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123 of 147 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Underworld franchise is redeemed after temporary loss of Beckensale. A+ for action and mindless entertainment value., January 21, 2012
This review is from: Underworld: Awakening (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) (DVD)
Thank God! Beckinsale returns. I had no difficulty watching Rhona Mitra, but Rise of the Lycans just hurt me. I hate seeing non-returning actors replaced. Yes, I know her character (Selene) wasn't even in the prequel, but I still thought the amputation of Beckensale would leave the franchise forever bitter and crippled from making new sequels. And while filled with action, I struggled with the drop in CGI quality, especially for backgrounds. But have no fear. The budget is back, and it brought Beckensale with it. The franchise is redeemed and primed for more sequels.

After a quick recap of the first two movies' events, we are introduced to a near-future in which the vampires and lycans (werewolves) have been discovered by humans. It is acknowledged in the movie that `now these nonhumans are more than myth' and, not surprisingly given human nature, the humans militarized a "cleansing" to eradicate the vampires and lycans. In this middle of all this Selene (Beckinsale) is captured and cryogenically frozen. This is where the background ends and this story begins.

Selene is freed from her cryo-chamber after being helped by some unseen (presumably) nonhuman and escapes an extremely well-guarded research facility. Conveniently, the her scientist-captors left all of her tight, shiny leather outfit in some chemical cabinets, so she was quick to find her normal form. During her escape she encounters some thought-to-be-eradicated lycans and a little vamp-lycan hybrid adolescent--she's pretty tough and gets some cool action scenes. This little girl seems to be the center of story because the lycans REALLY want her.

The plot is quite weak; borderline pointless. But that didn't bother me a bit. Like the first two installments of the franchise, this flick cluster-bombs viewers with exciting action sequences, flesh-shredding assaults, people being slam-launched across the room into walls, a healthy dose of blood splattering, and some occasional creative acrobatics. Oh, and watch out for the really, really, big bad wolf. The lycans genetically engineered this mega-lycan that is around 12-15 feet tall and probably weighs a couple tons. The fight scenes between MegaLycan and Selene are very exciting, brutal, bashy, gritty... The other action scenes are fun, too. Including a lycan-on-foot car chase, some mass melees, and some spiffy close-quarters combat. If you came with no care for plot and every care for mindless action, then this flick is most certainly for you.

In the end I was thrilled with the production value, action-filming and set design--all of which were less impressive in Rise of the Lycans. The effects budget seemed to be lower than it was for Underworld: Evolution (the best effects of the franchise in my opinion), but to no fault. This is one of those "movies for guys who like movies" action flicks and one really wouldn't suffer for not seeing the prequels. But you should definitely watch them anyway!
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 24, 2012 7:01:36 AM PST
Rebel Scum says:
I love how this POS is allegedly a redemption, from the best movie in the whole damn series.

*sigh*

Posted on Mar 1, 2012 7:32:23 AM PST
I'm having a really hard time understanding your great dislike for Rise of the Lycans. I understand that not having Beck in the movie kind of sucked, but then again this movie had to happen. It tied so many things together and it also gave you a true understanding of who Lucian really was at heart, before his love was murdered. As far as the action, it was the best to date during the time. Neither of the first 2 installments were able to reach such an epic level, especially the final scene. As a diehard fan of Underworld, it's just mind boggling that you didn't enjoy this one. That's all. Peace and Blessings.

Posted on Apr 1, 2012 3:27:55 PM PDT
Rise of the Lycans would not of made sense if Kate Beckinsale was in it, this was a prequel to show how the war between the Lycans and Vampires was started. Sonya (Rhona Mitra) was an entirely different character than Kate Beckinsales.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 1, 2012 4:56:45 PM PDT
Oh, of course. I'd just rather they had continued the ongoing story using Selene rather than presenting a prequel without the character. I love Rhona Mitra. I just didn't love seeing her, and not Beckensale, in the third movie.

Posted on May 2, 2012 9:41:29 PM PDT
W. D. Payne says:
I think Rise of the Lycans stinks. In spite of the need for a prequel. But now with the new movie I will have to buy it yet again to complete the collection. In spite of my aversion thereto.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 3:59:30 AM PDT
Ron says:
One person's POS, is another person's jewel, Rebel Scum !! If "Rise" was the best of the lot, why did it gross the LEAST, by a good lot ?? It's not the worst, and it's not the best, it's part of the story, okay. The reason it grossed the least, might have had something to do with the absence of Kate. They're all good movies in their own right, it's too bad that they weren't all as long as the FIRST one. That's my major gripe. "Awakening" was the shortest of the lot, and it could have used an extra 10 to 15 minutes to give some background to the "Antigen" Corporation and the guys running it, along with the surviving Coven. That would also had helped in promoting a sequel, because there were other Lycans of importance that were part of the conspiracy.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 2:13:51 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 19, 2012 2:20:32 PM PDT
Magius says:
Why? While making money is certainly NOT the best judge on how good a movie is (example: the Transformers triology) the main issue with the movie imo was of timing. It felt really odd to present such a story after watching the sequel to the first. Perhaps if it had arrived right after the original movie it would have been accepted and done better at the box office. Besides that the movie was very well written and acted. It fleshed out the heart breaking scene from the first movie to the point you knew what was coming but hoped it didn't come to pass.

Posted on Jun 4, 2012 1:38:28 PM PDT
Kate wasn't replaced in Rise of the Lycans. Sonya is a different character, duh. Rise of the Lycans is my favorite one. As far as the male love interest goes I definitely prefer Lucian to Micheal!
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