Borrowing the dreary existential rain of "Blade Runner," "Underworld" lays on the portent with a trowel. Director Len Wiseman can't resist peppering the film with quotes from "The Terminator" and "The Matrix," while Paul Haslinger's ham-fisted score is poured over the images like industrial sludge. Wiseman, who has an extensive background in art direction, has art directed this film to death. "Underworld" redefines overwrought. Starring Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Shane Brolly and Michael Sheen. Directed by Len Wiseman. Written by Danny McBride. Produced by Richard S. Wright, Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi. A Screen Gems release. Horror. Rated R for strong violence/gore and some language. Running time: 121 min
This pulpy tribute to comic book horror is so leaden and derivative it quickly becomes redundant. "Underworld" is about a battle between the two monster species of the night: vampires and werewolves. Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is part of an elite class of vampires who discovers that the werewolves have partially savaged a human (Scott Speedman) for sinister purposes. After bonding with this Lycan-in-the-making, Selene discovers that within her own clan there is a traitor who will bring on the demise of the vampires.