REVIEW: UNDERWORLD 5: BLOOD WARS

 

CAST

Kate Beckinsale (Total recall)
Theo James (Divergent)
Charles Dance 9Dracula Untold)
Lara Pulver (Da Vinci’s Demons)
Tobias Menzies (Game of Thrones)
Bradley James (Izombie)
Peter Andersson (The Girl Who Played With Fire)
James Faulkner (X-Men: First Class)
Daisy Head (The Syndicate)
Oliver Stark (Into The Badlands)

The remaining vampire covens are on the verge of being wiped out by the Lycans. Both species are searching for Selene: the vampires seeking justice for the deaths of Viktor and Marcus, and the Lycans, led by Marius, intending to use her to locate Eve, whose blood holds the key to building an army of vampire-werewolf hybrids.Semira, a council member of the Eastern Coven, wishes for Selene to be granted clemency so that she can train the Eastern Coven’s neophyte Death Dealers. To that end, Semira enlists Thomas to plead Selene’s case before the full council. Thomas succeeds and Selene arrives at the Eastern Coven with David. Selene is betrayed by Varga, Semira’s ally and lover, who poisons her and slaughters the Death Dealers at the behest of Semira. Semira begins draining Selene of her blood, which she intends to drink to gain Selene’s power, but is interrupted when Thomas and David come to Selene’s rescue. In the ensuing fight, Thomas is killed delaying Semira and Varga so that David can escape with an incapacitated Selene.The pair seeks refuge with the Nordic Coven. They are pursued by Alexia, an Eastern Coven vampire dispatched by Semira. Selene and David arrive at Vador, the stronghold of the Nordic Coven, where Vidar, the Elder, reveals that David was the son of the High Elder Amelia, making him the legitimate heir to the Eastern Coven.The Nordic Coven is attacked by Marius and the Lycans, who were alerted by Alexia, Marius’s mole and lover. The Nordic vampires, led by Vidar’s daughter Lena, fight with Selene and David. Selene engages in single combat with Marius, who demands to know Eve’s location; Selene insists she does not know the location, being confirmed by Alexia by tasting some of Selene’s blood. Marius sounds the retreat for his troops and Selene, wishing to pass on to the sacred world, slides herself under the now-broken ice of the lake.Upon Alexia’s return to the Eastern Coven’s castle, she informs Semira of the events at the Nordic Coven. Semira kills her, revealing to have always known of Alexia’s treachery, and has been manipulating Alexia for her own ends. David returns to the Eastern Coven and presents himself as its rightful heir. Semira is arrested by none other than Varga, whose ultimate loyalty is to the rightful leadership of the coven. She is subsequently imprisoned in the dungeons. The coven comes under attack by Marius and his forces. The Lycans blow holes in the castle’s walls, letting in sunlight, killing most of the vampires. David continues fighting, only to find himself face to face with Marius. Selene suddenly reappears, in a Nordic appearance and coat over her normal Death Dealer uniform. It is revealed that the Nordic Coven revived her through their passing to sacred world ritual and in doing so new abilities are enabled. She swiftly begins dispatching the Lycans, as the rest of the Nordic Coven, led by Lena, join the fight. While Selene is making her way through the castle, the guards in the dungeons are killed by Semira, who then escapes from her cell. Selene and David find Marius, but David is waylaid by Semira. As Marius and Selene’s fight continues, a drop of Marius’s blood lands on Selene’s lips. She is suddenly flooded by a series of blood memories in which Marius finds Michael. She sees Marius capturing Michael and slitting his throat in order to collect his blood and consume it. Believing that Michael is dead, she bites her own wrist, using her own blood memories of the time she has spent with Michael, Eve, and David to fuel her rage. Although Marius has transformed, Selene rips out his spine, killing him instantly. David manages to kill Semira. He shows Marius’s severed head to the Lycans, and forcefully tells them to retreat.In the aftermath, Selene, David, and Lena are chosen as the new Elders. It is revealed that after being resurrected at the Nordic Coven, Selene was reunited with Eve, who has been following her mother through their telepathic link.Dark, tense and in true under world style. Great viewing and good to see there’s the potential for more!

