Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

January 28, 2009 at 6:00 am (General) ()




Please.  Allow me to get this off my chest before I go into the actual review.  Thank you.

Viktor is a cold-hearted, old bastard who got off too easily in the first Underworld movie.  That bigoted, son of ***** should have been kept alive throughout the centuries, so someone could beat the entrails out of him just because. 😡

Okay.  I feel better now.  😀 Onto the review.

If you’ve been keeping up with the rest of the Underworld series, then you probably know how this movie ends since it’s the prequel.  I wouldn’t let that deter me from seeing it though.  It’s a bittersweet (sort of) ending, so I guess it fits the realm of love story instead of romance.  Nonetheless, if you’re expecting this movie to cling to some of the typical romantic elements, you might be mistaken there, too.  Hence, the reason why I can’t give it the A+ I really wanted to give it. 

As a fan of Underworld, we all know that Lucian, our alpha werewolf, and Sonja, our fearless vampire, get together.  It’s the ultimate shapeshifter romance. 

Here’s my gripe.  I would’ve like to have seen more of the romance blossom between these two and I think the writers of Underworld missed a HUGE opportunity to showcase that better.  Another ten or fifteen minutes wouldn’t have hurt anything.  One minute, we see Lucian at about sixteen years old and he’s staring up at Sonja (about age ten) who’s standing on a balcony with her father Viktor, the hateful piece of hemorrhoidal tissue.  Fifteen minutes and more than a decade later, when everyone is of legal age, Lucian sneaks off to be with Sonja and the two of them get it on.  That’s it.  Now enters the romance.

Do you feel your eyebrows crowding together in bewilderment?  Mine did.

No sexual tension.  No catching each other’s eye.  No slight curve of the lips in a flirtatious gesture.  We got nothing.  If they wanted to keep their romance a secret, they did a damn good job at it because I completely bought into them hating each other.  That’s why it fell off the A+ bandwagon for me.  Judging from the other Underworld movies, Lucian and Sonja had an incredible love affair going on.  One that turned Lucian so vengeful that he harnessed hundreds of years of passion to see Viktor (piece of horse s***) dead.  Nope.  Didn’t see it.

Once we got through the lovemaking scene, the more I got a feel for these two characters and their love for each other.  I can honestly say it was genuine.  Not too many women will take a sword to their father’s throats with an intent to kill for the man they love.  However, Sonja’s death would’ve made huge impact on me had I seen the emotion or sexual tension develop more in the very beginning.  It wasn’t there.  Don’t get me wrong. Everything leading up to her death had left such an impression on me that I had to get my loathing for Viktor off my chest.  So, the emotional impact was dead on.  It wasn’t enough the old fool condemned his courageous daughter to die, but he chained Lucian to the floor to watch it.  Oh, how I hate that motherf–!  😡

Overall, I’d give this latest installment an extremely high B+, tickling the edge of an A-.  What  can I say?  I’m torn.  🙂 There are still a few questions left in mind, like was Lucian being the first werewolf who could change back to human due to Mommy werewolf being pregnant with him when she was bitten or was it due to a genetic fluke?  And when/where does Kraven and his deal with Lucian enter the picture? 

Nevertheless, Lucian captured me from the first Underworld movie and he continued to do so in this one.  The way I look at it, if we can have twenty Friday the 13th movies, there’s no reason why we can’t have another Underworld.  I know I’d certainly put my money down to go see it. 

So, if you’ve had a chance to see it, what do you think?  And if you haven’t, are you going to knowing this much?

~Marcia Colette




  1. Meagan Hatfield said,

    Awesome review, Marcia! I’m a huge fan of the Underworld movies and I absolutely loved the whole Lucian/Sonja storyline in the first one. Like you, I was really looking forward to seeing the love story that motivated Lucian and made him the character we saw in Underworld. Hmm, I guess a high B is good enough of a score for me – I’m going to see it this weekend. *smiles*

    Thanks again for the review!

  2. Tivi Jones said,

    I’m still going to see it! My husband doesn’t like these kind of movies, so I usually have to catch them on TV or venture out by myself. But venture, I will! Great review, Marcia!

  3. Marcia said,

    Like I said, Meagan, I’m torn between that high B and low A. It’s a hard call, probably becaus I’m a writer and know too much. If I didn’t, then it would’ve been a high A, I’m sure.

    Nevertheless, SEE IT! You won’t be disappointed. I rarely go to see movies a second time, but I’d make the exception with this one. 😉

  4. Marcia said,

    Um, Tivi, let me know if you like um…want someone to see it with. See previous comment to Meagan. 😀

  5. michelehauf said,

    Saw the movie Loved it I was actually fine with the build-up in the romance. It was a short movie. I think they had just the right amount of ‘foreplay’ in there. Sure I could have used more half nekkid Michael Sheen making out with a sexy woman, but it worked for me.

