Underworld: Evolution (2006) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

 You can tell that "Underworld: Evolution" is trying to be an artistic action-horror film, because every scene is bathed in the color blue. Seriously, there's no yellow, green or orange in this movie. It's as if someone shot the entire picture through a bottle of Windex.

 *** The San Francisco Chronicle ***


And you thought the Emperor Charlemagne left behind a tragic legacy! A couple of decades after his death, Charlemagne's three grandsons divided up the Christian empire with an agreement called the Treaty of Verdun. The Western part of Charlemagne's European empire eventually became modern day France, the Eastern part became Germany. After the great emperor had struggled so mightily to unite Christianity in peace, his descendants spent approximately the next millennium killing one another. About the only time they took a break from slaughtering their own cousins was when they were concentrating on slaughtering Jews instead.

Charlemagne, or Big Chuck as we call him in English, apparently had nothing on another European patriarch named Corvinus. You see, about a millennium ago Corvinus had two sons named Marcus and William who turned into a vampire and a werewolf, and their descendants spent the next few centuries tearing one another apart. About the only time they took a break from slaughtering their own cousins was when they were concentrating on slaughtering Jews instead. Well, to be fair, they did slaughter other humans as well, but it was much easier for them to get the humans who didn't carry those accursed crucifixes. Poor old Corvinus, who was basically a decent sort as played by Derek Jacobi, was not only cursed with the fact of his legacy, but he was also unfortunate enough to be immortal, which meant that he had to watch the whole damned mess for all eternity.

Now that I think about it, he wasn't immortal. Although he lived a thousand years before this film began, he finally bought the farm in this story. At least I think he did. Frankly, I'm not too sure what the hell was going on in this story, which seems to require lots of advance summer reading and an intimate knowledge of a previous movie called Underworld. I did gather that one of the two sons was so powerful that he was placed in an eternal cage, and the other son, learning that his father's eternal life wasn't quite as eternal as previously suspected, reasons that the family's definition of "eternal" may not be entirely precise, and studies up on arcane lore which will allow him to free his brother and ... I don't know ... destroy the world, or rule it, or both. Something nasty. The evil brothers are opposed by Kate Beckinsale, who is a vampire capable of killing both vampires and werewolves, and her boyfriend, who is a powerful vampire/werewolf hybrid and a killing machine, but is really a sweet guy at heart. He's got that whole Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno thing goin' for him.

The entire movie basically consists of blue-tinted fight scenes between various combinations of werewolves and vampires, all linked together with clumsy expository narration about ancient events involving people with silly names, all of which will make about as much sense to the average moviegoer as shop talk between two "Dungeons and Dragons" geeks. The film is essentially like a Uwe Boll movie with a lot more visual pizzazz. Critics hated it, as I did, but the series has developed a core of fandom, and this installment had one of the best January opening weekends in history. I had thought that the audience for this series must skew extremely young, but that does not appear to be the case. The demographic scores at IMDb do show that the film plays stronger with younger audiences, but the drop among older voters is not dramatic at all. Overall, Underworld: Evolution is currently rated a very respectable 6.6 at IMDb, which is about two points higher than you'd expect from a film with only 15% positive reviews. That and the strong box office performance are indicative of a cult in the making.



  • Commentary by: director Len Wiseman and others
  • "The Hybrid Theory" visual effects featurette
  • "The War Rages On" stunts featurette
  • "Bloodlines: From Script to Screen" making-of featurette
  • "Making Monsters Roar" creature featurette
  • "Building a Saga" production design featurette
  • "Music and Mayhem" music and sound design featurette
  • Music video: "Her Portrait in Black" by Atreyu


  • Kate Beckinsale shows her bum for about two frames in extremely fast forward. It's pretty much undetectable without the pause button.

  • Kaja Gjesdal shows her breasts in a sex scene and the subsequent fight scenes.

The Critics Vote ...

  • James Berardinelli 2/4.

  • British consensus: one and a quarter stars out of four.. Mail 0/10, Telegraph 0/10, Independent 2/10, Guardian 4/10, Times 4/10, Sun 5/10, Express 6/10, BBC 2/5.

The People Vote ...

  • Box Office Mojo. It was distributed widely (3000+ screens), grossed $26 million in its January opening (winning its week by a wide margin - as much as the next three films added together) en route to $62 million altogether. It had the fifth best January opening of all time.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a C-. What can you say? It obviously has an audience. It is a classic C- in that the average moviegoer will walk away from it quickly, finding it indistinguishable from crap like BloodRayne, but a cult audience genuinely appreciates it.

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