 

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REVIEW: UNDERWORLD 4: AWAKENING

CAST

Kate Beckinsale (Total Recall)
Michael Ealy (Flashforward)
Stephen Rea (V For Vendetta)
India Eisley (Kite)
Theo James (Divegrent)
Sandrine Holt (Starship Troopers 2)
Chalres Dance (Game of Thrones)
Kris Holden-Ried (Lost Girl)
Robert Lawrenson (Sanctuary)
Panou (Flash Gordon)

Six months after the events of Underworld: Evolution, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) was captured by humans during the purge, when she and Michael were planning on leaving. Eventually both government officials and the public learn about the existence of vampires and Lycans. A crusade and all-out war has begun: study and eradicate. After being imprisoned in cryogenic suspension for 12 years, Selene manages to escape the facility. During the same time, another subject has also escaped the same facility that Selene was in. That subject was Eve (India Eisley), her hybrid daughter who is the key to ending the war by “curing” vampires and Lycans of their “infection”. After escaping she sees flashes of someone’s point of view and, believing it is Michael, she follows the flashes, leading her down into a garbage chute. She confronts a young vampire named David (Theo James) who has been following her, when they realize that Lycans live there underground. Seeing flashes of Lycans hunting the person she is connected to, she eliminates many of them until they flee and she confronts the being who is not Michael, but Eve after getting her out of the tunnels. They are chased in a van by the three Lycans and after a lengthy chase Eve rips one Lycan’s head in half while David and Selene shoot and stab the other two. On the way Selene realizes that Eve is not healing from a wound she suffered during her fight and is growing weak. David takes them to his coven.

At the coven most of the vampires are less than thrilled that David brought the infamous Selene the lover of a Lycan to their coven, especially his father. However, they agree to help the weakened child which they soon realize is due to her not feeding in a long time. After drinking some blood her wound heals and Selene, after seeing Eve’s eyes after the feeding, sees that she has Michael’s hybrid eyes and realizes she is her’s and Michael’s daughter. Seeing that the coven does not want her there, she gets ready to leave. David, not wanting her to leave, tries to convince her to stay and help them start an offensive against the humans by training some into Death Dealers. Before she makes up her mind the coven comes under attack by Lycans who were thought to be almost extinct. The vampires are slaughtered one after another until Selene joins the fight and kills many of the Lycans. She has David take Eve to safety while she deals with the rest of the Lycans. Going to the main hall of the coven, she comes upon a massacre of mostly vampires with few Lycan corpses and fights an 18 foot tall super Lycan which is more than 4 times the size of any other Lycan. Fighting it with a silver bladed weapon she breaks a piece off on its back, and is shocked to realize that it heals instantly and that the silver had no effect. She is knocked out and awakens later to find that David’s father gave Eve to the Lycans to placate them into leaving. David dies after confirming this and his father blames Selene for all that happened, before Selene cuts a hole into David’s heart and uses her blood to restart his heart. She then confronts a human detective named Sebastian to confirm her suspicions of the corporation dedicated to killing off the immortal species.

After seeing the evidence Selene discovers that the corporation is actually run by the Lycans – who have been posing as humans in order to trick the world’s governments into believing the Lycans are extinct – and that they intend to use Eve to perfect their race and develop immunity to silver, thus allowing the Lycans to conquer both vampires and humans. Seeing the dangers Selene and the Detective team up to stop them and save Eve. Killing the Lycan guards with silver gas grenades and silver bullets, she comes across Subject 0, realizing it is Michael and, being short on time, shoots the glass to weaken the containment unit in order to free Michael before going to stop the Lycans from leaving with Eve. Using her incredible strength she flips the van and then comes face to face with the Super Lycan again, whilst Eve fights the Lycan doctor that held her. Eventually Selene goes down a hallway where the Super Lycan cannot fit, forcing it to morph back into a human, allowing Selene to impale him with her arm. Withdrawing her arm, the Super Lycan still heals instantly but Selene is counting on this and throws a grenade pin at him. Realizing too late that she has put a grenade inside him, the super Lycan claws in vain at his stomach before it explodes, killing him, while Eve rips out the throat of the Lycan doctor. Going back inside they find that Michael’s cryo tank is empty; Eve then gets a flash of the roof where they go, but Michael is no where in sight. Selene states that the world will be hunting Michael just as they hunted Eve.

The fourth film in the Underworld series really is for fans only and by now you either are a fan or you’re not. If you are a fan there’s plenty to enjoy here.

