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DVD Reviews: Underworld

The Final Say!

Review Score
Reviewed by Adam Dumicich
Review Date: 30 April 2004
Distributed by: Columbia Tristar
Running Time:
117 minutes





A war has been raging for centuries between Vampires and the Lycan (werewolves). Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is a death dealer, a vampire whose sole purpose it to hunt and destroy lycan. In comes Michael (Scott Speedman) a human who is being hunted by the lycan for reasons that are unknown to the vampires. Selene however is determined to find the reason behind it. What she discovers will force her to rethink what she once believed in, and change everything she knew about her past and that off her whole kind.

The script is not the best I've seen, but it all gets together still. Kate Beckinsale is fantastic as the fanatical werewolf hunter, who is unfortunately let down by the majority of the supporting cast. It's still fun though, and seeing as Selene is the main character she's in most of the movie, so I guess you can overlook some of the other weaknesses. The sets and the filming are what sets this film apart from the norm though. It all looks fantastic, and although you're sure too have seen dozens of familiar shots done in the past, the majority of these actually work well. There are the occasional dodgy ones, but overall it looks great and is a blast to watch (and that's not even mentioning Kate Beckinsale in a skin tight costume).

It all comes down to this being an action movie about vampires and werewolves, as apposed to a horror movie about them. It does take away from some of the better aspects that are generally associated with the two, and as per usual there are different 'rules' as to what each can or can't do. But it does still end up fun, and really, why else to we go to see movies like this if not for that.


You'll be happily surprised with the quality of the transfer you receive here. Everything's nice and sharp, with none of the edge enhancement that you often are plagued with. Everything's a bit dark and drab, but it never lacks detail, and going by the film, I'd have to assume it's all intentional. The colours are all tinged slightly blue (again intentional), so nothing's super bright. It all works very well together. It's dark and moody, and all very comic book like. It's really a joy to behold.


The 5.1 mix here is truly awesome. It's as aggressive as I've heard, but it never lacks in clarity. The surrounds are almost always in use, it draws you in totally. As for the subwoofer, well, you'll sure be glad you bought it after this, it kicks heavily when necessary  and is subtlety used at other times. There's no DTS mix, which is disappointing, as it would almost surely be an improvement over the already fantastic Dolby mix.


There's a great mix of extras here, more than enough to keep you occupied for a few hours. The two commentaries alone is great (you're normally lucky to get one), but you get 5 featurettes as well (all basically making of type stuff), a music video, and a really cool storyboard comparison where you get selected parts of the movie shown on screen compared directly to the original storyboard.

One section that I normally would barely mention is the trailers, but there's something different with these. Two of them are yet to be released into cinemas (Spiderman 2 and Hellboy) and they are two of the best trailers I have seen in a while (even if they are technically teasers), plus there's S.W.A.T. and the Medallion which are slightly lower class but it's nice to have them. You also get the theatrical trailer for Underworld, and two TV spots (a glorified commercial basically). So like I said, it's a great mix, and if you're anything like me, you'll probably be amused with watching certain trailers over and over, or at least until the films are released.

  • Two commentaries (a director's and a technical)

  • Featurettes

    • The Making of Underworld

    • The Look of Underworld

    • Creature Effects

    • Stunts

    • Sights and Sounds

  • Music Video: Finch - Worms of the Earth

  • Storyboard comparison

  • "War" TV spot

  • "Trailer Cutdown" TV spot

  • Trailers

    • Spiderman 2

    • Hellboy

    • The Medallion

    • S.W.A.T.

    • Underworld


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