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Film Review - Underworld
Werewolves and Vampires do Romeo and Juliet. Cool idea! The moment I saw the first trailer I knew I had to see this film. It was dark, there was a great conflict. The movie promised to wake me from my boredom of the summer movies.
The film didn't disappoint. I got what I paid for (which is all I ever want from a film.) As Underworld opens we see the Vampires watching a group of Werewolves about to assassinate an unknown person. The Werewolves are hunting this man, and the Vampires are hunting the Werewolves. In the first five minutes I'm hooked.
As the story progresses we learn about why the Werewolves and Vampires are at war, and who started it. Eventually, characters we thought were the good guys now have a shadow cast upon them. No one is who they seemed at the beginning of the film.
The end of the film breaks with the Romeo and Juliet theme and heads in another direction. I love this film. I was hooked up front, and the story kept me awake through all of the gratuitous extremely violent scenes.
Now, about the sound design. The dynamic range of the sound track is extremely wide. So the dialog tends to be on the quiet side, and the gun fire and its accompanying heavy metal score tends to be very loud. I'm a little hard of hearing. So if I buy the DVD, I'll have to turn up the volume to hear the dialog, and then the neighbors will be calling the cops because of all the bullets that must be flying through my walls. This is going to sound like the mother of all domestic disputes. Maybe I should buy an audio compressor.
As for the Werewolves and Vampires, there are only a few liberties taken with the legends we know. In this film, Vampires cast reflections in mirrors. They also do not transform into Bats. The Werewolves although they are driven by the full moon, can transform whenever they want. This seemed to be very little effort, I would have preferred that the transformation into wolf been painful, and cost them much energy. If you think about it, if there were such creatures, they would be very sore after all that stretching.
I really liked this film. I love it when a cinematographer does the darkly lit sets where you can see everything, but the lighting is driving the mood. The story held me. Having my perspective of the characters change in the film, was fantastic. Go see this one. Just don't take your kids unless you want to pay for their therapy later in life.
Directed by Len Wiseman
Released in 2003
MPAA Rating: R
Reviewed by Mongo