Underworld: Evolution (2006)
Main cast: Kate Beckinsale (Selene), Scott Speedman (Michael Corvin), Derek Jacobi (Lorenz Macaro), Steven Mackintosh (Andreas Tanis) and Tony Curren (Marcus Corvinus)
Director: Len Wiseman


Underworld: Evolution continues from where Underworld left off, and because there is a three-year gap between these two movies, I suggest you watch the previous movie first before you tackle this one, or else you may end up spending considerable time trying to figure out what is happening on the screen.

So, where we last saw them, Selene and Michael are on the run, and Michael has become... special. He's a hybrid, after all, and there isn't any other like him at the moment. They are on the run from both the vampires and lycans, and Selene is hoping that she could awaken Marcus, the last remaining vampire elder, and convince him to give the two of them sanctuary. Unfortunately, Marcus is already awake, and let's just say that he makes the bad guy in the previous movie look like a benevolent Samaritan as he has even bigger plans of conquest and domination. It looks like Selene and Michael have only leaped from the frying pan right into the fire...

This one is pretty similar in terms of feel and pacing to Underworld, so anyone who enjoys the previous movie will want to see this one for closure. Conversely, those who couldn't get into the previous movie will have no reason to watch this one. I have no issues with the previous movie, and thus, I find this one a pretty decent, if somewhat dumb, time-waster. This one, like the previous movie, isn't high art, but it delivers plenty of action to give me an excuse to enjoy the popcorn.

The CGI is hideous, though. The lycans are pretty iffy as they are, especially during the transformation scenes, and Michael as a hybrid is hideous to the point of unintentional hilarity. Unfortunately, he gets the spotlight considerably in his cartoon form, so there's plenty of ugliness to go around. Marcus in his demon-like form is just a bit better - which is to say, still ugly but not as ugly as Michael.

Speaking of Michael, he has a pretty explicit love scene with Selene here, in the sense that there's plenty of skin bared, and it has me wondering whether Scott Speedman found it odd to go naked and get bossed around for this scene by Kate Beckinsale's husband. Yes, he's naked, because his dangling bits are clearly visibly at one point of the scene. The things one has to do for art, I guess.

On the bright side, Selene is a stronger character here. On the down side, Michael is the stupid and reckless one this time. Perhaps it's some kind of law that only one can be smart in such a relationship.

At any rate, this one is quite entertaining, although it doesn't have anything to make it as memorable as I'd have liked. Selene may pose prettily with guns, but I think Milla Jovovich's Alice from the Resident Evil movies is a far more interesting kind of action heroine. But hey, it's pretty fun to enjoy some popcorn with this movie, and therefore, it succeeds in doing what it set out to do.

Rating: 77


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