Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans (2009)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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

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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 outside of their castle's borders and doing battle with the ravenous werewolves of the surrounding area. Sonja also has a secret love affair with Lucian (Michael Sheen), the first of the Lycans, a race of lycanthropes who were bred by the vampires to be slaves and protectors to the bloodsucking clan. As the news of their love spreads to Viktor, ranks of the vampire elite help Lucian escape, leading to a revolution of the Lycans against their masters and setting up the mythology of the later latexed adventures featured in Len Wiseman's two previous films. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi
Rating:
R (for bloody violence and some sexuality)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Horror , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Box Office:
$45,802,315.00
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Bill Nighy
as Viktor
Alexander Carroll
as Young Lucian
Shane Brolly
as Kraven
Steven Mackintosh
as Arnaud Tanis
Rhona Mitra
as Sonya
Michael Sheen
as Lucian
David Aston
as Coloman
Geraldine Brophy
as Nobleman's Wife
Peter Tait
as Gyorg
Jason Hood
as Death Dealer
Tim Raby
as Janosh
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News & Interviews for Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans

Critic Reviews for Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans

All Critics (76) | Top Critics (15)

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.

Full Review… | January 26, 2009
Newark Star-Ledger
Top 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.

Full Review… | January 26, 2009
ReelViews
Top 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.

Full Review… | January 26, 2009
Toronto Star
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 26, 2009
USA Today
Top 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
New York Times
Top Critic

The third film in Screen Gems' grimly competent, vampires-versus-wolves franchise.

Full Review… | January 26, 2009
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans

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.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

½

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.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

"Underworld Rise of the Lycons" is a prequel, which tells the tale of how the war began between Lycons and the Death Dealers. The story was told in the first "Underworld", but here it is fleshed out, and shines a good light into the hatred between Viktor(Bill Nighy) and Lucian(Michaeal Sheen). Lucien is basically Viktor's personal pet, and the Lycons are slaves to Vampires. Lucien starts a forbidden relationship with Viktor's daughter Sonja(Rhona Mitra), and Viktor is not to pleased. What would happened because of this starts a war that last centuries. I fully expected to not like this movie, which is probably why I waited nearly three years to watch it. However, I enjoyed it, and this it's probably the best of the three movies. The story is generic, and the effects are about the same. But, the biggest difference here is Sheen's performance. He's a great actor,and here he lifts the movie pretty much all by himself. Still, not a great movie, but it's a good watch.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

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