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 Underworld 2
 Critic's Rating
 Date Posted
   4th February, 2006
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Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Tony Curran
Director: Len Wiseman

You don't have to wait for the next 'Scary movie' to see a spoof that borrows almost all of its ideas, basic plot elements and jumbled story structure from most major horror and action films from the last few years. 'Underworld evolution', the sequel to the ridiculously unoriginal vampire meets werewolves flick, is back and sucks dry everything about the Blade, Alien, Terminator, Tomb raider, Matrix [insert more titles as you go along identifying them] series hoping that somehow under the mishmash of numbing gunplay no one will notice. I've called Underworld 2 a spoof, because that is what it certainly must be considering how many laughs it also provides along the way.

Attempting to write about the storyline presents a few major challenges for me. One, there simply isn't much to talk about this is your basic scheme and deceive by a baddie followed by more infighting and warfare between vampires and werewolves, before a big secret revelation from the past annihilates all senses. Secondly, the perpetrator behind the camera, director Len Wiseman (despite the prefix in his surname) obviously has great faith in his creation and is convinced that people have seen the original some half dozen times and remember all the characters and multiple situations from the original. I obviously didn't care to do any intensive research about the significance of the history behind the raging war before stepping into the screening and was hence staring quizzically (and sometimes comically) at everything happening.

I'm all for trashy entertainment if it doesn't take itself too seriously. Underworld Evolution unfortunately is as grim as a funeral and just as dreary. That doesn't mean there is no opportunity presented to roll in laughter just the reminder of the scene where Michael, the half vampire, half werewolf hybrid played by Scott Speedman, claws open buckets of black paint and splashes it on a window, in nifty slow motion no less, to prevent sunlight from harming Selene (Kate Beckinsale in tight leather), is enough to send me back into chuckles. I can't really decide for myself whether to completely discourage readers from watching this, after all, and despite everything else, I can't claim to have not been entertained by the film, even if it was not in the intended manner of the people behind it. Any film that remains so radiantly ignorant about the fact that all its visuals (choice of camera angles, stunts) have been done before in better films and in better form (story, structure, coherence) deserves to be given at least one star for audaciousness. - Faizan Rashid

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