Two words: character development. (Say it like you’re in an echo chamber for dramatic effect)
Underworld: Evolution isn’t an evolution nor a revolution. It’s a destabilizing presence, one that pushes me to the precipice of tolerance.
Wiseman’s second departure from the set is a clogged drainage pipe filled with convenience and cliché, sealed together with a solemn dialect of common abandonment that it itself created. It’s no wonder a community doesn’t want to be associated with a product of formidable fabrication. A puppet act is fruitless if you can see the mind pulling the strings.
This is why all of the goals this film attempts to accomplish are so brazenly obvious, leaving Evolution falling on its face like a drunk girl on five-inch heels at a rave. With the little dignity it possesses, Evolution goes on a pleasant stroll through the park while discussing a near 600-year war that is of little consequence to us. While unfettered, Evolution is more than content to walk in the same footsteps that it did the last time they went through this debris field. Undeterred by feedback and uninfluenced by common sense or basic luxury, Wiseman remains stringent in the detailing of this absurd fiction that gets more complex as it progresses rather than less.
The plot bounces on a trampoline, believing motion, not weight, equates to intrigue. Wiseman’s proclivity for plot twists rivals Shyamalan here, although to Shyamalan’s credit, he always knew how many was enough. I’m using past tense because Shyamalan is in my corner of no return. He’s dead to me.
Wiseman is not a wise man here, parading plot twist after plot twist with the apparent objective of seeing how many times he can flip us on our heads rather than give us a coherent story that makes any semblance of sense.
After revelation after revelation, Evolution becomes a Clue gameplay more than a movie. It’s more about finding the answers than it is about the natural growth of the characters and slow but adept formation of the plot. Evolution is a poorly done television crime drama, not a movie.
In between following the bread crumbs, Kate Beckinsale is left with a character who changes at the whim of a pen stroke. Random traumas are thrown in for giggles it seems while Beckinsale is supposed to filter through all of it and find some worthwhile message, lesson or trait to stir up any halfhearted appeal.
Underworld:Evolution gasps for air the entire running time and all I could wish for was that some magician would come into the production and do this film a mercy by instilling some talent into this or that a doctor would arrive and put it out of its misery. Clearly no magician found this 2006 fantasy worthy of his talents. Doctors evidently labeled it a lost cause not worth treating. It’s hard to blame either professional for hightailing it out of there after viewing ominous red flags.
As I mentioned earlier, the phrase character development remains ringing in my ear. 2003’s Underworld didn’t have much advancement in terms of character and yet for reasons unknown ($), here I am again, sitting in front of a presentation that has more questions but not more answers, except for the five-minute excerpt in which one character obviously has all the answers and proceeds to rattle them off like an expositional megaphone or an overly intoxicated person that happens to know everything there is to know about everyone. I’m unsure if this person is a Jeopardy champion in this universe or if Wiseman has a screenwriter come on screen for this part of the action. It’s as off-putting as it sounds, destroying any natural rhythm that Evolution might but probably never did have.
Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.
80-89 It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has Fallen, The Cable Guy, The Cabin in the Woods, Tears of the Sun, Edge of Tomorrow)
50-59 This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Underworld, The Do-Over, X-Men: Apocalypse, D-Tox/Eye See You, Constantine)
40-49 This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Batman & Robin, Bloodsport, War, The Ridiculous 6, The Lost Boys)
30-39 Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The Crow: City of Angels, Centurion, Planet of the Apes, Stonados, Redemption)
0-19 Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie Stoner, The Forbidden Dimensions, Cyborg, Outcast, Sabotage)
My score for Underworld: Evolution: 48.
Teetering on the brink of extinction but adamant to remain, Underworld: Evolution breathes desperation. It’s a film willing to do anything in the name of survival, the sad, lonely and pitiful existence that it is.