Underworld Franchise

“Underworld Franchise” 

Movies #24, #25, #26, #27, #28 of the 2020 31-Days of Horror.

I’d always enjoyed the first 2, decided it was time to catch up with the rest of them.  

Underworld (2003) 

For more information follow this link.

A war has been waging for a thousand years between vampires and lycans in which the lycans have almost completely been wiped out, or so it is believed.  Selene, a Death Dealer, discovers the lycans following the human, Michael, and a long hidden secret.

When this first came out, it was a pleasant surprise which brought fresh attention by mainstream audiences to the genre, especially since it tagged itself as a fantasy, thriller, mystery rather than horror. It has a very comic book feel to it, which was intentional, according to Len Wiseman in the commentary.

 

Underworld Evolution (2006)

For more information follow this link.

This sequel picks up right where Underworld left off, with Selene and Michael on the run and Marcus, transformed, on the hunt.

These first 2 I’ve seen and enjoy enough to revisit. The mythology is as rich and dark as the cinematography. There’s real depth of feeling and chemistry between the actors which feeds their interactions with the supporting cast. And, of course, Tony Curran is absolutely amazing.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)

For more information follow this link.

The prequel to the Underworld franchise, this installment outlines the transition from the animalistic, feral werewolves directly descended from William Corvinus to the first of the modern, intelligent lycans, Lucien, himself. The story explains the secret love affair between Lucien and Viktor’s daughter, Sonja, which lead to the war which raged for centuries between the two species.

Exploring the origin and the story itself was good. The execution… well, lots of dramatic moments that lacked oomph. Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen were, of course, outstanding.

Underworld Awakening (2012)

For more information follow this link.

Set 12-years after the humans discovered that vampires and lycans exist and began the first purging of the species. The last thing Selene remembers is Michael being shot and falling into a river. Now Selene is awoken in a lab, psychically connected to “Subject 2”, who is revealed to be Selene and Michael’s daughter, Eve.

Humans and vampires alike are lead to believe that the lycans are all but extinct, however the lycans have been far more wily than anyone anticipated.

I do like where they went with this. Though, like Rise of the Lycans, it was as darkly beautiful as the first 2, but lacked the… chemistry… among the cast. It was like they all brought their baggage with them, but forgot to put anything in it, so there was no weight to what they were carrying. (Bad metaphor, but I’m sticking with it.)

Underworld Blood Lines (2016)

For more information follow this link.

Selene is back trying to draw the Lycans off of her daughter, Eve’s trail and keep her safe. David finds her to warn her of a new Lycan leader, stronger than the others, who is hunting for Eve. In their journey for answers, David discovers the truth of his parentage and Selene discovers new depths to her powers.

There we go! What the last two were missing, this one had. More substance, not just pretty people dressed in Goth making dramatic entrances and exits or simply posing. Great performances by Charles Dance, Theo James, Lara Pulver, and Tobias Menzies.

Though this franchise is consistently beautiful and full of talent, the storylines and direction are uneven from movie to movie. Very happy that I finally watched them all.

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