Underworld

2003

Underworld

Critics Consensus

Though stylish to look at, Underworld is tedious and derivative.

31%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 161

79%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 495,804
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Movie Info

A young man who has pledged his life to helping others finds himself in a pitched battle between two gangs of supernatural villains in this blend of horror story and action thriller. Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman) is a medical student who is heading home after a long day of school and work when he unexpectedly finds himself in the middle of what appears to be a rumble between two well turned-out street gangs. What Michael doesn't know is he has witnessed a skirmish between two deadly underground communities, unknown to the mortal world, who are battling for supremacy -- the Death Dealers, a tribe of vampires, and the Lycans, a band of werewolves. Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is a leading member of the Death Dealers who hears through the grapevine that the Lycans have plans to capture the aspiring doctor who witnessed their battle. Certain something is in the air, Selene begins following Michael around the city, and she finds herself growing emotionally attached to him. As Selene becomes more attracted to Michael, she becomes more convinced that the Lycans are planning a major attack against the Death Dealers, although vampire kingpin Kraven (Shane Brolly) is certain she's crediting the Lycans with more intelligence than they can muster. As Selene shadows Michael, she finds herself wanting to protect him, but her longing becomes a handicap when he's attacked by Lucian (Michael Sheen), the leader of the werewolf community, and the man she wants to save has now become a sworn enemy. Underworld was the first feature film from music video director Len Wiseman. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Cast

Scott Speedman
as Michael Corvin
Bill Nighy
as Viktor
Wentworth Miller
as Dr. Adam Lockwood
Hank Amos
as Nathaniel
Zsuzsa Barsi
as Gunshot Girl
Sándor Boros
as Candidate No. 1
János Oláh
as Candidate No. 2
Andreas Patton
as Death Dealer Captain
Atilla Pinke
as Wolfgang
Ildiko Kovacs
as Michael's Old Girlfriend
Brian Steele
as Werewolf Performer
Kurt Carley
as Werewolf Performer
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Critic Reviews for Underworld

All Critics (161) | Top Critics (38)

Audience Reviews for Underworld

  • Dec 28, 2016
    There's guilty pleasure movies, and then there's the garbage like Underworld that take themselves way too seriously in an attempt to make silly action fun. What could pass as an entertaining and visually dazzling cable watch ends up as a confusing romp of a fantasy adventure. I'm a fan of Kate Beckinsale. I think when she's used right, she's of immense value to any film she's a part of. Take Love & Friendship from earlier this year for example; she was given a solid script and the room to use her British wit & charm in a rewarding performance. Sure she's gorgeous to look at in Underworld, but I can't help but think that the writing didn't allow her to truly show her chops. With that said, her ability is clearly superior to the awful supporting cast. Some of the supporting performances (Shane Brolly) are disappointingly off-putting. Much like a ton of early 2000's action films, Underworld suffers from trying to emulate The Matrix too much. It's always raining, the action scenes are darkly lit, and the characters are in a constant slow motion gaze during the shootouts and fights. I can't necessarily blame Underworld for having bad action, it was simply a product of its time. In fact, there are some good looking stunts here, most of them in camera as well. That's when Underworld is at its most appealing. When Underworld takes itself too seriously and the story is bogged down by exposition scenes (that actually make the film more confusing) it's no fun. The reason I went back and began the franchise this many years later is because I was hoping to have a fun franchise to go to the theaters for in a few weeks with Blood Wars being released. Whether I stick with the franchise or not, I'm not sure. But I know one thing for sure, Underworld's first film is painful to watch. +Beckinsale is watchable +Some nice stunt sequences -Really bad script/dialogue -Supporting performances -Ultimately generic 4.8/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Jun 21, 2016
    Underworld is one of those select few films which received a less than favourable reception at it's initial release, but has gone on to remain a favourite of the dark vampire genre for the past decade. Why, you might ask? Because in the intervening decade, there has been enough bullshit released on celluloid, dvd and blu-ray to prove the initial naysayers direly wrong about their initial thoughts on the movie. In comparison to the derivative and horridly one dimensional quote-unquote vampire films which have come out in the intervening period, Underworld still seems fresh and interesting after thirteen years of finalized existence; as a film it's held up well, and the story is still interesting and grim enough to be taken seriously by the serious horror / action enthusiasts. Vampires and Lycans are both presented as a serious races who live and exist purely in nights and shadows. There is no sparkling in the sun, there is no Vampire Slayers (although that was an interesting idea in the 90s and still holds up on it's own), and there is no overtly campy love story, instead Michael and Selene are both presented right away as adults in a very mature world. At the end of the day, it's a film about vampires done well, although I can't say the same about every sequel of the franchise
    Kal X. A Super Reviewer
  • Aug 30, 2015
    Vampires and Werewolves battle it out in London. Pretty predictable despite nice acting from Beckinsale and a stylish art direction.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Apr 04, 2015
    Movies like Underworld just don't end up with the calibre of actor that Underworld has under normal circumstances. Somehow, Underworld did though, and yes, it's very much a product of that early '00s industrial inspired age, but it is a solid, solid take on some realistic(ish) aspects of supernatural monster mythos.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer

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