Underworld Unrated

7.02 h 13 min2003X-Ray18+
Underneath the city streets, amid the labyrinth of subway tunnels and gothic ruins, vampires and werewolves are embroiled in an all-out war that has been going on for centuries.
Len Wiseman
Kate BeckinsaleScott SpeedmanMichael Sheen
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Shane BrollyErwin LederBill Nighy
Tom RosenbergGary LucchesiRichard Wright
Screen Gems
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Violencealcohol usesmokingsexual content
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4.7 out of 5 stars

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Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on May 28, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
UNDERWORLD [2003 / 2016] [Unrated Extended Cut] [Blu-ray + Digital HD]
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UNDERWORLD [2003 / 2016] [Unrated Extended Cut] [Blu-ray + Digital HD] An Immortal Battle For Supremacy! When The Battle Begins, Which Side Will You Choose!

In the Underworld, Vampires are a secret clan of modern aristocratic sophisticates whose mortal enemies are the Lycans (werewolves), a shrewd gang of street thugs who prowl the city's underbelly. No one knows the origin of their bitter blood feud, but the balance of power between them turns even bloodier when a beautiful young Vampire warrior and a newly-turned Lycan with a mysterious past fall in love. Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman star in this modern-day, action-packed tale of ruthless intrigue and forbidden passion and all set against the dazzling backdrop of a timeless, Gothic metropolis.

Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, Bill Nighy, Erwin Leder, Sophia Myles, Robbie Gee, Wentworth Miller, Kevin Grevioux, Zita Görög, Dennis J. Kozeluh, Scott McElroy, Todd Schneider, Sándor Bolla, Hank Amos, Zsuzsa Barsi, Richard Cetrone, Mike Mukatis, Sándor Boros, János Oláh, Andreas Patton, Danny McBride, Jázmin Dammak, Atilla Pinke Judit Kuchta, Vanessa Nagy, Ildikó Kovács, Pierre Peters-Arnolds, Ekkehardt Belle, Claus Brockmeyer, Reinhard Brock, Pascal Breuer, Kathrin Gaube, Madeleine Stolze, Brian Steele, Kurt Carley, Rana Morrison (uncredited) and Zoltan Papp (uncredited)

Director: Len Wiseman

Producers: Danny McBride, Gary Lucchesi, Henry Winterstern, James McQuaide, Kevin Grevioux, Richard S. Wright, Robert Bernacchi, Skip Williamson, Terry McKay and Tom Rosenberg

Screenplay: Danny McBride (story/screenplay), Kevin Grevioux (story) and Len Wiseman (story)

Composer: Paul Haslinger

Cinematography: Tony Pierce-Roberts, B.S.C.

Video Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 [Anamorphic]

Audio: English: 5.1 LPCM [Uncompressed], English: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround, French: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround, Italian: 5.1 LPCM [Uncompressed], Italian: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround and English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French and Italian

Running Time: 133 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 1

Studio: Lakeshore Entertainment / Screen Gems / Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: ‘UNDERWORLD’ [2003] is a fantastic over the top slick presentation with a hint of a sci-fi action packed Vampires Vs Werewolves franchise brilliant film. In the shadows of the real world, war rages between the aristocratic neck-biters and the losing Lycans. But leather-clad warrior vamp Selene [Kate Beckinsale] suspects the furry fighters may battle back, and defies coven creep Kraven [Shane Brolly] to pursue the apparently harmless human Michael [Scott Speedman] she believes is involved.

At the start of the film we are informed “The war had all but ground to a halt in the blink of an eye. Lucian, the most feared and ruthless leader ever to rule the Lycan clan, had finally been killed. The Lycan horde scattered to the wind in a single evening of flame and retribution. Victory, it seemed, was in our grasp, the very birth right of the vampires. Nearly six centuries had passed since that night, yet the ancient feud proved unwilling to follow Lucian to the grave. Though Lycans were fewer in number, the war itself had become more perilous, for the moon no longer held her sway. Older, more powerful Lycans, were now able to change at will. The weapons had evolved, but our orders remained the same: Hunt them down and kill them off, one by one.” And so we begin the story of ‘UNDERWORLD’ which is a surprisingly-good horror action adventure romp, where vampires battle for werewolves for survival in a centuries-long war.

