While we all like to look at movies as an art form where the director tries to create something meaningful, it’s pretty obvious that big Hollywood movies are about nothing more than the money.
If the best way to make money is to make a good movie then all the better, but there are many movies thrown together as an ill-conceived money grab.
2003’s “Underworld” is one of these shameless cash grabs. It’s a movie that sits with a 30% on Rotten Tomatoes, yet still has four sequels that have come out as recently as 2016. It is an awful movie, and I love it dearly.
See, enjoying a movie has almost nothing to do with the quality of the movie. “Avatar” is just space Pocahontas, but I still love watching through it. It’s the same feeling for “Underworld,” which is nothing more than a pile of bad acting, horrible effects work and way too much black leather.
It’s tough for me to explain why I enjoy the move on paper. I hate just about every individual decision made in the making of this film, yet I always giggle like a child through the atrocious action sequences and sub-par over-acting.
This movie is once again from the Dark Ages of Cinema known as the early 2000s. It is the epitome of everything in this time that I hate. It takes itself way too seriously, it has a single filter over the whole movie ruining any colors there could have been, there are obscene amounts of unnecessary visual effects and there is enough edge to shave with.
Yet, somehow, all these things I hate culminate into a film that I’ve watched many times throughout the years and still love.
The movie has a story that sounds like it was written by a middle-schooler who has a closet full of black and an obsession of having as many chains on his clothes as possible.
Vampires and Lycans (werewolves) have been at it for an extremely long time. The Lycans lost their leader a while ago, so they’ve been in hiding. They find out that if they can find the descendant of the original Lycan, then they can drink his blood and become extremely strong.
That descendant gets bitten but is saved by our protagonist – a vampire named Selene. She then falls in love with him and also bites him, turning him into some sort of half vampire, half werewolf. They then kill the evil guy who was leading and betraying the vampires and the story ends.
Still a better love story than Twilight … At least it involves less psychological abuse.
Now, one of the best parts of the movie is Selene, played by Kate Beckinsale, as she is one of only two actors who have any acting skill. She does a good job doing what the director wanted. I just happen to get confused by what the director wanted.
See, Selene is hundreds of years old, yet she acts like an angsty teenager in most of her scenes. Half of her conflict with the main villain is him asking her to come to dinner and her saying, “Sorry. No, I’m fighting werewolves.”
Speaking of the villain, he feels like a Diet Tommy Wiseau. His English is slightly better, and he shows just a little more emotion, but the way he acts feels just as bad as the worst scenes in “The Room.”
My favorite shots of him are the ones where he is in the background but not actively taking part in the scene. He is just constantly looking around like he’s lost, never stopping his hand movements or head darting. Its really distracting, and I can’t get enough of it. If all movies had clueless extras with lackluster acting skills, the world would be a funnier place.
I mentioned before how this movie has a lot of sequels despite being critically panned, and it is definitely not unique to this series. The “Resident Evil” movies are considered a butchering of their source material yet there were six of them. Almost everyone hates the DC cinematic universe, but it keeps attempting to steal the spotlight from Marvel.
In a perfect world, movies that are hated will stop there, with maybe another attempt in a decade or two to try and get it right. Fans shut down any attempt at any sequel to the “Eragon” movie because of how bad it was. Good movies will get praised and go on to make sequels until they are no longer entertaining (ahem — about four “Star Wars” films ago).
This isn’t a perfect world though, and there are plenty of movies that despite critical success, they failed in the box office enough to ruin any chances at a sequel.
This was originally written for The University of Tennessee’s Daily Beacon and edited by Margot McClellan.