Super-stylish gothic horror/adventure stars Kate Beckinsale as vampire huntress Selene, out to destroy the Lycans, the werewolf race her kind have been warring with for centuries. Selene falls in love with Michael (Scott Speedman), a human caught between both sides in the conflict, but when he's infected by lupine disease and becomes a werewolf, Selene calls on Viktor (Bill Nighy), an elder vampire leader, to intercede. With Shane Brolly, Michael Sheen. Extended version; 133 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital 5.1; audio commentary; featurettes; "making of" documentary; outtakes; more. Two-disc set.
Blade meets The Crow and The Matrix in Underworld, a hybrid thriller that rewrites the rulebook on werewolves and vampires. It's a "cuisinart" movie (blend a lot of familiar ideas and hope something interesting happens) in which immortal vampire "death dealers" wage an ancient war against "Lycans" (werewolves), who've got centuries of revenge--and some rather ambitious genetic experiments--on their lycanthropic agenda. Given his preoccupation with gloomy architecture (mostly filmed in Budapest, Hungary), frenetic mayhem and gothic costuming, it's no surprise that first-time director Len Wiseman gained experience in TV commercials and the art departments of Godzilla, Men in Black, and Independence Day. His work is all surface, no substance, filled with derivative, grand-scale action as conflicted vampire Selene (Kate Beckinsale, who later became engaged to Wiseman) struggles to rescue an ill-fated human (Scott Speedman) from Lycan transformation. It's great looking all the way, and a guaranteed treat for horror buffs, who will eagerly dissect its many strengths and weaknesses. --Jeff Shannon