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Underworld (2003)

Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, more...
Director: Len Wiseman, Len Wiseman
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Action, Horror, Vampires, Werewolves, Comic Books, Superheroes, Fantasy
Running Time: 121 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

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, All Movie Guide

You might also enjoy:
Another vampire-action-thriller hybrid

The Crow
See? Goths really can kick ass when need be.

Buffy, the Vampire Slayer: Season One
Vampires, and monsters, and teens, oh my!

Neil Gaiman series goes way underground

GreenCine Member Reviews

Fangs, guns, and hairy men by MrBunBun December 15, 2003 - 1:53 PM PST
9 out of 13 members found this review helpful
What I like about the fantasy and horror genres are their commentaries (intentional and not) about contemporary society and the "human condition". Even the clumsiest, most uninspired, hackneyed slashers can find proponents talking about 'meaning'.

Okay, getting off my soap box now. Going into watch this movie, I expected a very stylized techno-gothic action movie, and I got it. Fun times, people, fun times. You get fangs AND guns, AND svelte women running around in black patent leather and lace. Like the Matrix but with more old-world touches. I hope this techn-gothic theme keeps going strong because these movies have enough happening on the screen to keep you amused for a good hour and a half.

What I was somewhat surprised to see was a Romeo and Juliet like class commentary. The lycans are dirty, rough, and live in the sewers. And from what I saw, they are all men and generally have really grungy hair. The vampires are decadent elitist old-money and there's lots of pretty boys and women in general lounging around smoking. (Feel free to read anything you wish into this.)

You see, the vampires used lycans as indentured servants and well, oppressed them in the best 19th century England Charles Dickens vein. And now the vampires are hunting the lycans to extinction (those bastards!!) One of the lycans is organizing his own revolution.

Then one man steps forward to bridge the divide between the "good" and the "bad" by becoming a hybrid of both.

Okay, so it's not necessarily the most challenging or even original plot but it's FUN people. And in the end, isn't that all that matters?

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.92)
327 Votes
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"Vampire movies" versus "movies with vampires"
Vampire movies are about seduction/conversion to evil, about power, and/or about the tangibility of evil. Usually all three. Movies with vampires use bloodsucking, immortal characters as foils, exposition, and/or action. I like both.

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