Underworld: Rise of the Lycans | Chicago Reader

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

In this prequel to the murky horror franchise, the vampire king Viktor (Bill Nighy) enslaves werewolves to use as daytime security. He dotes on the domesticated head of the pack, Lucian (a buff Michael Sheen), so he's royally pissed to discover that his willowy daughter (Rhona Mitra) and Lucian have been getting busy in the moonlight. Hard words and the lash turn Lucian into a shape-shifting Spartacus, and the war of the monster tribes is on. The movie is humorless and monotonous, but watching the talented Sheen (Frost/Nixon, The Queen) give his all to such throwaway material is weirdly diverting. Director Patrick Tatopoulos, on the other hand, is strictly a journeyman. 92 min.

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