Film review: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans


WANT to see David Frost as a werewolf? That's the only possible reason to check out this awful prequel to the mystifyingly successful werewolves-vs-vampires Underworld franchise. Starring Frost/Nixon's Michael Sheen as a howling-at-the-moon lycanthrope who leads a revolution against his Nosferatu-like master (Bill Nighy), this winds the clock back a couple of centuries from the present-day-setting of the first two films (Underworld and Underworld: Evolution) and proceeds to outline in wholly unnecessary and mind-numbingly dull detail the seeds of the enmity between these two races of mythical creatures, something that has already been outlined in the earlier instalments. Thus we see how Lucian (Sheen, reprising his role from Underworld: Evolution) began life as a werewolf enslaved by the vampire king Viktor (Nighy) and how he was raised to kill his own kind. We also see how he fell in love with Viktor's daughter (Rhona Mitra) and how their love brought about the all-out-war that has lasted centuries. Directed by former special effects artist Patrick Tatopoulos, it is shoddily paced and appears to have been lit with a candle, presumably to hide its obvious budget shortfalls. Fantasy movie fans can, however, swoon to the many interminable scenes featuring councils of elders delivering exposition in stentorian voices.

Back to the top of the page