In a war between vampires and lycans (werewolves), Selene (Kate Beckinsale) has always fought on the side of her vampire brethren. But after meeting Michael (Scott Speedman), a human who has recently been bitten by a werewolf, she begins to wonder which side she really wants to fight for.
I’ve avoided these movies for a very long time now because they just haven’t looked all that interesting to me. I love vampires and I especially love werewolves but the trailers for these movies have always made them look incredibly bland and straight-to-video-ish. But now that I’ve actually watched the first, I have to say I was rather entertained. This is by no means a well-produced film of course. The effects are really terrible and the action scenes balance between boring and ridiculous, but the story is actually kind of interesting. It’s pretty generic when you get to the base of it (heck, it’s practically Avatar in more than one way), but the element of vampires, werewolves, and the possibility of them combining in some genetic way is incredibly cool. The way that plays out is kind of a letdown as far as visuals go but the journey there is more enjoyable than I expected.
I do have to admit that about half of the enjoyment (if not a bit more) comes from the terrible production of the film. It bounces in and out of the “so bad it’s good” territory with punches missing by a mile and some completely ludicrous moments in the action that I couldn’t help but laugh at how awesome they were. It took a while to get to those moments though as I found the first half of the film to be kind of boring. There are a couple moments here and there that were bizarrely hilarious, and I do like how the story developed in hindsight, but for the most part I just didn’t find myself caring about any of the characters until about halfway through. They all went from being boring and generic to being interesting and, in some cases, even pretty emotional by the end.
Underworld feels like an Asylum movie with a slightly bigger budget and a group of people who actually care about what they’re doing. I didn’t realize there were several recognizable names involved until the credits began to roll, mostly because the acting was about what you’d expect once you see the production quality of the film. It’s still not really something I’d recommend you go out and hunt down immediately but if a friend asks you if you’ve ever seen it, and you haven’t, let your friend show it to you. It’ll be fun whether you genuinely enjoy it or riff it the whole time.