Underworld Evolution
Yes, Kate. You can come to bed now.

Theatrical Release Date: 01/20/2006
Director: Len Wiseman
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman

Fans of Kate Beckinsale wearing tight leather and vinyl are being appeased with the release of “Underworld: Evolution”. Continuing the story where the first movie left off, “Evolution” concerns itself with the resolution of some questions raised at the end of the first film.

Giving out the plot is useless. Describing the scenes might spoil the action. So what is this review going to do? I’m actually going to say something I didn’t think was possible.

“Underworld: Evolution” was actually pretty good.

What, what, what? You read me right. I liked this movie, and not because it was so bad I laughed my way through it, a la “Bloodrayne”.

All of the action was done pretty well in this film. One of the problems I had with the first film was that the werewolves, or lycans as they prefer to be called, seemed so much stronger than the vampires. It made no sense why the vampires would be the superior class. In this film, the vampires got an upgrade in speed and savagery which was nice to see.

Aside from the fights, the main villain had a great look and was a ruthless killing machine. No squabbling about morality, he had a plan and he was going to see it through.

Now to address my two biggest problems with the first film: actors Scott Speedman and Shane Brolly. Speedman plays the love interest for Beckinsale and Brolly the new head of the vampires once Bill Nighy got axed at the end of the first film.

I don’t feel I’m really spoiling anything by saying that audiences don’t need to worry about enduring Brolly’s pathetic excuse for a vampire for very long this time around.

And for having his name above the title, Speedman is thankfully not given too many lines and while I could have done with even less of him, it still wasn’t enough to really get under my skin. I will admit that there is one major element involving Speedman that at first exhilarated me but later was like a Tyson uppercut to my brain. While I wish it hadn’t happened as it did, the rest of the film did enough to get me to pass on this mistake. (I can’t say more as it would spoil things mightily.)

Beckinsale is just as lovely in this film as she was in the last one. There is a sex scene, but it’s shot in a wanna-be artistic fashion to rob audiences of what we really want. Still, maybe there will be hope for more skin in a third movie. The nicest nuance to this film was seeing her capabilities increased. Where Speedman was the equalizer in the first film, this movie is about her and her own journey.

Another thing I would like to applaud is bringing back the same music for the love theme that was used in the first film. I think the sound of it is haunting and it’s the kind of theme that could be looped and I would just listen to it as I drive up the coast admiring the ocean.

As much as it pains me to say it, director Len Wiseman has impressed me with two things. He made this film a decent action flick to watch, keeping the typical momentum killing slow down at a minimum. The film progresses at a nice pace, moving from one killing zone to another. And much more astounding, he married Kate Beckinsale.

Yes, it’s fair to say I really hate him.

Hatred aside, I went into the theater expecting to groan and laugh but was pleasantly surprised to find a fairly slick and entertaining film. “Underworld: Evolution” gets a 3 out of 5. If you really didn’t like the first film, you probably won’t find this one to your liking either but if you were at least intrigued with the possibilities of the original, this sequel is worth a look.