USA Today - 01/26/2009
"[T]his third UNDERWORLD -- whose violence is more cartoonish than gruesome -- taps into audiences' continued fascination with these iconic monsters of lore."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Every war has a beginning...The birth of a hero...The rise of a legend...The beginning of a WAR.
UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS delves into the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires, known as Death Dealers, and the barbaric Lycans (werewolves). A young Lycan, Lucian (Michael Sheen), emerges as a powerful leader who rallies the werewolves to rise up against Viktor (Bill Nighy), the cruel vampire king who has persecuted them for hundreds of years. Lucian is joined by his secret lover, the beautiful vampire Sonja (Rhona Mitra), in his battle to free the Lycans from their brutal enslavement.
The prequel story traces the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires known as Death Dealers and their onetime slaves, the Lycans. In the Dark Ages, a young Lycan named Lucian (Michael Sheen) emerges as a powerful leader who rallies the werewolves to rise up against Viktor (Bill Nighy), the cruel vampire king who has enslaved them. Lucian is joined by his secret lover, Sonja (Rhona Mitra), in his battle against the Death Dealer army and his struggle for Lycan freedom.
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Film in 1080p HD resolution
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
French: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
"Underworld: Rise of the Lycans - From Script to Screen" Featurette
"The Origin of the Feud" Featurette
"Re-Creating the Dark Ages - The Look of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" Featurette
Music Video: "Deathclub" by William Control
Cinechat: Send on-screen instant messages to friends around the world while watching the movie together
Behind the Castle Walls: Picture-in-Picture
"Lycanthropes Around the World" Interactive Map: Learn about werewolf sightings that span throughout the past five centuries
BD-Live Enabled: Access Exclusive Content and Downloads
Digital Copy of the film for PC, PSP, Mac or iPod (2nd disc)
The third film in the UNDERWORLD saga goes back hundreds of years to explain the origins of the feud between the vampire Death Dealers and the werewolf Lycans. Taking over directing duties from Len Wiseman is rookie Patrick Tatoupolos, known for his creature-designing duties in GODZILLA (1998), I AM LEGEND (2007), and the first two films in this series. Less an action-horror film than an old-fashioned "sword-and-sandal" film with monsters, RISE OF THE LYCANS finally gets to the root of why those vampires and werewolves really can't stand each other. Ruled by Viktor (Bill Nighy, VALKYRIE), the aristocratic, vampiric Death Dealers keep the wolflike Lycans as slaves. When a captive Lycan woman births a human boy, Viktor resists the urge to kill it, instead naming him Lucian and keeping him as a pet. Lucian (Michael Sheen, FROST/NIXON) grows up to be a blacksmith with the ability to change between human and wolf and begins a clandestine romance with Viktor's daughter, Sonja (Rhona Mitra, DOOMSDAY). Viktor learns of this forbidden romance and takes drastic steps to ensure that Sonja will never be able to see Lucian again. Lucian, in retaliation, leads a Lycan slave revolt, resulting in an all-out assault on Viktor's kingdom.
Though viewers who have skipped the first two installments of the saga may feel a little left out when it comes to the mythology of the series, LYCANS hits the ground running and doesn't allow much time for questions. While Sheen has been lauded for his work in more traditionally dramatic films, here he gives his all to every growl and battle cry. Mitra is an appealing presence as Sonja, and Nighy is visibly relishing the opportunity to glower in his blue contacts and chew the moonlight-bathed scenery.