Previous Review
Next Review
May 30, 2009
Review - " Underworld: Rise of the Lycans "
- (on DVD) By Roland Hansen
For comments or to submit a movie review for possible inclusion on Delta Films site
please send an email to
Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen battle it out in Underworld Rise of the Lycans
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Directed by Patrick Tatopoulos
Starring: Michael Sheen, Bill
Nighy, Rhona Mitra

The third installment in the
Underworld franchise winds
clocks back to the dark ages to
trace the origins of the
centuries-old blood feud
between the aristocratic
vampires and their onetime
slaves, the Lycans. Here we
see the origins of Lucien
(Michael Sheen) the first
lycanthrope who has the ability
to change into his werewolf
form at will, his forbidden love
with vampire Sonja (Rhona
Mitra) and his fight for freedom
against his vampire rulers led
by Victor (Bill Nighy).
Stepping down from the director's chair, Len Wiseman leaves the directing reigns to his production designer Patrick
Tatopoulos who in doubt has garnered enough experience over the years working on the likes of Stargate and Silent Hill. And
the French wizard gives his best efforts to make this rather limp and unnecessary prequel.

The film bears most of the same flaws that burdened the first two installments such as extremely dark lighting, choppy editing
and the same camp and bombast tone that never changes throughout. Fortunately the director allows the story to run with a
more coherent sense of storytelling.

The film does have one ace card though with the always charismatic Micheal Sheen a highlight of the first Underworld and
here as the films main attraction displaying the right balance of empathy and ferocity whilst been a surprisingly convincing
action lead.

Rhona Mitra does her best with what material she is given as Lucien's doomed lover Sonja. Mitra who was last been sexy and
kicking ass in Rob Marshall's god awful mess Doomsday, is once again convincing as an action heroin but she just doesn't
have the magic or indeed the looks of Kate Beckinsale (Who is really missed in this film). Sadly, nothing good at all can be
said for Bill Nighy whose camp delivery of ever line goes into overdrive here until you almost wonder if he is purposefully
parodying himself.

But the worst offender of Rise of the Lycans are the special effects abandoning all classic effects of the past for some truly
shoddy CGI (even the blood is CGI), the score is forgettable whilst most of the action is tame at best with only the swordplay
making any impact. The whole effect with exception to some of the cast give the impression that Rise of the Lycans should
have been a straight to DVD release and will only satisfy diehard fans of the originals looking for more of the same.