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Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
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Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

4.1 48
Director: Patrick Tatopoulos, Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, Rhona Mitra

Cast: Patrick Tatopoulos, Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, Rhona Mitra

 

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The Underworld series gets the prequel treatment with this third outing that fleshes out the story of the ancient war between the vampiric Death Dealers and their wolfman counterparts, the Lycans. F/X technician Patrick Tatopoulos (Godzilla, Independence Day

Overview

The Underworld series gets the prequel treatment with this third outing that fleshes out the story of the ancient war between the vampiric Death Dealers and their wolfman counterparts, the Lycans. F/X technician Patrick Tatopoulos (Godzilla, Independence Day) steps out of the effects lab and into the director's chair with this entry, which sees stars Bill Nighy returning as Viktor, the king of his vampire clan and father to Sonja (Rhona Mitra), a free-minded heir who tests her parent by heading outside of their castle's borders and doing battle with the ravenous werewolves of the surrounding area. Sonja also has a secret love affair with Lucian (Michael Sheen), the first of the Lycans, a race of lycanthropes who were bred by the vampires to be slaves and protectors to the bloodsucking clan. As the news of their love spreads to Viktor, ranks of the vampire elite help Lucian escape, leading to a revolution of the Lycans against their masters and setting up the mythology of the later latexed adventures featured in Len Wiseman's two previous films.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
The battle between pleather-bound vampires and scrunchy-faced werefolk rages on, this time in a medieval setting, in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. This time, FX guru Patrick Tatopoulos takes the directing reins and, in doing so, crafts what could be the best that the series has to offer. While still far too serious for its own good, this entry manages to thrill without falling back on its second-rate Matrix roots. With no frenetic gunplay and tight close-ups of latex-covered rumps, the picture is freer to focus on its mythology, which was always the best thing the B-flick series had going for it. Boosted by a fantastic performance by Bill Nighy, Lycans has just enough bite to keep one interested as the backstory is fleshed out in this singular take on the clash between the top two creatures of the night. Filling in the tale first told in the original Underworld flick, the prequel recalls the time when vampires had enslaved the half-man, half-beasts known as the Lycans. The plot picks up where Viktor (Bill Nighy), the leader of this particular bloodsucking tribe, spares the life of the first Lycan he encounters, Lucien (Michael Sheen). As the years go on, the vampires take advantage of this new race by breeding them as their slaves and protectors. As fate would have it, Viktor's daughter, Sonja (Rhona Mitra), falls in love with Lucien, which inevitably leads to the revolt of the Lycans, with Viktor on one side and the forbidden union of his kin and Lucien on the other. As with many prequels, the trick is keeping an audience's interest despite them already knowing how it will end. In this case, Rise of the Lycans is fairly successful. The change to a medieval setting certainly helps things, as do the meaty acting chops of its warring leads, Sheen and Nighy. Mitra once again does a formidable job, as does the impossibly deep-voiced Kevin Grevioux, as the future co-leader of his monster tribe. Though the story does fall more into archetypal forbidden love territory, it's the cast -- as well as the razzle-dazzle FX -- that really keeps one's interest. The inclusion of straight-up werewolves is a big plus, even if the difference between them and Lycans isn't nearly as clear as it should be. One the downside, the picture is really missing that vampiric bite that it should have. While previous entries were hampered by their bloodsuckers manning handguns, this picture similarly falls back on swords and armor to get its toothy villains through the fight. Thankfully, one should know what to expect out of this series by now, which is partly what works best for this third feature. By switching things up just enough, Tatopoulos keeps the acting true while delivering on the massive action one would expect from hoards of lycanthropes storming castles filled with debutant vamps. While it may not be "Citizen Canine," Rise of the Lycans tells its tale competently and without the derivative nature of its predecessors. While the genre world will still pine for a rock 'em-sock 'em brawl between the pillars of the monster world after seeing this, they could certainly do a whole lot worse than what's on display here.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/12/2009
UPC:
0043396292109
Original Release:
2009
Rating:
R
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
9,277

Special Features

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans - from script to screen; The origin of the fued; Re-creating the dark ages; The look of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans; Music video: deathclub by William Control; Filmmaker commentary; Blu-ray exclusive special features: Digital copy of the film for PC, PSP, Mac or iPod; Cinechat; Behind the castle walls - picture-in-picture; Lycanthropes around the world - interactive map

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Sheen Lucian
Bill Nighy Viktor
Rhona Mitra Sonja
Steven Mackintosh Tannis
Kevin Grevioux Raze
David Aston Coloman
Geraldine Brophy Nobleman's Wife
Alexander Carroll Young Lucian
Elizabeth Hawthorne Orsova
Jason Hood Death Dealer
Craig Parker Sabas
Tim Raby Janosh
Peter Tait Gyorg
Shane Brolly Kraven

Technical Credits
Patrick Tatopoulos Director
Peter Amundson Editor
Dirk Blackman Screenwriter
Beth DePathe Executive Producer
Ross Emery Cinematographer
Paul Haslinger Score Composer
Dan Hennah Production Designer
Jane Holland Costumes/Costume Designer
David Kern Co-producer
Gary Lucchesi Producer
Danny McBride Original Story,Screenwriter
Howard McCain Screenwriter
James McQuaide Executive Producer
Robert Orr Original Story
Eric Reid Executive Producer
Tom Rosenberg Producer
Skip Williamson Executive Producer
Henry Winterstein Executive Producer
Len Wiseman Original Story,Producer
Richard S. Wright Producer

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Underworld: Rise of the Lycans 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
venomNcarnage More than 1 year ago
When I heard about this movie I thought it was gonna be classic because it had all the elements of a great fantasy film. Dramatic war and tragic romance. I felt the story could have been done a little better. It was entertaining but they're was nothing that stood out from the first 2. I dont know how to explain it but there was something mising here. Still good but Id say its just average.
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sugargirl84 More than 1 year ago
The whole story is very sad. It's also incredibly violent. The whipping scenes were a little to long and hard to watch. Don't watch this with children.
Want-to-write More than 1 year ago
Actually the first of the trilogy if you follow the plot, this film explains the history of the Lycan uprising. Entertaining, not intellectual. Dark movie with quite a bit of gore, but a worthwhile viewing!
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