REVIEW: UNDERWORLD 3: RISE OF THE LYCANS

CAST

Rhona Mitra (Shooter)
Michael Sheen (Kingdom of Heaven)
Bill Nighy (Wrath of The Titans)
Steven Mackintosh (Kick-Ass 2)
Kevin Grevioux (I, Frankenstein)
Elizabeth Hawthrone (Cleopatra 2525)
Mark Mitchinson (Power Rangers Dino Supercharge)
Tania Nolan (Step Dave)
Craig Parker (Reign)
Jared Turner (30 Days of Night)
Kate Beckinsale (Total Recall)
Shane Brolly (Spread)

The film tells the story of Lucian, the first werewolf born capable of taking human form and the first to be called a Lycan. Viktor, a vampire elder, raises the child, and envisions a race of Lycan slaves that could guard the coven’s fortress during the day and be used as laborers by the vampires at night. The forests and the countryside are indeed filled with savage werewolves born from William’s rampage, and human nobles have taken to asking Viktor for protection against the beasts, protection Viktor grants in exchange for a tribute of silver, with which to keep his slaves under control. As Lucian grows up, he and Viktor’s daughter Sonja (Rhona Mitra) fall in love and begin a secretive intimate relationship in their adult years. Sonja is reckless and insubordinate, and one night Lucian escapes and rescues Sonja from his werewolf brethren. Viktor, despite acknowledging that Lucian saved his daughter, cannot forgive the escape and locks Lucian away.

With the help of Andreas Tanis, Sonja orchestrates Lucian’s release in exchange for her seat on the vampire council. Lucian, unable to flee alone, decides to escape after liberating all of the other Lycans. Sonja remains behind but will meet Lucian in three days. While preparing to leave she is visited by her father. Viktor asks if she assisted in Lucian’s escape, and although she denies it, he discovers the real truth after biting her neck and reading her memories through her blood. Discovering her relationship with Lucian, he then imprisons her. Meanwhile, in the forest, Lucian recruits both human slaves and werewolves to form a force against the vampires. In the fortress, the vampire council and nobles demand that Viktor recapture Lucian, as his Lycans have been attacking human estates and freeing their slaves and offering them immortality as Lycans themselves. Viktor replies that he is confident Lucian will return as he has something Lucian wants, Sonja.

Lucian learns about Sonja’s imprisonment and eventually rescues her from her room but they are stopped from escaping by Viktor. Sonja, hoping to spare Lucian’s life, reveals to Viktor that she is pregnant with Lucian’s child. Disgusted, Viktor overpowers her and imprisons both her and Lucian. Sonja is unanimously sentenced to death by the council at a trial presided over by her father, and is executed by exposure to sunlight in Lucian’s presence. Viktor later visits her body and retrieves her pendant.

Lucian tries to escape the fortress but his attempt is thwarted by the Death Dealers; Lucian, now able to communicate with and control the wild werewolves, summons them to storm the fortress. In the melee, the Vampire Council members are killed along with their aides and lesser vampire nobles. When realizing that Viktor intends to flee, Lucian pursues him, and they fight. Lucian manages to trap Viktor by exposing him to shafts of sunlight and then stabs Viktor through the mouth with a sword and pushes his body down into a nearby body of water. With the battle over, Lucian’s deputy Raze declares that “it is finished”, but Lucian realizes this victory is only the beginning of what will become a war between the races.

The film’s coda reveals that Viktor has survived his wound, has made it onto a vampire ship fleeing the fortress, and is sealed into an elder hibernation chamber by Tanis. Also, the opening scene of the first Underworld film is shown, with the voice of vampire Kraven (Shane Brolly) revealing to Selene (Kate Beckinsale) that Viktor had killed her family, not the Lycans, but had spared her life because she reminded him of his executed daughter Sonja; Selene, unaware of the truth, dismisses Kraven’s statement as “lies”.This film fills in some gaps, most of which we didn’t know existed until this film. This stands alone as a pretty good film,. When you view this as part of the trilogy it considerably increases the viewer experience. Sheen and Nighy impress, Sheen is a hero without being too heroic, and Nighy is superbly creepy. The blood spurting action is there, but there’s a meaningful story too.

