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Underworld: Rise of the Lycans 

There is not an intended joke in the whole shebang.

As some fantasy series progress, they get nerdier and more insular. Granted, Underworld was never cool, but now it's reduced to Masterpiece Theatre vampires looking anguished and repressed werewolves giving Braveheart speeches. Though the prequel Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is goofy, I don't think there's an intended joke in the whole thing. Breaching inter-species romance, vampire Sonja (Rhona Mitra) joins lycan Lucian (Michael Sheen) for cinema's most melodramatic conservative sex scene. The sterile blue look of the Underworld series is responsible for the awful trend of colour-drained action movies. At least Mitra's tougher features make her a more credible action hero than series regular Kate Beckinsale. But the Romeo and Juliet parallel and the slavery metaphor in Sonja's effort to rescue lycans from vampires is ham-handed in a movie so plain no one will care about its mythos.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Rated R (MPAA) · 92 min. · 2009
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Director: Patrick Tatopoulos
Writer: Danny McBride, Dirk Blackman, Howard McCain, Len Wiseman and Robert Orr
Producer: Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Len Wiseman and Richard Wright
Cast: Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, Rhona Mitra, Steven Mackintosh and Kevin Grevioux


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