‘UNDERWORLD’ was the first of four films so far in this franchise series. The first film was a joint British-German-Hungarian-US production with a mostly British cast. The setting is not said throughout the film, but it is pretty obvious it is Hungary and nearby Eastern European countries. This is probably the best in the series, but the next two films are equally great as well. Only the fourth tended to slightly lets it down but I will talk about that in future ‘Underworld’ franchise film Blu-ray reviews. Throughout the ‘UNDERWORLD’ film we are introduced to very interesting characters and despite criticism of the film that I have read, I think the story is character-driven despite a hell of a lot of visually-exciting action. It is an action film but the action isn’t what makes it great, it is the screenplay and the characters we view throughout the film.

There is plenty of plot throughout the film, especially with the roots of the war scenario, cross-breeding, and vampire elder Viktor [Bill Nighy] but it's too complicated to unravel here. Attempting to explain the environment and undead genealogy, the makers offer an interesting new angle on old age myths, though the information-overload begs questions: Why do elders hibernate? What's wolf-warrior Lucian [Michael Sheen] been doing for 500 years and especially waxing his claws?

Of all the films about vampires, werewolves, or vampires versus werewolves, I suppose ‘UNDERWORLD’ is one of the better ones. Without much regard for the story, but it definitely has an incredible passion throughout the film. The Set Decoration production by Malcolm Stone and Costume Design values by Wendy Partridge were clearly a labour of love. Considering the basis for the story is definitely a Gothic reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It is also has a really fantastic and an enjoyable adventure in exploring an alternative reality world and especially a blend of gunmetal glamour of gloomy Gothicism gives the ‘UNDERWORLD’ film that absolutely beautiful to view we so admire with this film. Director Len Wiseman has a background in the art department and although dress sense and sets are styled or stolen from other successful sci-fi series like ‘Blade’ and ‘The Matrix’ most blatantly, Len Wiseman slides from scene to scene with an arresting comic book style performance that we greatly admire.

‘UNDERWORLD’ is really exciting, engaging and totally perfect in my opinion and also to the massive amount of fans out there that love and admire this film. Of course the best moments come from stunning cinematography and set design that looks so good and stunning that I cannot recommend it enough. Director Len Wisemen knows what he was doing in making this film, and what's more does it on a comparatively small budget; especially with the totally brilliant fight scenes in the sewers are totally ground-breaking. And if you are looking for some fun in a dark disturbed world of a gothic scenario, heavy metal loving gods, and then this film ‘UNDERWORLD’ definitely delivers 100%.


AWAKENING [Performed by The Damning Well: featuring Wes Borland, Richard Patrick, Josh Freese and Danny Lohner]

REV 22:20 [Performed by Puscifer: featuring Danny Lohner]

THROWING PUNCHES [Performed by Page Hamilton]

ROCKET COLLECTING [Performed by Milla Jovovich and Danny Lohner]

NOW I KNOW [Performed by Renholdër and Amy Lee]

BRING ME THE DISCO KING (Danny Lohner Mix) [Performed by David Bowie: featuring Maynard James Keenan and John Frusciante]

OPTIMISSED [Performed by Skinny Puppy]

DOWN IN THE LAB [Performed by Renholdër and Amy Lee]

JUDITH (Renholdër Mix) [Performed by A Perfect Circle]

SUICIDE NOTE [Performed by Johnette Napolitano]

BABY’S FIRST COFFIN [Performed by The Dillinger Escape Plan]

HOVER (Quiet Mix) [Performed by Trust Company]

FALLING THROUGH THE SKY [Performed by Renholdër]

WEAK AND POWERLESS (Tilling My Grave Mix) [Performed by A Perfect Circle]

WORMS OF THE EARTH [Performed by Finch]

FROM A SHELL [Performed by Lisa Germano]

DEATH DEALER’S DESCENT [Performed by Renholdër and Amy Lee]

ON THE LASH [Performed by The Icarus Line]

