Thursday, February 09, 2006


By Reymundo Salao

As the war between the legions of the Vampires and the Lycans (werewolves) simmers down with the death of Lycan leader Lucien and the vampire elder Viktor, there is a new dread that threatens mankind. The other elder, Marcus awakens from his centuries old slumber, and in his awakening, he intends to unlock secrets that can enable him to finally spread his wings of evil upon the entirety of mankind, making himself a god. It is now up to the vampire Selene and the Lycan hybrid Michael Corvin to stop this from happening.

UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION is the sequel of the instant cult hit UNDERWORLD. Its storyline continues the dangerous fate of vampire soldier Selene and the hybrid Michael Corvin. While the first movie is about the Vampire and Lycan conflict, the discovery of Michael’s powers, Selene’s uncovering of her real past, and the tales of conspiracy and betrayal, “Evolution” intends to provide more answer to the questions that surround the Underworld.

Aside from a prologue flashback sequence into centuries past, the story proper opens directly after the events that transpired in the first UNDERWORLD movie. So if you happen to have a DVD or VCD copy of the first movie, it is best to watch it before you go watch this movie. If you have not watched or have no idea whatsoever about the first UNDERWORLD movie, then you can just sit back and enjoy all the action, stunts, gore (or lack of gore, as rendered by the MTRCB's annoying cuts), special effects, and the explosive eye candy of this movie. Probably to meet up with the PG-13 rating that the MTRCB gave, which is wrong because this film was intended to be an R-rating movie. The US's MPAA lists the movie as "Rated R for pervasive strong violence and gore, some sexuality/nudity and language".

UNDERWORLD has a massive cult following; especially appealing to those who are into gothic subculture, into cult monster flicks, and those who are just into plain hardcore action. But apart from your ordinary default-type, plain eye-candy action, and ultra-cliche monster horrors, UNDERWORLD has that ardent following because of its intriguing storyline, and because director Len Wiseman does deliver this movie with an appealing style reminiscent of movies like "The Crow" (the first one directed by Alex Proyas) and "The Matrix", which stand out from just your typical action flick. Wiseman’s visual eye for the film reflects Proyas’ tendency to deliver a gothic monochromatic atmosphere that works for movies like these. Wiseman also manages to balance well the dialogue, the mystery, the thrills, and the action, into a movie that never is boring. If you were gravely disappointed by the last “Blade” movie, worry not, “Evolution” may be that remedy for you.

Of course, the goddess-hot Kate Beckinsale (who is married to the director Len Wiseman…LUCKY GUY!) is, herself, the movie's main eye-candy, especially in all that super-tight outfit. She plays the lead character Selene with just the right mixture of grace, enigma, allure, and ferocity as an action heroine. I'm just sorry to inform all you guys that the supposed steamy love scene was cut down by the MTRCB as well.

In pure fairness, one must expect this movie to indeed be a macho atom bomb of hard rock action eye candy. Incredible jumps, unbelievable martial arts, big guns, monster fights, and a rockin' bad-ass gargoyle-like vampire with ultra-wicked bat wings. (I freakin' love it!) If you're looking for some Oscar-worthy material, go watch “Brokeback Mountain” with a guy-friend. The problem with critics hating movies like UNDERWORLD is that they want each and every movie ever made to be something that senior-citizen Humanities teachers would let their high school students watch for a film reaction term paper. No, “Underworld: Evolution” is far from being the kind of movie you go to sleep to.

Perhaps the critics were just too ignorant of caring to understand the cool depth of the movie. They would immediately push their verdict calling this a stupid eye candy just because they weren’t able to understand the storyline, which really is actually an interesting complex tale of age-old conflicts and tragic revelations. If you think of dumb clichĂ© action films, you think of movies like “Bad Boys 2” and “2 Fast 2 Furious”, but NOT this movie. UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION is far from being dull and predictable; this film is the ultimate scorching hot action film of the season.


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