Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans (18)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarNo StarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner26/01/2009

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 100 mins

Uninspired prequel-slash-threequel that seems to have contractual obligation written all over it.

What's it all about?
Directed by Patrick Tatopoulos, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is a prequel and third film in the Underworld franchise. Set in the Dark Ages, the story traces the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires, led by Vampire king Viktor (Bill Nighy), and their onetime slaves, the Lycans, a clan of vicious werewolves.

A voiceover explains that a young Lycan named Lucian (Michael Sheen) has been enslaved by Viktor and reared in captivity; he even makes weapons that the vampires use to kill his fellow werewolves. However, Lucian is secretly in love with Viktor's daughter Sonja (Rhona Mitra) and when their affair is discovered, Lucian rallies the werewolves to rise up against the vampires and gain their freedom.

The Good
Michael Sheen is about a hundred times better than the film really deserves – he's the reason the film gets two stars instead of one. He's also the source of a number of unintentionally funny moments, when you get a flash of his Tony Blair performance and start imagining Blair as a werewolf.

The Bad
Unfortunately, the rest of the film is something of a disappointment: Bill Nighy lets his coloured contacts do all the acting, while Rhona Mitra (described by one critic as "the Lidl Kate Beckinsale") is great at the hard-faced ass-kicking stuff, but not so great at selling the tragic love story side of things. Similarly, the supporting characters (notably Steven Mackintosh as Tannis) are painfully under-written, so it's hard to care about anyone other than Lucian, who we already know will survive.

In addition, the film isn't remotely scary and the frequently dodgy CGI makes the film look like Attack of the CGI Werewolves at times. Worse, the fight scenes are choppily edited, so that it's often hard to tell (or care) who's killing who.

Worth seeing?
In short, this is an uninspired, poorly written threequel that has very little to recommend it, unless you're some sort of Underworld completist… or masochist.

Film Trailer

Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans (18)
Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans has been reviewed by 1 users
image
01 Shaun the Sheep Movie (tbc)

Shaun the Sheep

image
02 The Minions Movie (tbc)

Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock

image
03 The Interview (tbc)

Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, James Franco

image
04 Black Sea (15)

Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Tobias Menzies

image
05 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (PG)

Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Dan Stev...

Content updated: 21/12/2014 20:54

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (12A)

Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves come to the end of their journey in the third and final part of Peter Jackson's epic adaptation of Tolkien's novel.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films