    I too wanted to see the deal between Lucien and Kraven, and now have my fingers crossed for yet another movie. Pretty please?


  6. Sonja Foust said,

    I’m definitely gonna see it sometime, if for no other reason than there aren’t too many movies with characters named Sonja. 😉 Thanks for the review!

  7. Melissa Carmichael said,

    I’m planning on going to see it this Friday. I loved the first two underworld movies. Marcia, you didn’t spoil it. If you’ve seen the first two movies you, already should have a pretty good idea about the plot for this one.


  8. Cathy said,

    Underworld? Uh, what did I miss? Is this a series on TV or movies? How did this escape me? Since this is the prequel can I watch it first or do I need to go back?

  9. RJ said,

    My cousin and I are planning to see it this weekend if all things work out. Never know Marcia. Maybe the scenes you’re looking for were on the cutting room floor only to be included in an unrated version on DVD. Or, at the least, as deleted scenes.

  10. edie17 said,

    Marcia, great review, but not my kind of movie. I like a movie more focused on character arcs, like Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino. I’d recommend that to anyone.

  11. Seressia said,

    I really enjoyed the movie, and gave it a high B-. I know it had to end a certain way, but they didn’t have to have the characters doing stupid things to get to that point.

    1. When your woman tells you to wait until dawn to leave ‘cos you’re dealing with vampires, wait until dawn.

    2. Once you realize you can talk to the lycans and they follow you, how about calling them in earlier, like after you rescued your woman but before you got caught?

    3. Where were the female lycans? Instead of biting to breed, you can have them breed to breed and they’d be more malleable and not remembering their former lives and stuff.

    Just sayin’. Those three things kept it from A+ for me. Still I loved the movie and this will go on the shelf next to the first. (Hated the romance in the second, so didn’t buy it) And if there’s another movie, I’ll be all over it.

  12. Marcia said,

    A nekkid Michael Sheen, Michele? OH YEAH! I have no problem with that, especially if they’re using it to lengthen the movie. 😀

    They just can’t leave us hanging. I want to know what went down between Lucian and Kraven and when Selene entered the picture as a child. Viktor killed her entire family to cover up his secret. Lucian mounting his army. Yeah, I want to see all of that, too. Another movie, please.

  13. Marcia said,

    Sonja, “you” kick some serious ass in this movie. Live vicariously, girlfriend, because it’s a fun ride!

  14. Marcia said,

    Melissa, I was worried that some people might not have seen the first two movies like my backwards neighbors did. One saw the first Underworld while the other saw the second one. I had to loan them my DVDs to play catch up. Which reminds me, I need to get those things back and replay the excitement all over again.

  15. Marcia said,

    That’s a good question Cathy. In fact, it might be better to watch this one first and then come back to the other two. That way, you’ll know and understand even more during the flashbacks. The only flashbacks that might not make sense are the ones from Underworld: Evolution, which is also why I think they need to make fourth one.

  16. Marcia said,

    Hey RJ!!! 😀

    I am sooooooooo hooping they didn’t trash those extra/deleted scenes. That’s where you can find some of the juciest stuff. If they put out an unrated version, I’ll be in heaven.

  17. Marcia said,

    😆 Edie, we’re such opposite ends of the spectrum that it’s hiliarious. If we’re ever in the same town, we should just go to the movies together and see what happens. You choose one and I’ll choose the other.

  18. Marcia said,

    Seressia, that’s exactly why Underworld landed in the B+ category for me. I REALLY wanted to put this in the A category, but I couldn’t.

    Your #1 is an excellent example of a shaking-my-head moment. I’d wait until morning and probably burn the castle down in the process. Assuming, Sonja was safe, of course. 😉

    I also agree that when Lucian went back for Sonja, he should’ve said, “Guys, give me five minutes to get my woman. If I’m not back, come running.” It would’ve been the perfect opportunity, too because everyone would’ve been too focused on Lucian to gather the troops together to defend the castle.

    As for the female lycans, my only “guess” is men were more useful as slaves at the time, which were the only people they kept in the dungeon for Lucian to bite. Still, that’s my cheap attempt at a guess. I’d prefer to know the REAL reason behind that, too. Hint hint: Underworld 4 needed. 🙂 If they make another one, maybe we’ll find out that women die of lycanthropy or something. Something is better than nothing.

