds. A world in which vampires live to hunt werewolves and everyone wears different varieties of black clothing. This is the “Underworld.”

If you like slow, convoluted plots and contrived dialogue, this movie is definitely a winner. If, on the other hand, you want a film that is either entertaining or, say, good on some level, this is not the best way to go spend your time or money.

I’m pretty sure this movie was trying to capitalize on the desire for dark action movies as a result of “The Matrix” franchise, and at the same time, rip off centuries of vampire and werewolf lore.

Oh, it’s important to note that in the movie, they say “Lichen” when they mean werewolf. It’s OK – they’re just a little confused.

So, first off, let’s look at the common attributes of vampires, and see how they played out in the movie.

Vampires drink blood – this, being the primary attribute of a vampire, obviously was in the film. The main chick drinks some blood, and they wake up some sleeping vampires by feeding them vampire blood. Not as much blood sucking as one might expect from a movie starring cadres of vampires, but that’s still OK.

Vampires are allergic to sunlight – so, they mention something about not being around during the day one time in the movie, but this doesn’t come up so much as every scene in the film takes place at night. I guess sunny parks and daylight aren’t particularly relevant to the goth-punk fans of the film. Oh, and the werewolves develop UV bullets. You know, to shoot the vampires with sunlight, but we only ever see one person die from that, and it wasn’t as impressive as it should have been.

Vampires can turn into bats and fly away – this was strangely absent from the film, and, I think, a disappointment, because, as it stands, the werewolves have everything on the vampires. They are strong, tough and some of them can transform at will, even without a full moon. So vampires are like werewolves, except snotty aristocrats instead of sewer-dwelling beasts of rage.

Toward the beginning of the film, the main vampire chick mentions that no human can survive being bitten by a werewolf and a vampire. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that someone is going to turn into some sort of were-pire or vamp-wolf. And, provided you aren’t entirely devoid of intellect, you’ll be able to figure out who it’s going to be within the first half hour of the film.

The movie featured a whole lot of vampire politics, which may be interesting if you are a historian of lackluster movie vampires. But if you’re just watching a movie, it really doesn’t captivate you that much.

One thing that made up for the vampire politics were the special effects when they shot a werewolf with silver nitrate. I’ll let you experience it for yourself.

I might as well give you a brief summary of the plot, though, this being a review and all.

We begin with a vampire talking about how she hunts werewolves and how very few exist since the death of Lucian, their leader.

Long story short, Lucian didn’t die – he’s trying to make himself a werewolf-vampire hybrid, and no one believes Selene, our diabolic heroine, so she must resort to vigilante something or other. It doesn’t matter, because you won’t really want to follow the plot or listen to the dialogue.

You might be asking yourself, why is it that this movie even got a half star? Well, the answer to that is simple – it takes place in London. Setting your movie in London makes it slightly better than not setting it in London, so I give it one half star for excellent setting. Also, they could have made the movie even worse by naming it “Underground,” but thankfully, they didn’t do that, so consider the half star a half star of thanks.

Despite the harsh review, and the low, low rating, I still recommend everyone go see this movie. When it wasn’t boring me with the molasses-slow world of vampire intrigue, it was entertaining me with how seriously the movie took itself and the ludicrous action scenes. So, go ahead and see the film, unless you have a chance to go see “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl,” which is actually good instead of laughingly bad.

Powell can be reached at lpowell@campustimes.org.



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