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Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans (2009)



Average Rating: 4.3/10
Reviews Counted: 77
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 55

Despite the best efforts of its competent cast, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is an indistinguishable and unnecessary prequel.


Average Rating: 4/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 13

Despite the best efforts of its competent cast, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is an indistinguishable and unnecessary prequel.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 231,346

My Rating

Movie Info

The Underworld series gets the prequel treatment with this third outing that fleshes out the story of the ancient war between the vampiric Death Dealers and their wolfman counterparts, the Lycans. F/X technician Patrick Tatopoulos (Godzilla, Independence Day) steps out of the effects lab and into the director's chair with this entry, which sees stars Bill Nighy returning as Viktor, the king of his vampire clan and father to Sonja (Rhona Mitra), a free-minded heir who tests her parent by heading

May 12, 2009


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All Critics (78) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (55) | DVD (6)

Take our advice: Buy a rubber mallet and strike yourself repeatedly until you start to black out. Same basic feeling.

January 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Comment (1)
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is not necessary to have seen the first two Underworld films to fully enjoy the third. It might be helpful, however, to first see a bartender.

January 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Comments (4)
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The storyline essentially replicates that of Underworld and Underworld: Evolution, meaning that if you've seen one or both of them, there's no compelling reason to spend your hard earned dollars on the third.

January 26, 2009 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is as unnecessary as it is uninvolving. Only fans desperate to learn how the whole vampire-werewolf conflict began are likely to get anything out of this viewing experience.

January 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is surprisingly campy fun, mostly succeeding through the power of its lead performances.

January 26, 2009 Full Review Source: USA Today | Comments (3)
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Unlike Mr. Nighy, who puts an amusing camp spin on his every line and gesture, Mr. Sheen appears to have taken his monster duties seriously.

January 26, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comments (3)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A period piece that drips mediocrity from the minute it begins.

May 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Left with only a small pocket of timeline to embroider, the prequel manages to develop a breezy, bloody, operatic experience. Even better, it wipes away the toxic awfulness of Evolution. It's now safe to return to the Underworld.

June 2, 2010 Full Review Source:

Lacks the Gothic coolness that made the original such an underground hit.

August 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Moviedex

...can't help but come off as an obvious high point within this progressively low-rent series...

June 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Enquanto seus realizadores contam o dinheiro que ganharam com o projeto, farei o mesmo que fiz com relação aos dois primeiros capítulos: publicarei este texto e esquecerei imediatamente do filme que o tornou necessário.

April 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

(Has) a fidelity to the style of the originals without the tangled, overstuffed narrative.

April 7, 2009 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

Borrows from 'Romeo and Juliet,' 'The Passion of the Christ' (there are two, count 'em, two gory scourging scenes) and, especially, 'Spartacus'...

February 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) | Comment (1)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Feels like a superfluous placeholder until Kate Beckinsale and Len Wiseman are available and ready to make a true third installment in the series.

February 6, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

At least we're spared a lot of the "legacy this" and "prophecy that" stuff that slows down both of the previous Underworld adventures.

February 2, 2009 Full Review Source: FEARnet | Comment (1)

The creators seem to have abandoned all hope of manufacturing anything that's even coherent, let alone imaginative.

February 1, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

Awkward camera angles, editing and pacing of some fight sequences gives a direct-to-video at times. If you're a fan of the last two Underworld movies and are willing to suspend your disbelief and to check your brain at the door for 93 minutes, you'll at l

January 30, 2009 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru | Comment (1)
NYC Movie Guru

Parental Content Review

January 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Screen It!
Screen It!

Nothing special, but it convincingly transports viewers into its Medieval realm of vampires vs. werewolves.

January 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

It may be a definite upswing in quality for the series, but if you thought the previous two films were overblown goth-horror nonsense, Rise Of The Lycans really isn't going to change your mind...

January 30, 2009 Full Review Source: SFX Magazine | Comment (1)
SFX Magazine

Uninspired prequel-slash-threequel that seems to have contractual obligation written all over it.

January 30, 2009 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Basically it's Frost/Nixon to Dross/Vixen. And there's plenty to be ashamed of.

January 30, 2009 Full Review Source: News of the World | Comment (1)
News of the World

Directed by former special effects artist Patrick Tatopoulos, it is shoddily paced and appears to have been lit with a candle, presumably to hide its obvious budget shortfalls.

January 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Scotsman | Comments (2)

The numerous action sequences, while imaginative, lack a visual cohesion that allows them to be fully appreciated.

January 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Compared to its sister films, the storytelling is stellar, remarkable not because there's a whole lot going on -- in fact, you'll likely leave the theater thinking, "That's it?" -- but because what little does happen makes sense.

