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Running Time:
1 hour, 32 minutes

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for bloody violence and some sexuality.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
This convoluted supernatural prequel to Underworld is partially redeemed by its style and very good cast.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Closed Caption; Underworld: Rise of the Lycans - from script to screen; The origin of the feud; Re-creating the Dark Ages - the look of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans; Music video: deathclub by William Control; Filmmaker commentary.

Michael Sheen ... Lucian
Bill Nighy ... Viktor
Rhona Mitra ... Sonja
Steven Mackintosh ... Tannis
Kevin Grevioux ... Raze
David Ashton ... Coloman

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
This is the third movie in  the Underworld series and as a prequel it goes back several centuries to show the origin of the Lycans, a breed of werewolf that starts with Lucian (Michael Sheen "Frost/Nixon"). The vampires breed the Lycans as slaves who protect the vampires during the harmful daylight hours. The werewolves rebel against their former masters and the war between the vampires and Lycans begins.

Rhona Mitra ("Sweet Home Alabama") plays Sonja
the daughter of Viktor, the vampire leader (Bill Nighy "Notes on a Scandal"). She's now the heroine who was played in the earlier films by Kate Beckinsale. The film also picks up the romantic plotline from the previous movies, as the young star-crossed lovers are caught in a forbidden romance that as their secret passion is revealed leads to the beginning of the war.

Rise of the Lycans has been stylishly directed by former special effects creator Patrick Tatopolous who has a difficult task; to tell a story we’ve already been told, without any possible threat really occurring for the main characters, since we know both of the mortal enemies, Lucian and Viktor, are still alive at the end, so that they can show up in the subsequent films. Despite that, the movie does a good job of telling its story, perhaps because it doesn’t try to throw any twists in or adjust the story from what fans know it to be.

Despite the convoluted storyline, somehow, the more primitive setting works better visually for this movie than the gothic take on the contemporary city did in the previous films. This is definitely the best of the three films and it's sure to please fans of the series, especially because it stays true to the pre-established history. 

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans with Michael Sheen: DVD Cover

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