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Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

4.4 out of 5 stars 457 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The prequel story traces the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires known as Death Dealers and their onetime slaves, the Lycans. In the Dark Ages, a young Lycan named Lucian (Michael Sheen) emerges as a powerful leader who rallies the werewolves to rise up against Viktor (Bill Nighy), the cruel vampire king who has enslaved them. Lucian is joined by his secret lover, Sonja (Rhona Mitra), in his battle against the Death Dealer army and his struggle for Lycan freedom.

Amazon.com

This prequel to Len Wiseman’s Underworld and Underworld: Evolution is distinctively different, especially minus the nimble vampire warrior star, Selene (Kate Beckinsale). Underworld: Rise of the Lycans takes its cues from the vampire/werewolf battles that occur in the other films, but director Patrick Tatopoulos focuses here on the young werewolf Lucian's (Michael Sheen) rise to leadership. Rise of the Lycans is set mostly within the walls of vampire lord Viktor’s (Bill Nighy) castle, so the film’s silver, black, and blue palette reflects a world happening under moonlight. From the outset, when Viktor brings Lucian, the first werewolf, into the world, this villainous bloodsucker’s daughter, Sonja (Rhona Mitra), is smitten with Lucian’s hairy appearance and instinctual intelligence. As years pass, Lucian grows tired of watching his race suffer slavery and imprisonment, and recruits a human named Raze (Kevin Grevioux) to assist rebellion. This archetypal plot is not so riveting, and what carries Underworld: Rise of the Lycans are the battle scenes between vampires and werewolves, which are excitingly fast-paced and brutal. The whole film adopts a medieval battlefield aesthetic that carries an otherwise clichéd story about illicit love and freedom fighting. Some characters, like the traitor vampire Tannis (Steven Mackintosh), also intrigues throughout, as one guesses who he will ally with. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans may not be the finest film in the werewolf and vampire archives independently, but its mixed monstrosity makes it unique and entertaining, especially on a big screen. --Trinie Dalton 


Stills from Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (click for larger image)


Special Features

Filmmaker Commentary
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans: From Script to Screen
The Origin of the Feud
Music Video: "Deathclub" By William Control

Product Details

  • Actors: Rhona Mitra, Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen, Kate Beckinsale
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, Korean, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Screen Gems
  • DVD Release Date: May 12, 2009
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (457 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001HN697M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,455 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

First off, let me just say that I am a fan of the "Underworld" franchise and I do think that Kate Beckinsale is one of the most beautiful women on the planet. Plus, I am also a sucker for tales about vampires and werewolves. That said, this newest installment of the franchise "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" doesn't have the previous two films' director, (although Len Wiseman still has credits for the story) and the absence of Beckinsale is of course to be expected (she is also married to Len Wiseman) considering that this film is a prequel and has taken place before Selene's timeline. Seems like Hollywood have listened to the "cries" of die-hard fans of the franchise, and delivered a fun installment in a gothic period.

In an undisclosed time in the past, the coven of vampires ruled the land, using slaves in the form of Lycans to protect their empire. Lucian (Michael Sheen) may well be the first Lycan to be able to turn into human form at will, and for reasons of his own, vampire leader Viktor (Bill Nighy who reprises his role from the first film) decides to spare him and keep him as his "favored" slave. However, things get a little complicated when Lucian develops an undying love for Viktor's daughter Sonja (Rhona Mitra) and dreams of freedom for his Lycan brethren. Now, the lines have been drawn, and the war between Vampires and Lycans is about to begin....

Patrick Totopoulos is now in the helm as director of "Rise of the Lycans" and while I'm not very familiar with his work, I have to say that Totopoulos does know how to make an effective monster feature. The werewolves looked very nasty and feral, even downright dirty, while the vampires have those blue contact lenses and wears fancy medieval armor.
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Seeing current movies these days is a challenge with a very active toddler. When Valentine's Day came around, we dropped our son off with my parents and I let my wife pick the movie. She of course picked the "vampire movie." Which is why I love my wife.

As a big fan of Kate Beckinsale and the World of Darkness role-playing game, the Underworld series quickly became a favorite. It featured big budget special effects, lots of PVC and leather, and plenty of pouty vampires. It also featured a battle between vampires and werewolves, a concept that was so prominent in White Wolf's World of Darkness series that it sparked a lawsuit.

Despite the lawsuit, Underworld continues to forge its own path, such that it now has prequels. You know your movie franchise has made it when executives are willing to pay to produce what is essentially a history book. Fortunately, this bit of history is actually worth watching.

Werewolves and vampires have always been a bit of a mixed bag in Hollywood. The fact that Dracula could turn into a wolf seems to be one of the less plausible aspects of vampirism that were dropped in favor of the Ricean pouty goth. Thus the ability to transform into a wolf is exclusively the domain of the werewolf. But it wasn't always this way.

The vrykolakas, draws its name from "vryk," meaning "wolf" and lakas, meaning "fur" in modern Slavic languages clearly meant "werewolf." Vrykolakas in other countries, however, is used to describe vampires. This is because of the aforementioned ability of a vampire to turn into a wolf, which can be strictly interpreted as meaning that all vampires are actually werewolves.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans turns this confusion into a plot.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This movie is the realized back story for the movie "Underworld". There is nothing revelational about this movie to the storyline of the franchise except for Lucian being the source of the modern day Lycans (ability to transform back into human form). This movie is basically about his development from childhood into the leader of the Lycans and also the love story between him and Sonia (Victor's daughter). The tie-ins of this movie to the other two were very well written. While viewing "Rise of the Lycans" is not necessary in order to make sense of the other two movies in the franchise, it definitely enriches them and basically adds more seasoning.

The action and battle sequences were exciting and very well done. But, while I enjoyed the movie, it lacks the plot twists and suspense of the original "Underworld". The acting is good, although I wish Victor would have had some better dialogue. Rhona Mitra was SUPERB as Sonia. Her resemblence to Kate Beckensale makes the viewer realize why Victor took Selene under his wing (instead of killing her along with her family). Selene is absent from this movie except for the final clip which happens to be the opening scene to "Underworld" (a good transition). IMHO, this movie ranks 2nd in the franchise. While "Underworld Evolution" was enoyable in its own right, the creatures of this franchise look more comfortable (and believable) in midieval times than in the modern day. If you own the other two movies on DVD/ Blu-ray, you'll definitely want to add this to your Underworld library.
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