ALL OF THIS PAST [Performed by Sarah Bettens]

Blu-ray Video Quality – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have brought us the ultimate 1080p encoded image. This Blu-ray disc brings you great reference image transfer that really gives you a near 4K quality image. Practically continuous sharp images with excellent inspirational quality detail. Despite the consistently dark shots, always gives you a feel of a three-dimensional image resolution that is spot on. On top of all that you get totally perfect contrast throughout the film. Also the colour palette throughout the film is totally excellent and the picture exhibits a level of stability that rivals the ultimate image transfer on the market. What is also impressive is the fine details of objects that are totally astounding at times, especially the bristled hairs on the back of the actor's neck, tiny chips in a werewolf's claws, and brickwork on distant buildings all provide a brilliant surreal level of clarity that occasionally makes the picture quality gives you a near 4K high-definition demonstration material.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment brings you this ‘UNDERWORLD’ Unrated Extended Cut Blu-ray disc in a totally mind blowing 5.1 LPCM [Uncompressed] audio experience that is by far the best audio presentation I have heard in a very long time, that is definitely an audio reference title that we experienced on the original DVD release for its sound audio mix and this upgraded Blu-ray title continues the tradition of giving us the ultimate audio enhanced sound experience, which is totally fantastic and also giving us a very aggressive performance, particularly in the action sequences throughout the film that gives all of your loudspeakers lots of amazing booming sound effects that never overloads the speakers. Even with the violent shoot outs, there is more than enough in this film that locates the sounds precisely with all of your speakers. Atmospherically, the sound mix scores 100% with its perfectly converted soundscapes, which through discreetly used surround effects puts the viewer centre of the world of the vampires and werewolves that creates an amazing and wholly convincing sound field that is totally accurate and spot on. The surround channels movement is totally natural, and conversations are nicely natural to give a really nice acoustic atmosphere all round. So all in all, fans who owned any of the previous inferior DVD edition releases will be extremely pleased with this ultimate upgrade and especially a must purchasing of this 2016 Blu-ray release if you want to get the ultimate visual and surround sound experience.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Audio commentary with Director Len Wiseman and Actors Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman: This is a brand new recorded commentary from director Len Wiseman, actress Kate Beckinsale and actor Scott Speedman. Len Wiseman, Kate Beckinsale, and Scott Speedman are viewing the new Unrated Extended Cut of the film, but what really annoyed me about this audio commentary is that I had to crank up the sound quite a lot, to get some idea whatever they were talking about certain things about the film. The director Len Wiseman makes a point to note that this is not a "Director's Cut" of the film, but simply a reworked cut of the film that includes some moments that were cut from the previous original film release due to pacing reasons. When you get to the scene with the shoot out on the Underground station, you see Kate Beckinsale pick up the digital camera, but then point out when Kate Beckinsale jumps out of the door at the end of the underground train, the digital camera is nowhere to be seen. When we get to see Kate Beckinsale enters the apartment of Scott Speedman, the number on the door is 510, well they point out is all types of films that shows doors, they usually have a combination of the numbers with the figure number 5, but point out they do this because they do not want to use other numbers for apartments, so they do not relate to a real person’s apartment. I found at times comments by Scott Speedman to be totally vacuous and most of the time does not seem to know what is going on in the film, so cannot understand why they had him there for the audio commentary, as it was totally pointless with his pathetic comments. Also I also found most of the time the comments by Len Wiseman and Kate Beckinsale also vacuous at times while Scott Speedman was there. Actor Scott Speedman had to leave the recording session about 73 minutes into the film as he had to rush off for an audition for a film he was to appear in that was set in Paris, but we are not informed of the Title of the film, and so the audio commentary between Len Wiseman and Kate Beckinsale continued but when there is just the two of them, the audio commentary started to improve slightly, but only slightly. But to my mind, most of the time all three of them talk about nothing in general and also nothing of great interest and also has to be one of the worst audio commentary I have ever heard, and what makes if worst is I have read other reviews of this particular audio commentary, saying it was totally hilarious and extremely funny, well those particular reviewers must have been watching another audio commentary, but not this one and as far as I am concerned this definitely get a one star rating.

