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September 22, 2003
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Underworld slightly underachieves

— Posted by John Campea

Perhaps the problem was my unrealistic high expectations, but I walked out of Underworld feeling a little bit cheated. What looked like a high budget visual effects feast for the eyes actually turned out to be a lower budget mood film that takes too many wrong turns with the plot and only short teases of battles between Vampires and Werewolves.

I should mention that the look of this film is excellent. It’s dark and decadent all at the same time. The costumes made me wish I had a higher personal wardrobe budget. The look set and single handedly sustained the mood of the film very well.

It should also be said that the performances were all respectfully adequate. Kate Beckinsale was particularly good in her role as a Vampire Death Dealer (Where exactly do you go to school to become a “Death Dealer”?), not to mention that she looked outrageously amazing in the aforementioned costumes (as did the rest of the cast).

The problems with the film basically revolve around a few too many and painfully self contradictory plot twists that had me whispering “oh come on” on more than one occasion. “These are the bad guys√¢‚Ǩ¬¶ no wait they’re the bad guys√¢‚Ǩ¬¶ no wait, umm√¢‚Ǩ¬¶ I’m going to get some more pop”.

Now, I’m the kind of guy who can forgive a bad movie IF it gives me a lot of fun stuff to look at. If nothing else, Underworld LOOKED like it would give me plenty of that. However, the commercials were really just an illusion. The only difference between humans and Vampires is that Vampires have colored contact lenses and fangs. That’s it. As far as the Werewolves are concerned, you hardly ever see them in the movie! Most of the time you just see slight glimpses or shadows. No real “FIGHT” happens between the Vamps and Weres in the film at all until the end between just 2 combatants.

There are a couple of fun scenes and decent visuals, but nothing that comes close to my admittedly high expectations. Its an ok film worth renting some afternoon.

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2 thoughts on “Underworld slightly underachieves

  1. Underworld is underwhelming. Despite a fantastic style and mood, this movie fails to do what a movie is supposed to do: entertain. Lack of character development is the major strike against the film, especially in the opening sequence. The opening action scene fails to generate any interest because I has no idea who was who or what was happening. I has no connection to the characters, so I really didn’t care what happened. Similar to the opening of Matrix Reloaded… Decent acting helps, but for an action movie, theres hardly any action. I was let down greatly by this movie. Hopefully the sequel and prequel will be better…
    1 1/2 stars (out of 4)

  2. Attend several screenings at your local independant movie theatre. Leave many comments. Become accustomed to our silly movie centered life. Your problem with then be vanquished.

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