Ruin the movie "Underworld" for me

Spoiler warnings, of course.

I’m talking about the 2003 movie about modern-day vampires and werewolves, not one of the other dozen movies with the same title.

I don’t mean spoil the movie for me, since I’ve seen it and liked it enough to buy a copy. The sequel was a little limp, though, giving me second thoughts about the first one. Now that I’m reselling some of my collection, this title may go.

Did you hate this movie? If so, why? Was it the little pseudoscientific annoyances (e.g. silver nitrate solution is blue, not silver), or the acting (Kate Beckensale may look fetching in black leather bodysuits, but she’s not exactly ready for Shakespeare), or the hardware (no matter how often you pull the trigger, machine pistols don’t carry hundreds of rounds in a clip), or the plot?

I think I liked the movie. I’m not a big horror movie fan, so I don’t know how it compares, but it struck me as more high fantasy than horror. In terms of effects, dialogue, plot and backstory, I think I might put it in the same league as Aliens, which I thoroughly enjoy. (Then again, I also enjoyed Chronicles of Riddick, which I freely admit is about 2 hours of cheese, and which I do not own a copy of.)

So anyhow, my theory is: if you can point out the parts of the movie that made you want to hurl bricks at the screen, and after that I still enjoy the movie, then I’ll keep it. Otherwise, it’s getting sold.

I’ve only seen the first one.

I thought it a pretty good “popcorn” movie, nothing great.

Specific things I really liked:

Kate jumps off a high ledge and lands just perfectly, striding off instantly. Yep, very vampire-ish.

Calling the werewolves “Lycans.” With no sop to us viewers as to what it meant. I have to cop a plela of insanity here, because it took me the longest time to realize that they were not saying “Lichens.” That’s probably pretty stupid on my part, but so be it. I do like it when a movie doesn’t dumb down things to the lowest common denominator, and assumes we can figure out what’s going on. That was my bad, not theirs.

And last, I really don’t how to phrase this…but the angst that Kate brought to her character beats Caruso’s “Miami Vice” , uh, sorry, “Miami CSI”, uh, sorry, I meant “CSI: Miami” fake as hell angst. Kate does it real, without needing sunglasses to take off…and then…PUT ON.

Yeah, not a movie to keep in one’s collection, but I do appreciate parts of it and don’t feel ripped off for paying to see it.

Sorry. Best I can do.

Don’t be so sure. Her first film role.

Let’s all watch the Shakespearean film starring Keanu Reeves!

Ahem. Er… I admit I did like Underworld. I didn’t think it was mind-blowingly spectacular, but I did enjoy it for what it was. I like fantastical movies with involved corresponding mythologies, and that’s what Underworld was. I’d keep it just for the sake of soaking up silly fantasy history every now and again. I never saw the second one, so I have nothing to compare.

I couldn’t finish watching Underworld and turned it off about half way through. I didn’t really care for the plot but I suppose someone else could have done something better with it, I didn’t really care about any of the characters, and for an action movie I didn’t really find the action to be all that exciting. I don’t consider myself a movie snob but I really can’t understand what people see in the movie and I’m baffled that it spawned a sequel.


I spent the whole time it was on (dvd at home) surfing looking for boots like Kate’s. God it was boring. And I love stupid explody popcorn films.

OTOH I enjoyed Van Helsing and that’s about equally stupid so mileages may vary.

  • Plot spoiler at the end of this post *

I also liked it. It’s not in my All Time Top 50, and I wouldn’t say it was stamped with greatness or anything. But I thought they took a good story worth the telling, and told it fairly well. It’s a campy, goth-fantasy comic kind of story, and has to be met on that level and enjoyed for what it is.

Plus, it provides 90 minutes to ‘admire’ Kate in her black leather vamp garb. There are many worse ways to spent 90 minutes, IMHO.

And the Bill Nighy ‘head slice’ at the end is rather wonderful, I thought.

I love it. I like the way the plot twists, ie You start off assumming that, for this movie, vampires are the good guys and the werewolves are bad. Then you learn that the Lycans have a pretty legitimate gripe. Then the ‘bad guy’ changes a few times as you get more info.

I like the way that it at least tried to explain the origins in a non-supernatural way. Of course, it would have most scientists (hell, all scientists and most GED holders) rolling their eyes, but in my book that gets far more points than invoking the supernatural or ignoring the issue.

The second one wasn’t as good, and introduced some more plot holes.

Disclaimer: I also thought that The Chronicles of Riddick was great, campy fun (and anything bad that you can say about it can also be said about Star Wars). Also, Van Helsing/League of Extrordinary Gentlemen was/were crap.

The vampires live in a house with big windows, and apparently do little with their powers and eternal lifespans except smoke cigarettes and host cocktail receptions. I didn’t feel the need to watch it again.

Well, that coven had grown decadent, weak.

I like the movie, but on the other hand, it is pretty similar to the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurrel Hamilton, too, so it’s an easy stretch for me to think of vampires and werewolves using guns and such. You can be mad at it for being a copy, if you want. Me, I like it since Buffy The Vampire Slayer (movie, I mean, made the same year the first ABVH book was published) probably put a stake through the possiblities of Anita ever making it to the big or small screen.

I agree completely with Rucksinator on the movies mentioned: liked Underworld and Chronicles of Riddick; hated Van Helsing and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Underworld: Evolution was disappointing.

I also own a copy of Underworld (got it used and on sale from SecondSpin). I vote for keeping hold of it.

Kate Beckinsale’s boobs are not as big as they are on the poster/dvd box.

I like both Underworld and the sequel. It’s a World of Darkness game made into a film, basically. I kept waiting for someone to turn out to be a Mage, quite frankly.

I like Kate Beckinsale, and that guy from Felicity wasn’t bad either. Nothing “hey wow!”, but you could tell that the people behind it cared enough about the story they were telling not to just make a crappy action flick. I felt like they actually enjoyed telling the story (a feeling I got from the first Blade film too),and were fans of the genre.

All the vampires in that coven… live in the same house… that’s not decadent or weak… its lazy and boring. And lazy Euro-trash vampires who are boring make for terrible film subjects.

Agreed on all counts with both you and Ruck. Only difference is that I haven’t seen the second Underworld yet; waiting for the cable premiere.

I’ve actually compared Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick to Alien and Aliens. Not quality-wise; both Alien movies are orders of magnitude superior to their Riddick counterparts. But both go from isolated, small-cast origins in the first movie to broader large-scale action in the sequels. Also, while they may not be superior films, I enjoyed the sequels much more than the originals, and I also find them much more re-watchable.

Those vampires were hardly main characters. They were only seen when one of the main vampire characters stormed through the house. (Perhaps you’re confusing this movie with an Anne Rice novel?) The only vampire characters that weren’t ass-kickers were Kraven and the chick who followed him like a puppy.

(I’m quoting from memory. Apologies if this is incorrect.)
“I would never dream of treating you like that.”
“Of course you wouldn’t.”

So many great lines.

Aside from the mentioned goth poseur angst of the vampires, I loved the hell out of this movie. It was great fun, with well staged action, and good attention paid to plot progression. :cool:

I actually thought the sequal was much superior to the original Underworld, aside from the painfully bad sex scene. The story between the two brothers adds so much pathos and goes a long way towards cleaning up the confusing backstory from the first movie.

I own that movie (very watchable apart from Keanu) and I’ve seen Underworld, never realizing those two were the same person.