On a whim yesterday, I saw a matinee of Underworld with Mark. All I knew about the movie before seeing it was that there were an awful lot of billboards for the movie about — most notably on BART, where I saw them every day on my commute for seemingly the last month.
Anyway. Vampires. Werewolves. Vampires versus Werewolves. Kinda confusing at times, no thanks to there being a lot going on (like, hundreds of years of history you’re at least briefly acquainted with — we are dealing with vampires, after all), and several fight scenes that are just shootouts where everyone is wearing black.
The first action scene of the movie, for example, was completely incomprehensible for quite awhile, because it was completely unclear who was who in the fight. We knew which side Kate Beckinsale was on, of course, but other than that it was just kinda a mess until all the extras in the subway station were either killed or had fled. Some simple color coding would have been awfully useful. And speaking of Kate Beckinsale, she was extra hot in this movie.
The action scenes seemed a little spottily edited at times, but that could just be because we’re all spoiled by the matrices absurd digital effects. Hoss said he saw an interview with Underworld’s director, where he claimed he tried to avoid digital effects as much as possible. The action really wasn’t anything special — lots of loud gunfire, and see above re confusing part.
Also as mentioned above, the story was highly convoluted, and assumptions about who were the “good guys” and who were the “bad guys” were frequently turned upside-down… That’s not a bad thing, of course, and in the end, there really was no “good side,” but there were a few characters you found yourself wanting to “win” — unfortunately, not all of them do.
The movie was fairly stylish, and I guess that’s a point in the + column. But I still think the original Crow did this style much better, way back in the day.
Spoiler: Finally, apparently bi-heading a vampire counts the same as be-heading one. Who knew?
In the end, it was entertaining, but it had a number of problems that kept me from fully enjoying it. The ending also left a hook for a sequel — something that wouldn’t actually mind much, as long as Kate Beckinsale reprised her role.