Special Feature: Outtakes [2003] [480i] [1.33:1] [3:43] With these typical “outtakes,” they are really nothing more than a glorified gag reel of goof ups, bloopers and you even get to see a Lycan do a silly dance routine. We unfortunately get to see poor Brad Martin [Stunt Coordinator] slip while carrying the step ladder, I do hope he didn’t hurt himself too much. In the background in some of the “outtakes” you get to hear the following music tracks, which consist of ROCKSTAR [Composed and Performed by Mark David & William Tabanou of NBS] and RED TAPE [Performed by Agent Provocateur].

Special Feature: Featurettes [2003 / 2004] [480i] [1.33:1] [1:13:38] Here we have a brilliant selection of Seven individual supplement special features and they are as follows:

01. Special Feature: Fang Vs. Fiction [2003] [480i] [1.33:1] [47:18] Here we have a documentary exploring the mythology and lore of vampires and werewolves throughout history. Using clips from classic horror films and contemporary interviews, this in-depth cable-TV documentary tries to separate truth from fable in discussing vampires and werewolves. This documentary also looks into the myths behind werewolves and vampires, mixing in occasional film footage with interviews with knowledgeable experts on the subject. It's an interesting, generally well-done look at some of the possibilities behind the creatures. Contributors include: Tatyana Yassukovich (Narrator), J. Gordon Melton (Author: Vampire Book: The Encyclopaedia of the Undead), Daniel Cohen (Author: Werewolves), Brad Steiger (Author: The Werewolf Book), Katherine Ramsland (Author: The Science of Vampires), Nicolae Paduraru (Head of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula), Gypsy Zanval (Lycanthrope), David Farrant (British Psychic and Occult Society), Kalila Smith (Author: Journey Into Darkness), Freddie Salazar (Boat Captain of Cajun Pride Swamp Tours), Linda S. Godfrey (Author: The Beast of Bray Road), Crudelia (Vampire) and Morditha Kalavera (Vampire).

02. Special Feature: The Making of ‘UNDERWORLD’ [2003] [480i] [1.33:1] [13:02] This feature introduces the film with a lot of talking heads and footage from the feeling of the film to the script and production. This one is kind of basic, but essential if you love the film ‘UNDERWORLD’ and of course have not seen this extra yet on the previous Blu-ray releases. Everyone in this extra that talks seems to thinks this one is slick and interesting and as a massive fan of this film I would totally have to agree. Contributors include: Kate Beckinsale [Selene], Len Wiseamn [Director], Richard Wright [Producer], Bill Nighy [Viktor], Scott Speedman [Michael], Shane Brolly [Kraven], Kevin Grevioux [Raze/Co-Writer], Erwin Leder [Singe], Michael Sheen [Lucian], Danny McBride [Screenwriter], Sophie Myles [Erika], Guy Himber [Patrick Tatopoulos Designs, Inc.], Scott McElroy [Soren/Assistant Stunt Coordinator], Brad Martin [Stunt Coordinator] and Gary Lucchesi [Film Producer].

03. Special Feature: The Visual Effects of ‘UNDERWORLD’ [2003] [480i] [1.33:1] [9:56] This feature is all about the CGI world and also exploring and explaining in-depth about what goes into the CGI computer generated visual effects employed in the film. I very much liked how they showed that one of the car flips into the water was actually a model and other special effects that you do not realise they were such effects. Contributors include: James McQuaide [Executive producer/VFX Supervisor], Payam Shohadai [VFX Supervisor/Owner of Luma Pictures] and Martin Hunter [Film Editor].

04. Special Feature: Creature Effects [2003] [480i] [1.33:1] [12:30] This feature is all about the in-depth look at the detail, design, movement and intricacy of the creatures on display, namely the werewolves. It was really interesting to see the moulds being made to make the said werewolf suits the stunt artists have to wear, especially with their running blades. Contributors include: Patrick Tatopoulos [Creature/Production Designer], Len Wiseman [Director], Danny McBride [Screenwriter], Guy Himber [Creature FX Supervisor], Steve Wang [Creature FX Art Director], Gabe Bartalos [Lab Technician Supervisor] and Bill Nighy [Viktor].