January 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington City Paper
Washington City Paper

Audience Reviews for Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans

What do you do when you've killed off all the good characters of your franchise, are fresh out of ideas and your leading lady is pregnant? You make a prequel and pretend you're doing something new, even though you spend the last two films telling the exact same story. It's as ridiculous as casting Michael Sheen as a bare-chested action hero (which it also does). Tony Blair fighting vampires does sound good but it really ins't in reality. I'll watch the next one but only because they're going back to story and i'm glutton for punishment.
February 21, 2014

Super Reviewer

Hmmmm double edged sword here methinks. I liked this for its imagery and ideas, my love for vampire and werewolf films sways me to the dark side and I can't help but love the blood dripping, hairy moon walking action :).

Problem is although there are some nice lycan moments of battle action and great misty dark looks there are just so many silly moments and things that just don't add up. For starters I have these questions...

1. Why does 'Viktor' have blues eyes yet no others vampires do?
2. Why do the vampires need protection from the lycans? protection from what?
3. Why do they need lycan slaves?
4. Why are most lycans long haired men? no females?
5. When 'Viktor's' daughter was put to death why didn't Lucian just turn to lycan form and free her? (as he did when he attacks 'Viktor' after her death, he breaks his chains without a problem)
6. How come 'Raze' (big black guy) can just rip dungeon doors off at the final battle sequence? why didn't he just do that at first to escape?
7. What happened to the human nobility?
8. Why were there humans chained to the back of the human nobility's wagon? (where we meet 'Raze')

There are just so many questions that spoil the film, I also hated the endless stream of armour clad vampires that just live to die from lycan attacks, much like 'stormtroopers' hehe.

The film is good and does complete the trilogy nicely but its very holey plot wise. The effects are nice, lots of CGI of course but its reasonable. Some slightly risky lycan CGI in places but the vampire makeup and costumes are excellent, Nighy's blues eyes really pierce the darkness.

I just wish to see more of the vampire background in the underworld universe, vamps around the globe, how the species started originally, their hierarchy or nobility outside 'Viktor' etc..

I could watch another film about the vampiric history of this franchise but unfortunately we got a rather stupid futuristic idea that harks to 'Resi Evil'...bad move. Despite that and lots of bad reviews I do like this film for what it is, you get what you expect but bucket loads of it in medieval times with extra blood.
For me the most fun of the franchise as it felt a little more original than the others. The first being 'The Matrix' with vamps and werewolves, the second being almost a love interest film and the fourth being a mess of too many other film ideas. Overall it could all be so much more with better CGI/real time effects that's for darn sure.
July 20, 2012

Super Reviewer

A surprisingly decent and enjoyable film that is a departure from the previous two entries. I really didn't enjoy the second film, and I was skeptical about this one. I was surprised it wasn't a total waste. The film was better, but it also had its fare share of flaws. The film although interesting in its idea, shows that the filmmakers were struggling with the material that they conceived for this prequel. The film tends to try too hard at delivering a competent story. Despite its potential, the film never succeeds entirely at being a great film. The result is a decent popcorn flick that is much better than the second film, but is overdone. I feel they should just have stuck with the basics instead of over complicating the story. The Underworld franchise has always been about mindless action horror, but where most of the films fail is that the filmmakers tend to put far too much content in its story just for the sake of it. This is a decent third film, one that should appeal to fans of the series. I feel though that a lot more effort could have been put into the films plot to truly make in engaging. However, this series goes for mindless action first, effective story telling second. But the films have delivered anything truly great story wise either. This prequel is decent for what it is, but leaves a lot to be desired as well. Worth watching if you're a fan of the first films, but of all the Underworld films that really stands, the original is the best one to watch. Rise of the Lycans is a decent take at a prequel despite its flaws.
May 22, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. Lucian: I love you.
    2. Sonja: And I love you. Your face will not be here when this is over will it? Goodbye my love.
    – Submitted by Ceara R (2 years ago)
    1. Raze: Lucian, it is finished!
    2. Lucian: No, this is just the beginning.
    – Submitted by Lucas M (2 years ago)
    1. Lucian: I saw what you did out there... very brave... for a human. Have you come across them before?
    2. Raze: Only in stories...
    3. Lucian: Were you not afraid of them?
    4. Raze: Yes, but I wanted to live.
    5. Lucian: Are you afraid of me?
    6. Raze: Yes.
    7. Lucian: Well, do not be. I will not bite... much.
    – Submitted by Celeste B (2 years ago)
    1. Lucian: I have no wish to remove one shackle from around your necks, only to replace them with one of my own. You'll have a choice: you can run and hide, or you can stay and fight. Any man who fights with me shall have his freedom and, if he wishes it; immortality.
    – Submitted by Lea L (3 years ago)
    1. Viktor: [to Sonja] Without the loyalty between us, we are no better than the beasts at our door.
    – Submitted by Lea L (3 years ago)
    1. Lucian: I've lived by their rules my entire life. I've protected them. envied them, and for what? To be treated like an animal. We are not animals! Is this want you want? We can be slaves, or we can be, LYCANS!
    – Submitted by Lea L (3 years ago)
View all quotes (6)

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