Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Yes. My head is hung in shame. I saw Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. But in my defense, there were several factors that not only suggested I see it, but pretty much forced me too. The least of these include headlining actors Michael Sheen and Bill Nighy (and more timidly I’ll admit that I’ve had this weird crush on Rhona Mitra since she played part of that creepy brother/sister serial killer team in Nip/Tuck). Sheen blew me away with his portrayal of David Frost in Frost/Nixon, and I’ve never been disappointed with Nighy (remember Notes on a Scandal?) All of this, plus I had 3 hours to kill was the perfect storm that forced me into the theater.
So basically, there are humans, vampires and lycans (which apparently is the cool term now, as opposed to werewolves). The vampires make the humans their bitches and make them pay to protect them from lycans and death dealers and other stuff you could probably find on the cards from Magic: The Gathering (but you probably knew all this stuff from the first two movies). The vampires are pretty much in control and have made the lycans their slaves. But then there was this special werewolf born that had a higher capability of thought, his name is Lucian (Sheen). The lead vampire Viktor (Nighy) keeps Lucian around as a sort of pet. What Viktor doesn’t know is his pet was banging his daughter, rebellious Sonja (Mitra). Lucian isn’t satisfied with his life of slavery and plans an uprising of the lycans, but is torn because if he leaves the vampire kingdom, he’ll have to leave behind wicked hot Sonja.
it’s really quite the conundrum, right? This is only Patrick Tatopoulos’ second attempt at directing, although he is quite the special effects and makeup guru. According to IMDB.com, there are 9 people credited for the script, if you care to read all their names so you know who you should be angry with, click here. Really, the script is an embarrassment to filmmakers everywhere. But in lieu of dialogue, or interesting characters, they managed to throw in not one, but two brutal torture scenes (scenes that were clearly stolen from other, better films), some freaky crossbreed sex in unorthodox positions and a lot of colored eye contact lenses. Unfortunately, Tatopoulos seemed like he had never been behind a camera before. Battle scenes that were much wider in scope couldn’t be captured because of awkward camera angles and weird, almost non-existent lighting. The extreme stylization of the film didn’t work for it either. Besides bright purple and blue eyes, the only other color palate was dark gray. And it gets boring. Fast. The cast did it’s best, and there are some thrilling moments watching Sheen and Nighy get into their roles, but even that couldn’t rouse much interest in this lousy excuse for a prequel.