05. Special Feature: Stunts [2003] [480i] [1.33:1] [11:43] This feature is all about the amazing stunts you get to see in the film ‘UNDERWORLD.’ The stunt coordinator Brad Martin talks extensively on how he wanted the stunts to look good in the film. The director Len Wiseman said he shot things the way they were drawn in the storyboards. We get to see Kate Beckinsale doing a lot of stunt wire work practice which was quite interesting to view. Contributors include: Brad Martin [Stunt Coordinator], Len Wiseman [Director], Kate Beckinsale [Selene], Scott McElroy [Assistant Stunt Coordinator], Richard Wright [producer], Danny McBride [Screenwriter], Michael Sheen [Lucian], Scott Speedman [Michael] and Bill Nighy [Viktor].

06. Special Feature: Designing ‘UNDERWORLD’ [2003] [480i] [1.33:1] [10:46] This feature goes into great detail on what they based the look of the film ‘UNDERWORLD’ and especially the locations chosen by the director Len Wiseman to be filmed in that he specifically wanted the film to have that authentic look where vampires and werewolves would reside, the actual locations were in Budapest, Hungary, Gozsdu udvar, Budapest, Hungary, Budapest Subway, Budapest, Hungary and Mafilm, Budapest, Hungary. Contributors include: Bruton Jones [Film Art Director/Production Designer/Conceptual Artist] and Len Wiseman [Director].

06. Special Feature: The Look of ‘UNDERWORLD’ [2003] [480i] [1.33:1] [19:12] This feature explores the cinematography of the film ‘UNDERWORLD’ and the post production process that wanted to try and give the film that unique, gritty, graphic novel realistic look as possible. Len Wiseman also wanted to not have any scenes that had supermarkets or see a gas station where people are filling their cars with petrol, as it would not have been very cool, as it does not really exist in the real Underworld scenario. Also Len Wiseman points out that when it comes to the telephone, you will of course see no modern digital phone, it has to be the old fashioned type of telephone. On top of all that, Len Wiseman could not make the film with celluloid film, but had to be filmed with the digital format camera, as the director wanted to achieve a washed out look, especially relating to the world of the vampires and werewolves, and especially the fact that Len Wiseman hated the thought of the film being made in colour. Contributors include: Richard Wright [Producer], Tony Pierce-Roberts [Cinematographer] and James McQuaid [Visual Effects Supervisor/Co-Executive Producer].

07. Special Feature: Sights and Sounds [2003] [480i] [1.33:1] [9:07] Here with this final feature we have a great deal of behind-the-scenes clips from the actual filming of ‘UNDERWORLD’ and the in-depth preparation to seeing the laughter and good times had by all on the film set. Unfortunately once again we get to see poor Brad Martin [Stunt Coordinator] slip while carrying the step ladder, sadly we do not find out if he hurt himself too much.

Special Feature: Music Video: Worms of Earth by Finch [2003] [480i] [1.33:1] [2:45] This music video of the song called “Worms of the Earth” by Finch is complete with footage from the film. The song in my opinion is something that is well over the top and definitely over rated, which you may enjoy or hate and it is entirely up to you to choose. To my mind, if this was the best group available at the time for the video shoot, so why is it I have never heard of them or if they had any more hits in the future?

Special Feature: Storyboard Comparison [2003] [480i] [1.33:1] [6:42] Here we have a side-by-side comparison of a few key scenes with their original storyboard sketches. If you’re interested in sketches of this calibre, then this one is for you. What you get to view is that at the top of the screen is the black-and-white storyboard images and below it you get view scenes from the actual film and in that way you can compare the two images on view.

