Underworld DVD (Widescreen Special Edition)
• Actors: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Shane Brolly, Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy • Directors: Len Wiseman • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English • Number of discs: 1 • Rated: R (Restricted) • Run Time: 121 minutes
Underneath the city streets, amid the labyrinth of subway tunnels and gothic ruins, the two most notorious creatures of the night are embroiled in an all-out war that has been going on for centuries. It is the culmination of a blood-thirsty battle between the vampires and their mortal enemies, the werewolves. Stars: Kate Beckinsale (Pearl Harbor, My Life Without Me), Scott Speedman (My Life Without Me, TV's "Felicity").
Blade meets The Crow and The Matrix in Underworld, a hybrid thriller that rewrites the rulebook on werewolves and vampires. It's a "cuisinart" movie (blend a lot of familiar ideas and hope something interesting happens) in which immortal vampire "death dealers" wage an ancient war against "Lycans" (werewolves), who've got centuries of revenge--and some rather ambitious genetic experiments--on their lycanthropic agenda. Given his preoccupation with gloomy architecture (mostly filmed in Budapest, Hungary), frenetic mayhem and gothic costuming, it's no surprise that first-time director Len Wiseman gained experience in TV commercials and the art departments of Godzilla, Men in Black, and Independence Day. His work is all surface, no substance, filled with derivative, grand-scale action as conflicted vampire Selene (Kate Beckinsale, who later became engaged to Wiseman) struggles to rescue an ill-fated human (Scott Speedman) from Lycan transformation. It's great looking all the way, and a guaranteed treat for horror buffs, who will eagerly dissect its many strengths and weaknesses. --Jeff Shannon