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Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

Every war has a beginning 

Year: 2009 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Patrick Tatopoulos 
Starring: Micheal Sheen, Bill Nighy, Kate Beckinsale, Rhona Mitra  
An image from Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

Viktor (Nighy), the ruthless vampire king, has gained power over the new werewolf breed, the Lycans, and has kept them as slaves to vampire world. Unfortunately, he makes the mistake of sparing the life of Lucian (Sheen), the first of his kind, whose name would soon become synonymous with the freedom of the Lycans. Viktor’s daughter, Sonja (Mitra), and Lucian grow up together and a secret love blooms but how long can she keep it hidden from her father? Especially when the beginning of a war is imminent...

Prequel to the other Underworld films, this story encapsulates the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic Vampires and the once enslaved Lycans. It explains the reason for the bloodshed which occurs within the other films while still holding on to its own dramatic plot. It allows audiences to be re-educated and impressed with the obvious upswing in quality. This could be due to the direction of Tatopoulos who offers a take on the saga which was unachievable in the previous films. He keeps up the expectation of fans by keeping the film action-packed but with more of a medieval theme, choosing classic swords over guns.

The film is backed by a completely competent and wondrous cast. Michael Sheen (former spouse of heroine actress, Beckinsale), gives a top performance as Lucian and the undeniably talented, Bill Nighy exudes his (expected) brilliance. Rhona Mitra replaces Beckinsale as the movie's British beauty. Although she is not as well-known (despite parts in Beowulf and The Number 23), she certainly shines in her role and makes a more than adequate substitute.

For fans of the genre, the term 'must-see' is an understatement. And for those new to the Underworld series, this is definitely a good place to start...

Samilia Ekeocha

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Screenings of this film:

2008/2009 Summer Term (35mm)
2008/2009 Summer Term (35mm)