Here is where it all began. For the Underworld film series. For Kate Beckinsale being regarded as someone who could do action films. An argument could even be made that when this came out in 2003 it was the first film in which a female was at the head of an action film. Began a whole new trend…slowly.
Vampire warrior Selene (Kate Beckinsale – The Aviator, Serendipity) finds herself caught in the middle of a war between vampires and werewolves. The vampires and lycans have been fighting for centuries. Selene is a death dealer whose job it is to hunt down and kill lycans. While fighting lycans she comes in contact with a human named Michael (Scott Speedman – from television’s Animal Kingdom). Soon she realizes that the human might be the key to ending the war between the two species. This leads to her being caught between her duty and kind and trying to end the war.
I am sure when this film first came out it was laughed off. A British actress running around in a latex suit trying to pass herself off as a vampire who can kick butt. Yet, it was a success and four subsequent (only three starring Beckinsale) Underworld films came out. Underworld has gone on to become a cult favourite. Now, that being said, don’t expect miracles from what is essentially a low budget sci fi/action film.
Films involving vampires have not had a great history. Meaning that they have not been of high quality. This one might be one of the best (of the worst). In that it is fairly character driven and involves actors/actresses who can act. Like Beckinsale, Speedman, Michael Sheen (from television’s Masters of Sex), Bill Nighy (Love Actually, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), and Wentworth Miller (from television’s Prison Break). It is an action film and while director Ken Wiseman (Total Recall – 2012, Underworld: Evolution) does a good job with the action involved, it really is a film driven by the story and characters. Most will be surpised by how engaging it is. Plus the fresh spin on vampires. Don’t expect a film that will change your life, but it is an enjoyable watch.
A big part of the allure of the film, besides Beckinsale, is the look of it. Rather gothic in look and tone, if you are a fan of the dark then hop on board this film series is for you. It is like a mix of other like films like The Matrix and Blade.
-Audio Commentary with Director Len Wiseman, Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman
-Fang vs. Fiction