Hard to believe, but it’s been over two years since Underworld bowed on the screen. For those unfamilar, Underworld told the story of Selene, a Death Dealer (basically, a vampire that hunts down werewolves), who discovers a conspiracy that could break open the vampire/werewolf conflict. It wasn’t a great movie, but it wasn’t without its charms–for a movie in which the major characters were all vampires it sure didn’t seem like a vampire movie.
Now, the sequel’s come out. Underworld: Evolution. And how is it?
Frankly, it’s not particularly good.
The story makes very little sense. If you’ve not seen the first film, Evolution doesn’t offer a helping hand–you need to remember the events of the first film, because Evolution picks up about twenty minutes after Underworld ends. But even knowing Underworld doesn’t help, because Evolution is plotted by what I call the “What the fuck?” method of plot generation–rather than try and explain the last five minutes on screen, the writer comes up with something jaw-droppingly atrocious to obscure how convoluted and inane the story is. Things happen, but there’s no reason, no motive. Things happen with no set-up, no explanation. The audience will, no doubt, sit there and say, “What the fuck?”
The film lacks compelling characters. Tony Curran’s Marcus, though he possesses an interesting backstory, just isn’t that exciting as the film’s villain. Scott Speedman, so useless in the first movie, is even less interesting here. And as with the first film, Evolution seems to be entirely a showcase for Kate Beckinsale’s physical attributes. Even Sir Derek Jacobi seems wasted here.
Underworld: Evolution. Really, really bad. Not recommended at all.