REVIEW: UNDERWORLD 2: EVOLUTION

CAST

Kate Beckinsale (Total Recall)
Scott Speedman (The Vow)
Bill Nighy (Wrath of The Titans)
Tony Curran (Gladiator)
Derek Jacobi (The King’s Speech)
Sophia Myles (Transformers 4)
Steven Mackintosh (Kick-Ass 2)
Shane Brolly (Spread)
Briane Steele (Hellboy)
Zita Gorog (8mm 2)
Michael Sheen (Kingdom of Heaven)

In 1202, an army led by the three vampire elders (Markus, Viktor, and Amelia) arrives at a Lycan-ravaged village. Viktor and Amelia capture their target, Markus’ brother, William Corvinus, the first and most powerful werewolf. Despite Markus’ defiance, Viktor orders that William be imprisoned in a secret location forever.

In the present day, vampire Selene takes Michael to a safe house so that she can confront the vampire regent Kraven; she knows that Kraven intends to kill Markus and plans to stop him. However, Markus has awakened before Kraven arrives. Markus kills Kraven and his men. Lorenz Macaro, an elderly man, sends in a team of “cleaners” to investigate the aftermath from the battle in the Lycans’ lair. When Lorenz Macaro examines Viktor’s corpse he finds a metal disc inside it which is the match to a pendant originally worn by Sonja. The other half of the pendant is now possessed by Selene and Michael after the deaths of Viktor and Lucian.

Markus tracks Selene and Michael down and attacks them, but they evade him and hide in a warehouse. There, Selene and Michael share their feelings and have passionate sex together. Now knowing that the pendant is important to Markus, Michael and Selene set out to discover why Markus wants it. Selene recalls that she saw it as a child, but does not know its significance. They travel to the hideout of the exiled vampire historian Andreas Tanis who reveals that Markus was the first vampire; one of the three sons of Alexander Corvinus, the first immortal. Markus was bitten by a bat and became a vampire, while his twin brother William was bitten by a wolf and became a werewolf. The third son remained human and gave rise to a line of mortal descendants including Michael who became the first Lycan–Vampire hybrid. The first werewolves created by William were entirely animal and unable to assume human form. Due to William’s destructiveness, Markus approached Viktor, who was a dying mortal warlord at the time, and offered to turn him and his army into immortal vampires in exchange for tracking down and stopping William, and in destroying those he had infected.

Viktor did not kill the brothers because he was deceived by Markus into believing that doing so would result in the immediate extinction of all other vampires and his Lycan slaves. Tanis reveals that Selene’s father was the architect who built William’s prison and that the pendant is the key. Viktor killed Selene’s family as they knew the prison’s location, but turned Selene into a vampire so the memory of the prison’s location would be kept in her blood. Tanis then refers Selene and Michael to Macaro for help. After Selene and Michael leave Tanis’ residence, Markus arrives and drinks Tanis’ blood to learn Selene and Michael’s location, killing Tanis.

Selene and Michael visit Macaro and discover that he actually is Alexander Corvinus. Alexander reveals that he has devoted his entire immortal life to keeping the Vampire-Lycan war a secret. However, he refuses to assist Selene in killing his sons. Then Markus arrives, impaling Michael and learns the location of William’s prison by drinking Selene’s blood. He mortally wounds his father and obtains the other half of the pendant, after deriding his father’s refusal to help William and revealing that he intends with William to rule the world as the god-like master of a race of vampire-Lycan hybrids. On Alexander’s bidding, Selene drinks his blood, enhancing her physical strength and healing abilities to a level equivalent to that of a hybrid. Afterwards, Alexander blows up his ship, killing himself.

Selene, aboard Corvinus’ helicopter, leads his cleaners to the prison to confront and destroy Markus, but he has already freed William. A battle ensues in which William bites the cleaners who, as a result, are turned into werewolves. Michael, who is presumed to be dead and is carried aboard the helicopter, regenerates and joins the fight in his hybrid form, killing William by ripping his head off. Selene engages Markus in hand-to-hand combat, killing him by kicking him into the rotor blades of the cleaners’ crashed helicopter. After the battle, Selene realizes that Alexander’s blood has made her immune to the lethal effects of sunlight on vampires.

Like the first film in the series, Evolution is a dark, Gothic film with elaborate sets, props, and costuming. The acting (one again) is top notch and the script highly intriguing! The story/plot of Evolution is just a wonderful as the first film in the series. So much action to watch, a superb story and fine performances by all.

