The Underworld Trilogy movies are worth a second look due to well developed plot lines with a gore bonus. If you're in it for action, then these films deliver but what sets them apart from other boilerplate science fiction fantasies is the measured, structured unfolding of the plot throughout the movies.

Where performance as a actor counts, Kate Beckinsale really delivers in this film genre. As a heavily armed, skilled warrior or "Death Dealer" from an ancient vampire coven seeking vengeance for atrocities committed centuries ago, she delivers convincingly.

Not so much to do with horror, despite being about vampires and werewolves, you become more keenly in tune to vampires' aversion to sunlight and werewolves' reaction to silver. Taking these movies for what they are, brawls and bullets in a horror backdrop, is what makes them an exhilarating, sometimes edge-of-your-seat, collection.

Underworld introduces you to two of the series main characters, our heroine Selene and doctor Michael Corvin. Our leather-clad, butt-kicking heroine falls for a hunky werewolf mix. Investigating her roots while fighting evil helps to cement the storyline.

Double the budget of the first film and you get Underworld: Evolution, the second in the series. Better special effects in character transformations, lighting and audio result in sleeker graphic scenes and heightened awareness when you have more money to spend. The second film picks right up where the first storyline ends but doesn't deliver as well as the first.

This segment seeks to define more of the relationship between our main character Selene and her werewolf love interest. The action sequences, and there are still plenty to cater to those adrenaline junkies, seem to play second to the emotion and character this segment attempts to deliver.

Probably the best of the Underworld Trilogy is the third film, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. As a prequel to the first to films (much like that done with the po[censored] r Star Wars and Lord of the Rings trilogies), this movie does not showcase our heroine Selene. In the prequel, the Lycans work as slaves to the vampires and was a risky move considering the luke warm reception for the second film.

In this film you find the exploited creatures plotting revenge against the oppressors to attain freedom. Freedom here also means this film is free from having to build on the mistakes made in the sequel, Evolution. The prequel breathed new life into the series utilizing all the technology available in modern cinema to produce some riveting action. The gothic energy and bloodlust which attracts many to this film series are well preserved in this third film.

Underworld: Awakening, a fourth "attempt" in the film series was by far, the worst of the lot. Awakening wasn't able to awaken anyone at the box office. Even though the leather-clad Kate Beckinsale is back as Selene in this final film, even her great acting can't save the movie as a whole.

True to the film's title, Selene awakens in a lab, after supposed hundreds of years in limbo, to find our two nemsis' trying to wipe out each other's species.

While this film does deliver the most gruesome scenes over the other films, it seems to have morphed from a vampire series to a zombie movie. Everyone has a different expectation when watching these movies. For some the fourth film will still provide entainment value while others will be disappointed.

You can stay true to the storyline in the original Underworld Trilogy and in my opinion, it's definitely worth a second look for those who look this film genre.


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