Finally, ‘UNDERWORLD’ [2003] is a totally wonderfully over the top and its caveats remains so totally engrossing, and totally compelling at the same time, especially with the very dramatic spooky atmosphere, enthusiastic action packed film that never gets boring, and at the same time maintains a mysterious watch ability, and has now become a totally unabashed scary cult classic. The last act sees the film finally living up to its potential and finding out whether Michael can survive being bitten by both a werewolf and a vampire, in finding out if he will be turning into a superior hybrid. The final battle scenes are genuinely thrilling, and the conclusion is very satisfying, which of course leads us to leaving the door wide open for a definite sequel, which of course makes the prospect of a sequel totally tantalising that eventually came to fruition and I cannot wait to review the other Blu-ray disc Vampires Vs Werewolves franchise. Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado
Le Cinema Paradiso
United Kingdom
12 people found this helpful
Alexx SchurrReviewed in the United States on December 6, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
My favorite old school vamp movie
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I will always enjoy this movie. Blue man in the end is still cheesy but I love the art in it.
joel wingReviewed in the United States on March 28, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Action monster movie with revolution as the underlying theme
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Underworld brought a new and original take to two mainstays of the monster genre, vampires and werewolves or lycans as they are called here. In this world the two were in constant battle. Selene (Kate Beckinsale) was a vampire Death Dealer tasked with hunting down and killing the lycans. Lucian (Michael Sheen) was the head of the lycans who had a plan to end the war by finding the last relative of the Corvinus family which gave birth to all the vampires and lycans. Lucian’s idea is to find this person and make them a hybrid vampire-lycan to re-unite the two bloodlines. This is of course opposed by the current vampire lord Viktor (Bill Nighy). The vampires definitely have the upper hand in this battle and the lycans are the oppressed. The plot then revolves around revolution by Lucian who wants to overthrow the status quo.

The action scenes are very well done with a mix of special effects for the lycans and gun play and acrobatics by the vampires. The revolution theme is also highlighted as the werewolves are literally living below the surface at the bottom while the vampires are on the surface, which is the top. The movie also has a heavy Gothic style in terms of architecture, the dark tones, and the black clothing, and pale faces. It goes well with the subject matter.

Here's my one complaint. When they find Corvunus' last relative and turn him into a hybrid it doesn't look a vampire-lycan mix. They could have done a lot better with that.

Overall, Underworld was a very good monster mash. It wasn’t scary at all, but rather an action movie with a smattering of the oppressed attempting to change their lot in life.
6 people found this helpful
Only-A-ChildReviewed in the United States on November 1, 2005
4.0 out of 5 stars
Extra Features Make the Unrated Directors Cut DVD
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The "Underworld" sequel will soon be out so now is a good time to revisit the original. Personally I enjoyed this film more than any high budget "mainstream movie" I have seen in years. But I can see many of the problems others have pointed out. Although the small action scenes work very well, the more elaborate scenes are disjointed, confused, and somewhat silly. If you compare the opening subway sequence to the train station sequence in "The Untouchables", you see an illustration of why less is better; and "Underworld" expends more ammo for less effect than anything this side of a "Godzilla" film.

Along with too much aggressive confusion is the silliest head-splitting in cinema history. Similar to the way Tarentino dispatched Lucy Lie in "Kill Bill Vol.1" (i.e. a delay in the actual detachment-I don't know which film did it first but Tarentine did it way better), the effects editor overlooked the need to show a slice in the head before it topples off. Surely this was just simple incompetence and not deliberate, because there are ways to show this (i.e. a line) that would still make it a relatively shocking scene.

The story itself breaks too many horror genre conventions and fails to generate much real suspense (although the climax is somewhat surprising). But ultimately these problems did not interfere with my enjoyment of the movie.

This was because it is first and foremost a Kate Beckensale's vehicle, as emphasized by recent trailer for the sequel. It is likely that your feeling about the film will depend on your impression of Beckensale. She has never looked better and I'm just talking about her face which I could watch in closeup for two hours without the slightest complaint. She is increasingly an absolute ringer for a 1940-ish Loretta Young. An earlier comment noted that: "This 30 year old has the figure and face of a magazine model, with the bored flat expression to match. Pour this tight little body into a reflective rubber suit and you have something to anchor your movie". All this is very true but add intelligence, subtlety and nuance not seen since Diana Rigg was playing Mrs. Peel. The film does not demonstrate her range (you have to watch "Alice Through the Looking Glass" for the best evidence of that) but it is one of those rare cases where you can't imagine anyone but her in the role.

