Writer: Ian YapWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"The Blade Series", "Van Helsing", "Underworld"
Here's a conundrum to stir up some of that grey matter; when did vampires become the good guys?
From my murky pool of brain cells, i can (barely) conjure up remnants of Stokers Dracula, old grey and white and black films of the Black Bloodsucking Baron terrifying men and enchanting women, luring them to his dinner plate (or mug, goblet, whatever rocks your cradle). Then the hero, prancing off to face the vampire, shrouded in cloves of garlic, silver crosses, hammers and wooden stakes; dashing through ancient corridors, trying to save his damsel before the Count 'suckksssss her bloood' in that horribly lasting Transylvanian accent.
Perhaps somewhere after Rambo, the dear masses figured, 'If stakes and garlics are all you need, we can send Jamie Oliver to take out Dracula!'. Plus the naked chef could probably do a number on vampire stew after he was through.
So killing badly dressed counts ran kinda stale, people were through with the shrills and scary voices. What oh what shall we do about the genre?
Hollywood didn't let it die, took a queue from Anne Rice and voila!
, we have...we have...pretty boy vampires. Victorian and cultured, "Interview With A Vampire" saw the 'new' plasma-poppers. Not too shabby, and if that look had stuck, Goth fashion probably wouldn't have taken off like it did.
Pretty boy turned badass pretty soon, what with "Blade" and "Queen of The Damned" gracing the screens. Guns, leather, swords, clans, grudges, kung fu, even politics got dumped into the swirling storm that hit old school Dracula so hard, even Steven Segal would've flinched.
"Blade's" claim to fame - Lead vampire karate chops, shoots, slices and has so much attitude he could sneer a man to death.
"Underworld's" claim to fame - Lead vampire karate chops, shoots, slices and has so much attitude she could sneer a man to death.
Well, see a pattern here?
Of course, one had Mr Snipes, the other the lovely Ms. Beckinsale. Despite the gender difference, the appeal is similar, give or take a few 'ooohs' and 'aaahs'. Think of it as another tale about the same people (who all just HAVE to dress like Neo).
"Underworld 2: Evolution" takes place mere seconds after the first, so unless you feel like scratching all the dandruff out of your scalp (popcorn ala dandruff... yummm
), you might want to catch the prequel beforehand. Yup, watch it a few times, get all the detail in the cranium, and you'll appreciate the finer points of "Underworld 2: Evolution".
If you can't get your hands on the prequel, no fear, there are other things to this instalment you can mystify yourself with while you wait for the plot to unfold. Take for example, gore. A vampire and a werewolf dancing do NOT paint a pretty picture, and the darlings at the censors show us their divine mercy this time. Don't like gore? Well then there's a pretty intricate storyline (sharp turn right if you think it's a follow-up of the first) and a detailed world put up, bells and whistles included. Failing that you can gawk at Ms. Beckinsale, in all her leathery goodness.
It was also rather pleasing to notice the beautiful LACK of cheap shots throughout the show, no fake explosions, no crappy bat graphics and definitely no 'plummeting down a chasm' deaths. Werewolves look like werewolves, explosions blind your eyes (okay, perhaps I was sitting to close) and best of all, you cringe when our heroes and villains buy it. Yup, they get beheaded, they get impaled, they get peppered full of lead, one gets blendered, one even gets his jaw ripped off (like what Kong did to the poor t-rex).
That's the deal folks, I won't have to tell vamp fans to watch this, they're probably stalking the box office staff at this very moment. I won't have to tell action fans, I won't have to tell Beckinsale fans (don't go for the guys though, they stay ugly most of the time) and if you're the chap that needs a break from all the artsy stuff in the cinemas as of late, I won't stop you either.Cinema Online, 23 September 2008