Thursday, March 24, 2016

underworld [2003]

i've been listening a bit to the heavy metal/goth band type o negative and got obsessed with the song 'wolf moon' [freakin' love the singer, pete steele's, voice] and a fan-made video using scenes from this 2003 starring kate beckinsale.  when i noticed this pic is available on netflix i said, what the hell, and gave it a shot.

this movie runs a little over two hours.  i don't know why.  the director, len wiseman, crafted some damn good battle scenes between the vampires and the lycans.  they have been at war for over a 1000 years.  the vampires have nearly killed off the lycans [werewolves, natch] and selene [kate beckinsale] is such a 'death dealer' a vampire soldier tasked to exterminate the last of the werewolves.  that's the plot's macguffin because i kept thinking wouldn't behoove both groups to band and work together?  i mean, if you are an immortal species wouldn't you thrill at the knowledge of another immortal species?  wouldn't you want to band together because both tribes are so rare and special?

but no.  they want to kill each other off.  they claim they are not human but they act so much like humanity.  oh well.  see selene falls in love with a human, michael corvin, who is a special genetic carrier that the lycans want for themselves.  what is michael's secret?  doesn't matter for the engine that drives this film is the action set pieces.

and oh, those set pieces are spectacular.  i'm not a huge admirer of kate beckinsale.  she's been in many movies.  most of her films, and her onscreen personae, i find, are fairly flat performances.  but this character, selene, is her hamlet.  she shines in black leather tights.  she is beautiful, strong, intelligent and hyper-cool.  but then again i have a thing for strong, intelligent women.  fuck me side-saddle.

good enough.  the movie turned into a franchise with the fifth film set for release later this year.  at a little over two hours this film never flagged and delivered first-rate fist pumping thrills.  and one more thing, selene is the hero of this movie but everyone else, with the exception of michael, are relatively despicable characters.  that's refreshing.  a movie of werewolves and vampires shooting at each with high caliber weapons is a movie for the 21st century.  and those weapons!  the lycans develop bullets filled with sunlight.  you gotta see that to believe it!  and the vampires put silver nitrate in their shells for their friends the werewolves.  horror cinema rarely gets so inventive!

ha ha!  like the cartoon character said, now i've seen everything.


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