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Underworld: Evolution
DVD disk
Jun 30, 2006 By: Quigles
Underworld: Evolution order
Director:
Len Wiseman

Actors:
Kate Beckinsale
Scott Speedman
Tony Curran

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Right off the heels of the first film, this battle between Death Dealers (vampires) and Lycans (werewolves) is still at bay. And blood hits the fan when Marcus, the first of his kind, is awakened and wants to free his Lycan brother from imprisonment.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Back in 2003, I labeled UNDERWORLD my biggest disappointment of the year. Aside from Kate Beckinsale's amazing body in skin-tight leather, there was just nothing about it that really "wowed" me. So it shouldn't come as a shock that I had no real hopes for the sequel, and even upon getting it to review, I was still very resilient to pop it in my DVD player. But once I finally sat down, actually got it playing, and let my preconceived notions drift away, I actually found myself enjoying it quite a bit. Color me surprised.

Now, I'm not saying that this movie is better than its predecessor - I can't know that for sure until I re-watch the first movie again. Plus, there are a number of other things to consider, like the fact that I had zero expectations set for this flick, or that my tastes in film might've changed immensely since the first movie was released. Or it could just be that UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION wipes the floor with the predecessor. I can't really say for sure... But what I can say is this: This sequel is loaded with gore, non-stop action, and even a bit of nudity for the kids. That pretty much marks off every major category on my checklist for "fun times", which is exactly what I had.

The basic story at hand isn't all that interesting, although it was rather nice to have something a little more complex than just the dumb-as-nails approach to the Dracula story (which is what I thought it was, based on the trailers). I especially liked how Marcus, the new maniacal baddie, used his wings in a very slick (not to mention brutal) way for disposing of characters. On top of that, there are also plenty of kick-ass fights and shootouts, courtesy of Kate Beckinsale and her shiny outfit. Now that's how an action heroine should be!

[ RANT ] What in the hell was up with those constant flashbacks of scenes that had just happened, like, 20 minutes earlier? Man, was that frustrating! I mean, just how dumb do these filmmakers think we are? Ugh, I could go on, but then I'll just get angry. And trust me, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry... because then I have this weird physical response where I get all constipated, which in turns makes me even crankier than I was to begin with, and then I start making nasty remarks, and well... it's just not a pretty picture. So lets not go there. [ END RANT ]
THE EXTRAS
There's a solid amount of extras featured here, most of which are featurettes. And just so I don't have to repeat myself, all the featurettes feature way too much footage from the actual movie.

Audio Commentary (with writer-director Len Wiseman, production designer Patrick Tatopoulos, 2nd unit director Brad Martin, and editor Nicolas De Toth): A very interesting and informative track that has Wiseman and company dissecting the movie and divulging various neat tidbits about the production. If you're wondering how a certain scene was made, then watch the commentary - they talk about everything.

Bloodlines: From Script to Screen (13:25): This particular extra is focused on the story, which in turn makes it feel like nothing more than a standard promo featurette. The cast and crew discuss their thoughts on the movie (praise, praise, praise...), and some of the issues concerning the filmmakers trying to get the sequel put together are discussed.

The Hybrid Theory (12:59): A neat featurette that focuses on the movie's CGI effects, as well as many of the practical ones.

Making Monsters Roar (11:56): This making-of featurette deals with how the creatures were created, whether it be through masks, models, or animatronics. Very cool.

The War Rages On (9:54): A stunt-related featurette that shows how a lot of wirework was used to for various aspects of the movie (fighting, flying, etc.). I like watching people fly across rooms, so I enjoyed it.

Building a Saga (12:56): This not-so-interesting featurette discusses the various designs and locations the movie had to offer.

Music and Mayhem (11:49): This featurette is all about the movie's sound design and musical composition. Mildly interesting.

Also included is a Music Video entitled "Her Portrait In Black" by Atreyu, as well as 14 Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I didn't really "groove" to the original UNDERWORLD, but for some reason, this sequel just clicked for me. I'm not really sure whether that means it's a better movie or not (as my tastes have changed since I saw the first flick), but I do know that I had a helluva time watching it! And that's what counts, right? If you're in the mood for lots of gruesome kills, tons and tons of action, and Kate Beckinsale looking smokin' hot, then you should dig UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION as much as I did.
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