As we move from the sequential nature of the first two films, the latter two have a very different relationship. Rise of the Lycans resembles a modern news story to me in that it does the job of distracting us from the timeline that’s been set up so far so that they can break into a new one. Rise of the Lycans is basically the story about Beyonce’s new album that’s making it so they don’t have to talk about a hospital bombing, while also making way to talk about Underworld: Awakening A.K.A. the new Justin Bieber scandal because it fits. Granted this isn’t the best comparison in the world considering the latter two movies in the Underworld series are great and that the smooth transition of timelines that is facilitated by Rise of the Lycans is actually done magnificently.
Rise of the Lycans tells us the more explicit version of the back story regarding Lucian that we hear about in the first film. Going into his love interest, his relationship with Victor, and even the origins of his alliance with Raze. It’s awfully depressing though, Lucian just gets dicked all film long just to think he’s safe and will be happy, then gets dicked again, and then finally wins but only for the time being.
They kept pretty much everything good from the first two films which was a relief considering a solid amount of movie franchises seem to get lazy and die around the 3rd or 4th installments. I talked about this in Part 1 a bit but consider how highly I hold it in importance I’m going to mention it again: They did a fucking fantastic job at pacing the story. No odd time jumps, nothing that needed much explanation, none of that, just a solid story with some solid pacing.
Rise of the Lycans also did a good job at reinforcing everyones feelings about two of the main characters from Underworld and Underworld Evolution, those characters being Lucian and Victor and those feelings being “fight the good fight bro” and “burn in sunlight you pasty vampire bastard”. If you didn’t feel for Lucian and hate Victor before you certainly should now and if your feelings are reversed on the subject well then burn in sunlight you pasty vampire bastards.
Underworld Awakening fast forwards us approximately twelve years in the future after Selene and Mike have been captured and frozen for testing. This film follows a much more modern day Underworld sequencing and story type as apposed to Rise of the Lycans. Mike is present for next to none of the film though as for most of its duration we think he’s just dead and gone. A logical thought considering he was traveling on that road to long just trying to find his way back home. At any rate, as one would expect with Mike gone, this film centers directly around Selene and growing her as a character. There’s also another vampire she meets, plus a cop who seems to be not only the single person who doesn’t want to kill all remaining vampires and lycans but is also fucking Action Jackson apparently. During a later part of the film he just pulls out a fucking AK and starts blasting away at people who work in the facility where Selene was held while she’s infiltrating it.
The ending of the film was very “two-part movie”-esk in that Selene finds a Mike-sicle in the lab were she was held and hits the defrost cycle while she goes and kicks ass. When she comes back he’s gone and Selene and crew must go find him which is where the film cuts. This was a solid end point in my opinion because it wasn’t so much of a cliff hanger that it pissed off the audience but it did make me want to see the 5th film when it comes out to get a conclusion to this chapter of the story.
Overall, after a little inner debate, I have decided to give the Underworld Series a 8.75/10. I felt uncomfortable giving it any higher a score even though I had nothing negative to say really. It just seems that anything higher is so difficult to pull off in general, I mean, so much has to go perfectly in order for such a score to be given out. But, there you have it, the series tackled. I will be doing a review on the 5th one when it comes out so if you enjoyed this two part review be sure to watch for that one.