  19. michelehauf said,

    I did some Googling, and see the #4 movie is being worked on. But it’s not a what happened with Lucien and Kraven movie. It will be set in present and follow Selene and her new guy, the vamp/were hybrid played by Scott Speedman.
    I wanted more Sheen.

  20. Seressia said,

    maybe we’ll be lucky and they’ll cast someone OTHER than Scott Speedman.

  21. Marcia said,

    Nooooooooooooooooo! *sniffle* 😦

  22. Marcia said,

    😆 I’m with you, Seressia. All those other sexy beasts out there and they ended up with Speedman. *sigh*

  23. Karin said,

    I haven’t seen it yet, but I plan to. At least now I’ll be going in prepared and won’t be so disappointed at the small amount of romance between Lucian and Sonja.

  24. Marcia said,

    Karin, at least they made up for the romantic aspect as the movie progressed. However, I feel like they didn’t “show” it to us in the beginning, but rather, “told” us without building up to the lovemaking scene. Like I said, a missed opportunity that would’ve taken another ten or fifteen minutes for the screenwriter to clear up.

  25. Moira said,

    Better believe I am going to see it! You could walk me through every line of the movie and I would still see it. Total Lucian fangirl… so yeah I think I’ve made my point. Wonder if those fifteen minutes you are missing ended up on the cutting room floor? You know out of fear of losing the ‘male’ audience. 😉

  26. Marcia said,

    You know, Moira, that’s an excellent point. Guys don’t want to see the mushy stuff. They’re all about action, war, etc. Actually, I don’t mind the blood shed either. 😉 But, I have serious doubts the Lycans would’ve have risen as soon had it not been for the love of a woman being involved. I think they need to piece those fifteen minutes back together. At least for the DVD, if nothing else.

  27. Fatwayne said,

    Marcia, your review was excellent! I totally agree with you in your opinion of Viktor. He really is a piece of s***! Sorry! Aren’t we lucky that he isn’t on our families? I am also in agreement that I would like to see another installment in this series. Keep up the good work.

  28. Fatwayne said,

    Marcia, your review was excellent! I totally agree with you in your opinion of Viktor. He really is a piece of s***! Sorry! Aren’t we lucky that he isn’t in our families? I am also in agreement that I would like to see another installment in this series. Keep up the good work.

  29. Marcia said,

    Fatwayne, if Viktor was in my family, it would’ve been patricide a long time ago. Too bad I had run out of enough hateful words to describe him.

    Looks like Michele was right about there being another Underworld in the works, so that’s a good thing. 😉

  30. Alaina said,

    i do have to say.. although i agree with a lot of this stuff.. A).. it was always meant to be a trilogy.. dont know anything about a fourth one.. read an interview where kate said she wasnt planning on doing anymore of these..
    B).. it wasnt really about the love story.. it was about the rise of the lycans.. so they prolly skipped some of the love story facts, in order to bring more of the lycans part to the front.. thats just the impression that i got.. i wanted to know more about the lycans, and i sure did

  31. Marcia said,

    I know exactly what you’re saying, Alaina, and I that’s why I’m torn with my grade. From a paranormal romance POV, a B+. From an urban fantasy POV, definitely an A-.

    One thing is certain. The movie ended too soon. In this day and age where we sit through 2.5 to 3 agonizing hours of The Da Vinci Code, asking for fifteen minutes of more fun and excitement shouldn’t be a hardship…and certainly not at $9 a pop. But that’s my personal beef with the movie industry. It’s just like that jar of peanut butter where the size decreases while the price increase. *sigh*

  32. Alaina said,

    lol i got in for free… and here if you go on tuesdays its 4 bux..
    but.. it could have had a bit more time.. i was like.. what? its over?? but i like that they tied it in to the next movie.. thought that was great..

  33. Marcia said,

    Alaina, you lucky stiff!! 😆 I really need to move where you live. Although, we have a $3 theater here, I just couldn’t wait that long to see Underworld. I needed my fix ASAP.

  34. Alaina said,

    its ontario.. lol.. nah the big name theaters have a ‘tightwad tuesday’ as we call it.. and all movies are like 4.20 on that day.. its great

  35. DHarris said,

    Just real quick note – the escape was going on at dawn. But inside the castle, they were able to survive during the daylight hours. Thus, when you seen them break through to the edge, the sun is up and Viktor cannot follow Lucian out.

    Also, another evidence of this is when Sonja is executed. The sun comes in through a controlled roof – and Viktor hears her screams from her room. Meaning that he is awake when the sun is up.

    So the trick is getting to the outside walls during the escape. Inside the castle, the fight goes on.

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