Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans Reviews
'Rise of the Lycans' is the first and only in the franchise to not star Kate Beckinsale, though they tried their hardest to make it seem like she's in by putting a lookalike actress, Rhona Mitra, front and center. Their characters wear similar clothes and have similar makeup and characteristics. Only Mitra's character, Sonja, is poorly written and adds nothing new to the lore of this series. Really, this entire film can be described this way. It was the shortest film, until 'Awakening', and by far the thinnest in depth.
Rotten Tomatoes sums it up as being indistinguishable and unnecessary. That just about defines this film to a pulp. We already had flashbacks and a brief history lesson in the previous film to the war between Werewolves & Vampires, and already exposed to how Viktor fits into the grand scheme of things. So, was there any need to make this film instead of a continuation with Selene and Michael? Absolutely not. To be fair, I think Michael Sheen's performance makes the film worth watching. The writing takes his character in a Romeo & Juliet direction with Sonja, Viktor's daughter, but Sheen easily outperforms everyone. And yes, that includes Bill Nighy's once again over-the-top turn as Viktor.
The reality is, this series has perhaps never tried to be anything more than a guilty pleasure for the blockbuster genre. There's some solid action, a well-realized performance from Michael Sheen, and a short running time. Okay, perhaps the latter shouldn't be a compliment for a movie, but I guess that's what Underworld gives us.
-Adds virtually nothing to the series
-Rehash of material
-Nighy is once again over-the-top
-Another pointless romance
Definitely my second favorite Underworld film yet. Not only is this a genuinely entertaining film itself, it makes the first film even better, making it a very affective and worth while prequel.