REVIEW: UNDERWORLD


CAST

Kate Beckinsale (Total Recall)
Scott Speedman (The Vow)
Shane Brolly (Spread)
Sophia Myles (Transformers 4)
Bill Nighy (Wrath of The Titans)
Michael Sheen (Kingdom of Heaven)
Wentworth Miller (Legends of Tomorrow)
Kevin Grevioux (I, Frankenstein)
Zita Gorog (8mm 2)

For generations, a secret war has been waged between vampires and Lycans, an ancient species of werewolf. Selene, a Death Dealer, a vampire specialized in assassinating Lycans, tracks two Lycans. Selene’s motivation goes beyond duty; she also wants revenge because, 600 years ago when she was a child, Lycans slaughtered her family. The vampires believe they defeated the werewolves many centuries ago and killed their leader, Lucian, and that they must kill the surviving Lycans. Selene locates the Lycans’ den and learns they have developed a new kind of UV bullet capable of killing vampires.

Later, Selene arrives at the mansion of her vampire coven and, recounting these events, urges an attack on the Lycans; but the vampire regent, Kraven, dismisses her proposal. Selene determines that the pair of Lycans may have been following a human, Michael Corvin, and continues her investigation. In a Lycan lair, a scientist named Singe tests blood from kidnapped descendants of the ancient Corvinus family, trying to find a pure source of the ancient and powerful Corvinus bloodline. Soon after Selene finds Michael, the pair are attacked by Lycans, including their leader, who is revealed to be Lucian. Lucian bites Michael, but Selene helps Michael escape and the two become attracted to each other.

Selene discovers that Kraven was the only witness to Lucian’s supposed death. Sensing a conspiracy, she awakens a dormant powerful vampire elder, Viktor, who has been hibernating. Viktor is angered by his early awakening, as it was Marcus’ turn to rule the coven. Viktor believes Kraven and orders Selene to acquiesce to the vampire hierarchy. Kraven meanwhile has secretly planned to kill the third vampire elder, Amelia, and her companions, with Lucian’s help.

Selene informs Michael about the feud and her past. She then binds him, fearing that he will kill innocent people after he changes into his Lycan form at the coming night’s full moon. Selene captures Singe while Michael is captured by Lycans. Selene returns to the mansion with Singe, who admits to Viktor that the Lycans are trying to combine the bloodlines of the two species with the Corvinus Strain, the shared source of both the Vampire and Lycan bloodlines, to create a powerful hybrid. After Kraven flees the mansion because Singe has revealed his cooperation with Lucian, news arrives that Amelia, who was coming to awaken Marcus, has been killed by Lycans. Viktor kills Singe and tasks Selene to kill Michael.

While Michael is being held captive, he learns from Lucian that Viktor’s daughter, Sonja, and Lucian were lovers. Lucian tells Michael that the Lycans were slaves to the vampires. When Viktor learned that his daughter had been impregnated by a Lycan, he killed her to prevent any crossing of the two species, which led to the war. According to Lucian, such a crossing would create a hybrid creature that would be more powerful than both the vampires and Lycans.

Selene arrives with a group of Death Dealers to kill the Lycans and Kraven for his treachery. Kraven shoots Lucian with a newly designed bullet that kills by poisoning a Lycan’s bloodstream with silver nitrate. Selene rescues Michael, who is shot by Kraven. Kraven tells Selene it was Viktor who killed her family. Lucian stabs Kraven in the leg and convinces Selene to bite Michael, transmitting the vampire virus into his bloodstream. Selene complies, and Kraven flees after killing Lucian. Viktor arrives and admits that he killed Selene’s family, though he believes she should be grateful as he spared her and made her immortal. He reveals the truth of his love for Sonja – that his choice to have her killed was to protect the vampires and that he must now kill Michael to protect the vampires. Selene eventually kills Viktor with the assistance of Michael, who is now a hybrid. Selene and Michael leave the Lycan lair, now enemies of both species. At the mansion, blood from Singe’s corpse seeps into the sarcophagus of the sole remaining Elder, Marcus, a carrier of the original Corvinus Strain.

Even though this film got panned at the box office by the critics, the public loved it and I feel it is one of the best Vampire movies around. The most refreshing aspect of this movie is the story, which surprisingly has many layers and puts a totally fresh new spin on the vampire/werewolf stories. This aspect, along with the excellent visual effects makes Underworld an enjoyable experience.