Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
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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.
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)
- Aspect Ratio : 2.40:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medR R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.25 x 0.5 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Item model number : 5075027
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 32 minutes
- Release date : May 12, 2009
- Actors : Rhona Mitra, Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen, Kate Beckinsale
- Dubbed: : Spanish, French
- Subtitles: : Spanish, French, English, Chinese, Korean
- Language : Unqualified
- Studio : Screen Gems
- ASIN : B001HN697M
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #64,095 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The story of oppressors and oppressed is laid out right at the start. The vampire lord Viktor (Bill Nighy) returning from the original film, bred Lucian to be a servant and keep other werewolves subservient. Lucian is even told to kill other werewolves who are in the wild because they are considered “beasts.” This is a typical tactic to control the minds of slaves to repress them and turn them against their own kind.
Of course no system of oppression can go unchallenged and Lucian eventually leads an uprising which is the second part of the film.
The movie has plenty of action, plenty of werewolves and vampires, and a good message on top which makes it just as good as the two previous releases in the series.
This movie is definitely black and blue and dead all over.
As an action/battle/exploit in the darkest of night, it’s not half bad.
Top reviews from other countries
The lycans at this stage were mostly slaves of the vampires who wore restrictive collars which prevented them from transforming at will and the vampires used them to build their strongholds, amongst other things, so we see lots of each in much higher numbers than other films and they look great on the big screen - especially during fight sequences with lots of gore and action. The film hasn't aged badly at all and the effects all still look pretty good. The story of Victor's daughter and what happened to her, and in turn how this led to Selene being taken in by Victor all works really well and I think it's definitely one of the better prequels out there and a great addition to the franchise.
This is all jolly good fun, with some good CGI; but, ultimately, the important bits of the story were already explained in Underworlds 1&2, so this is clearly a bit of franchise extension to make a few bob, and a bit redundant. Buy it cheap if you can.
I'm glad all the original actors are in it, I dont think its quite the same when you are supposed to believe that thingy-ma-bob has had major surgery on their face completely changing their looks between films, so that was deffo a bonus for me.
The whole cast was impressive, I think sonja is brilliant, and they did a great job of fiding someone so similar to Kate Beckinsale (which is the whole point).
The story line is good, I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and despite having seen the other two films (so I know the fate of each of the charactors) I was still on the edge of my seat, totally caught up in the film, even cried at the end when something happened (im not going to give it away!) which I knew full well was going to happen!!!!