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Underworld Evolution continues the saga of a war between the aristocratic Death Dealers and the barbaric Lycans (werewolves). The film, set in a gothic Hungary, traces the beginnings of the ancient feud between the two tribes as Selene (Kate Beckinsale), the beautiful vampire heroine, and Michael (Scott Speedman), the lycan hybrid, try to unlock the secrets of their bloodlines. The ruthless intrigue and forbidden love takes them into the battle to end all wars as the immortals must finally face their retribution.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
It's less than two years since Underworld hit the screens, but this sequel would be more aptly called a carbon copy. The main difference is that Derek Jacobi brings his gravitas to the role of Corvinus, the father to the brothers who began the whole war of attrition 800 years ago. One was bitten by a bat and became a vampire, the other bitten by a wolf became a werewolf. Both are eternal, super powerful, more or less indestructible and ugly.

Written and directed by the same team, Underworld Evolution is a little confusing to follow, until things are tidied up in the climactic blood baths in the final act. On the other hand, there are some fine dramatic scenes in the first half that show an ambition to be taken seriously. This is joltingly undone in those grotesque and graphic fights between creatures which is what the film's primary audience will have come to see. Some at my screening found the splatter quite funny, but then they are critics.

I would repeat all my comments made about the original, that the film is stylish but doesn't really re-imagine the vampire genre, cluttering the screen with creatures that no longer shock or surprise us. It's also a bit too long to pack a mean punch.

There's an audio commentary by director Len Wiseman on the DVD, five featurettes including a behind the scenes feature.

Published May 18, 2006

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(US, 2005)

CAST: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Bill Nighy, Shane Brolly, Tony Curran, Michael Sheen, Derek Jacobi, Steven Mackintosh

PRODUCER: Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg

DIRECTOR: Len Wiseman

SCRIPT: Danny McBride (Len Wiseman story)


EDITOR: Nicolas de Toth

MUSIC: Marco Beltrami

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Patrick Tatopoulos

RUNNING TIME: 106 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: January 19, 2006

PRESENTATION: Widescreen 2.35:1 / Enhanced for 16:9 TVs

SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary by director Len Wiseman ; 'Bloodlines: From script to screen' - a behind the feature on the making of the movie; 5 additional featurettes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: May 17, 2006

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