I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. I had previously enjoyed the FIRST MOVIE, but felt let down by THE SEQUEL. But this prequel kind of rocks, IMHO.
The movie tells the story of Lucian and Sonja, a story briefly discussed in the first movie. Lucian, who is played by Michael Sheen, which BTW, it blows me away that he is the critically acclaimed actor who played British Prime Minister Tony Blair in The Queen and interviewer extraordinaire David Frost in Frost/Nixon, is a Lycan, a shapeshifter who becomes a werewolf when the moon rises. He is also however, a slave to the vampires, who are ruled by Viktor. Viktor is played very well by Bill Nighy, who like Sheen, reprises his role. Rhona Mitra plays Sonja, daughter of Viktor and herself a high ranking member of the vampire hierarchy. I donít do spoilers, so I wonít say what the movie is mostly about, but Iím pretty sure the ads make it clear. Um, as does the title of the movie. Duh.
Some people immediately dismissed this movie because it didnít star the lovely Kate Beckinsale, but again IMHO, not a problem. Mitra and Sheen are the stars of this flick, and Beckinsale wasnít missed. And Rhona Mitra is extremely attractive, so guys, not to worry.
Several writers are credited with the story and with the screenplay, among them Len Wiseman, who cowrote and directed the previous films. This film however was directed by Patrick Tatopoulos, who has an extensive career in special effects on many movies youíve heard of. I think he did a nice job and look forward to more of his work.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans isnít groundbreaking or destined for awards glory, but itís an entertaining movie and one fans of vampires, werewolves and fantasy in general should appreciate. Enjoy.