Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans
- Director:Patrick Tatopoulos
- Cast:Kevin Grevioux, Steven Mackintosh, Rhona Mitra, Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen
- Release Date:January 22, 2009
- Running time:94 minutes
- Film Worth:$10.00
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“…moody, atmospheric, stylish…”
The first film in the Underworld franchise hit our screens back in 2003, with director Len Wiseman cooking up his tale of the ancient feud between Vampires and Lycans (werewolves), which had evolved over centuries and was still raging right up to the present day. He continued the story with Underworld: Evolution, where the heroine of the piece, Selene (Kate Beckinsale), discovers the true bloodlines between the Vampire and Lycan clans. Now, Wiseman has passed over the directing reins to novice Patrick Tatopoulos, who creates another chapter in the battle between the vamps and the wolves.
Set centuries prior, the prequel Rise Of The Lycans is an "origin" tale, and tells the story of Lycan (soon to be) leader Lucien (Michael Sheen), his forbidden love for Vampire Sonja (Rhona Mitra), and his struggle for freedom from the oppressive rule of head Vampire Viktor (Bill Nighy).
Even though the foundations had been laid with the two previous efforts, former creature designer Tatopoulos has created a stylish entry into this well worn horror franchise. Filming in the same blue hue, Tatopoulos has not changed anything too drastically, and the buckets of blood, violence and gore still reign supreme.
With the ancient story of the slaves (werewolves) rising up against their oppressive, tyrannic rulers (vampires), the film borrows heavily from various famous films of the past (Kubrick's Spartacus, Gibson's Braveheart) and glosses it over with a fantasy/horror fable sheen. There's admittedly nothing new here, but first time director Tatopoulos has created a moody, atmospheric, stylish work (shot in New Zealand), and loyal fans will find that there's still bite left in this franchise.