The production design, lighting, and cinematography are all excellent and the DVD has some great features explaining these aspects of the production.

The film has a nice consistent look that fits very well with the story. I don't understand the comments that are negative overall, or what films these people are unfavorably comparing it to-can't be the garbage films that have been coming to mainstream theaters over the past few years. Bottom line, if you like the genre, appreciate stylish production design, and think highly of Ms. Beckensale you should make it a point to see this movie.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
3 people found this helpful
YossarianReviewed in the United States on January 30, 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars
Better than you'd think
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Underworld looked fairly light and cheesy in the previews, so I avoided a theater trip and just rented the DVD. I was mistaken. It's actually an entertaining romp that is mostly eye candy but does have some interesting acting in it. The somewhat goofy premise is as follows:
Long ago, a human was born whose body was able to rapidly alter itself to resist environmental conditions. This allowed him to survive a plague that destroyed his village. His children inherited that trait. One was bitten by a bat and spawned a race of vampires, while another was bitten by a wolf and spawned a race of werewolves (a.k.a. lycans). A third did neither and hence the trait also survived in 'normal' humans. This divergence of races was long ago forgotten, and vampires and werewolves are now at one another's throats (har har) over a millenia of real and imagined slights. Kate Beckinsale plays a melodramatically-named 'Death Dealer', a vampire devoted to fighting lycans, who falls in love with a lycan candidate. Unbeknownst to all but a few tricky lycans, that candidate is a descendent of the 'human' strain of the original sire of all three races, and has the potential to become a hybrid vampire/lycan. Much mayhem and throat biting commences.
Now, it's pretty obvious from the get-go that logic needs to get chucked out the window. Similarly, there's about as many sparks flying between Beckinsale and her love interest as there is between the mayonnaise and bologna in a bad deli sandwich. However the film does a surprisingly, almost effort-savingly good job of representing the various packs of night critters involved. The lycans impressively shape shift into massive, combat-oriented werewolves whenever angered (quite similar to another underappreciated recent film, 'Dog Soldiers'), and while the vampires don't do a lot of typically vampiric things like mind control or turning into packs of rats, they at least manage the 'gaunt and world-weary' thing well. You also get a sense of the hide-bound nature of their world, which is based on the endless rule of centuries-old elders and ancients, with newer vampires stuck in an immortality bereft of change or advancement. There are some great action sequences, a lot of fine back stabbing, and generally a great deal of enthusiasm on all sides when the fur starts flying. It really is almost enough to make up for the paper-thin plot and makes for a perfect summer movie..grab some popcorn and just enjoy the ride.
On a side note, the general plot and themes seem to have been basically lifted wholesale from an entire book/RPG system of vampires v. werewolves that has been published by White Wolf for decades, to such an extent that I thought White Wolf had sponsored the film. Apparently not, given the fact they're suing over it (see the 'quotes and trivia' link in the product description above). If you've ever heard of them, you may be interested in this film as well.
3 people found this helpful
JAMES MCCORMICKReviewed in the United States on September 15, 2011
4.0 out of 5 stars
Tooth & Claw vs. Guns & Knives!
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I could not wait to get in to the theater to see this film, as I'm a huge horror fan, but more specifically, a huge Werewolf fan & running a close second, Vampires. So a movie pitting the two against each other was just to much for me to resist! Was I disappointed?

Hell, no!

Despite all the bad rap this movie got as a horror clone to "The Matrix," fighting sequences, guns, the Vampire's black dress, especially, Selene's, this movie is it's own film. Filled with action, great effects, good story line, & fast paced, "Underworld" put a stake right through my heart! Especially good was Michael Sheen's character, "Lucian," feral, but sophisticated, he stole the show as the leader of the Lycans. Also particularly good was Bill Nighy's, "Viktor," one of the three leaders of the Vampire clan. His character was at once commanding, intelligent, & sublimely evil, all that you could want from a Vampire!

