Review: Underworld: Evolution

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Leather-clad "death dealer" Selene returns to the underworld in another chapter in the gothic vampire-lycan war.

In this new chapter, which picks up mere seconds after the first film, finds Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and her lycan-hybrid lover Michael (Scott Speedman) trying to escape the resurrection of Marcus (Tony Curran) and eventually unlock the secrets of their entwined bloodlines.

Their quest will uncover the origins of the war, an ancient tomb, and the devastating secrets of Marcus's twin brother, William.

Underworld: Evolution is in the purest sense of the word, a sequel. It picks up the story mere seconds after the first film, delivers more information on our favorite characters, and ups the ante. As sequels go, this is a pretty good one if you loved the first film.

The first film was drenched in vampire dogma which could bore you to tears in places, but by enhancing the tension and upping the ante, this sequel builds on the strengths of the first film.

I have always liked Beckinsale and her look is priceless to selling this gothic franchise, but I wish she could also do some other projects away from these films. I really miss her Last Days of Disco and Uncovered days.

One thing for me that I found more believable this time around was the chemistry between Beckinsale and Speedman. It seemed forced and awkward in the first film but much better here. You have to hand it to Speedman for doing a full-blown love scene with Beckinsale while her hubby is directing. That's gotta be difficult.

I really liked the new supporting player Tanis (Steven Mackintosh), the exiled vampire historian. Mackintosh is slimy, despicable, but capable at the same time. He is quite an interesting character which I wish we could have seen more of.

Some of the problems I had with the film were how everyone was impaled, shot, sliced, diced, and squashed but no one actually died until the director said, "Oh yeah, we need an ending." The graphic and gory violence is done quite well but its shock value weans and almost becomes laughable in parts.

I liked this sequel and these films definitely squash out any competition from the Blade franchise. I wouldn't mind seeing a third film but beyond that might be pushing it. (3 out of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.

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