Underworld: Rise of The Lycans
The third installment in the Underworld series brings us the tale of Victor and Lucien. This is the beginning of what would be the first Underworld and after seeing it I felt like going home to rewatch the first two to get the full gyst of the story. Who would have thought that the story would be so deep but I ended up with questions after seeing this one that would only be answered by watching them all back to back.
I have to say I was impressed with the overall look and feel of Underworld 3 not limited to the frightening Lycans. The vampires were beautiful in the pale, drawn ways that they should be and the Lycans were greasy, dirty and unkempt. The forest is my one gripe which seemed a bit unreal in the dark foreboding way it was shot. Lycans bouncing from tree to tree and the perpetual night that the movie stays within (being that vamps cannot survive in sunlight) lends to the eeie overtone of everything.
Victor played by Bill Nighy is the shining star in this movie, his facial expressions being enough to convey his emotions even without uttering a word. As showcased in the first Underworld, Victor is a swords master and a cold, calculating ruler with a solitary love which is his daughter. The intense blue eyes traced beneath his grim cowl is enough to make the audience respect the mystery in the character and aside from Michael Sheen’s well done portrayal of Lucien, I would say that Viktor was the show stopper.
I would be lying if I said that Rhona Mitra was not a big draw for me in seeing this. Unfortunately the story is not entirely centered around her so fanbois will only get a couple glimpses of their heroine instead of seeing her center camera the full hour and a half. Reminiscent of Selene from the original Underworld, Rhona’s Sonja is a quiet, defiant heiress who wields a wicked blade the way that Selene wielded the dual pistols in the first one. Her portrayal was decent and although I wish there were more lines and face time for Sonja, I have to say it was a solid performance.
Honorable mention goes to the big bad wolf “Raze” of the original, played again by actor/writer Kevin Grevioux. The lighting was excellent, the cinematography dark and fantastic, but the music was not memorable in the least. The sound however was on point and loud. The crack of the whip, the sounds of bone and sinew snapping into place as humans changed into Lycans and the clashing of blades sounded off nicely amidst the crack of thunder and rustling bodies.
I am quite sure there are no awards to be won by Underworld: Rise of The Lycans, but if you’ve been a fan of the series, you will find this last one to be not only relevant but cleaner than the previous and in my opinion the best of the lot. One of the common things stated by friends of mine as we left the theater was “this one is getting bought!” and you better believe it.