Underworld: Evolution (Blu-ray)
Selene and Michael are on the run from the vampires after taking out Viktor during a vampire/lycan uprise. Things go from bad to worse for the duo however, as Marcus wakes from his sleep reborn as a new form of hybrid with one thought on his mind, the creation of a new race and the destruction of all who stand in his way.
Arguable the best of the series, EVOLUTION picks up exactly where the UNDERWORLD ends with the vampires hurting from an inner power struggle, a hybrid half vampire, half lycan on the loose and one of their own now changed by joining of both bloodlines. I really enjoyed the opening scene which takes part back in medieval times where the original war got started. Right here we really see how much we miss the already dead characters like Viktor and even Amelia (the uber hot vampire chick that got ravaged by wolves on the train in the first film). Everyone here’s clad in armour and looking very cool during the back story setup to properly introduce our villain Marcus. I’m quite sure this scene undoubtedly got the creative juices flowing for the third film, but we’ll get to that later.
The chemistry between Beckingsale’s Selene and Speedman’s Michael are what floats this dark boat. The two work well together, but I always chuckle when watching the love scene as it must have been hard for Speedman to do his thing knowing director Les Wiseman was shacked up with her at the time (which also brings to note, how bad I felt for Michael Sheen who was dating Beckinsale when the first UNDERWORLD film started, but ended up with Wiseman before it finished. Ouch, this might be yet another reason Lucian died).
Now Marcus is no Viktor but he put on a hell of a good show. Where Viktor was calm and calculated for the most part, Marcus knows he can destroy anyone and anything in his path and it shows. He doesn’t waste any time cleaning house at the vampire den and then goes straight for the jugular with everyone else. His version of the vampire/wolf hybrid is much cooler than Speedman’s due to the wings mostly, but also because he actually looks the part of the monster. One scene that does stand out however is the one with the vampire Tannis and his two nude mistresses. I’m all for the nudity, don’t get me wrong, I just wondered at why with all the films being rated R this was the only one to have some nudity in it. Again, I’m not complaining, it just felt a little out of place.
UNDERWORLD EVOLUTION is just as action packed as its predecessor and packs just as much bite. The action scenes are a bit more intense, the villain is a touch more over the top and the fights are just as brutal if not more so. I loved this second go around, but as the credits rolled it did feel like this was the end. With Selene becoming all suped up on original blood making her and Michael seemingly unstoppable, all good things must come to an end. It made perfect sense that they would send this party back in time and I was all for that as well. Bringing things back to now though, I enjoyed UNDERWORLD AWAKENING as much as the next guy, but for my money, EVOLUTION was the best of the bunch and definitely worth owning on Blu-ray.
Video: 2.40:1 Widescreen in 1080p HD with AVC codec. The picture is crisp and well defined but overall dark in tone which I find cool but others may not…just like the last one.
Audio: 5.1 PCM (Uncompressed) in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian with the same subtitle options. I’m still not sure what uncompressed means, but I still dug it.
Commentary (1:46:24): Returning director Len Wiseman and crew discuss at length the idea that there were miles of storyline written for the original film that they knew would stretch into further films (easy to say now). They loved jumping from timeline to timeline and all seem much more confident this time around.
Featurettes (1:13:05): Though not as lengthy or compelling as the first film, these featurettes cover the jump in timelines (new) and then recycle some of the same for the visuals, fight scenes and makeup effects. They go a little bit more in depth this time because of Marcus’ fresh look, but it still feels like more of the same.
Music Video (3:54): The video for “Her Portrait in Black” by Atreyu (awesome name for a band). Another cool video and cool tune if you like it hardcore.
Previews: A couple trailers, but nothing for the film itself. Better than none like the last one I suppose.