Kate Beckinsale's main character, "Selene," was very well done in portraying hard determination of hunting Lycan's without mercy. Digging out Kraven's plans to take over the Vampire clan using Lycans, but also an undeniable vulnerability toward Scott Speedman's other main character, "Michael Corvin." Michael Corvin was descended from the original immortal, Alexander Corvinus, who the Lycans feel will end the long war between them & the Vampires, by combing the cells of the two species into a super hybrid.

Also in this Blu-ray version there is about an extra five minutes of footage that really helps flesh things out.

I do have some complaints though. Scott Speedman's, "Michael Corvin" character was the weakest link in the chain acting wise, but I suppose in retrospect this was intended, for he had not a clue what was happing to him. Shane Brolly's character, "Kraven" was shrill & shallow, one wonders how he could orchestrate a coup over the Vampire clan, but also in retrospect, his character seems to fit in with the movie the more times it's viewed. I was disappointed in the lack of tooth & fang Vampire, Lycan confrontation, opting instead for guns & technology, but then again, retrospect wise, we don't fight our wars with sticks & stones anymore, so why should the Vampires & Lycans? One more thing, where are the female Lycans? Not nary a one to be seen in this film? With all this hairy tooth & fang machismo "Rin Tin Tin" going on, I think these male werewolves would enjoy a little soft furry support from a hot Lassie???

All in all though, this movie satisfies the horror fan in me, there is some flaws, but only enough for me to fault this movie very little. If you want hot Vampire vs. Werewolf action, this is the place to start!

4 stars out of 5 = Classic
5 people found this helpful
PhysicistReviewed in the United States on February 5, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
OK as long as you understand it is not profound or great drama
Verified purchase
This is basically an animate comic book. It seems strange that it is not based, at least directly, on a comic book, but it definitely has that feel; no doubt in part due to the influence of Blade, which IS based on a comic book. There is also some obvious imitation of The Matrix, and one scene is a total ripoff of Terminator 2.

My first real objection is that if this is supposed to be science fiction instead of supernatural horror, it needs to play by the rules of science. No virus can make one able to break Newton's Laws of Motion, for example, or can allow one to defy the Conservation of Energy. Magic, I don't know, but viruses certainly cannot do that.

Secondly, there needs to be some sort of rule about how much damage a monster can take before dying. I mean a rule better than plot convenience. In this movie, a hail of bullets can definitely kill a vampire or a werewolf, but only if the monster is a minor character. For the heroes and the end bosses, that rule does not apply.
2 people found this helpful
K. A. JonesReviewed in the United States on October 5, 2009
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Reference Movie for showing off BD & Sound
Verified purchase

I've watched all three movies in SD and HD on the Dish. We have the newest title on BD and after reading the reviews of both BD and DVD version I decided to grab this in Blu-Ray. The reviews I've read both pro and casual pretty much sum up my thoughts, this is a very good transfer in both image and sound. Let me break it down into two groups....

Image and visual - With the "Underworld" series don't expect a dazzeling colorful display. Instead it's a world of darks and grey with a touch of gothic appeal. While for some that may not be such a good thing it does show a great deal of contrast involving blacks against skin tones. And this is where this movie shines above all others. It has a great blend with surprising detail in this contrast especially with Kate Beckinsale dressed in black leather, with pitch black hair and a pale skin face. But it's all thruout the movie from the buildings, stone, chains, the rainy weather; the whole Underworld experience really shows up well with it's black & grey theme.

Sound - I was really surprised how well the DD 5.1 track did on this. Most will say, "oh well it's a gun battle here and there and what do you expect". Well that's just it, there's allot more. It's basically everywhere from the rain falling, to metal locks turning, splashes of water while running thru it, chains clanging and so on. One particular scene involved one Vampire with two whips lashing out at a Werewolf coming at him. It was if the whips were snapping back & forth side-to-side. And yes there are gun battles and plenty of them. The low end gets about an average workout but this is not Saving Private Ryan. It would've been extra icing if there was a DTS track.

Overall I would grade this close to "Reference Quality" for showing off BD and Sound. The high level of contrast with blacks and skin detail makes this a BD Standout. Sound wise a excellent choice for those who enjoy action and want it loud. Highly Recommended
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