One of the problems with the original “UNDERWORLD” was Director Len Wiseman’s desire to give more attention to visual atmosphere and effects than overall story and pacing. It was still impressive, but awfully slow in pace.
Well, “UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION” makes its predecessor’s length feel like a short cell phone clip by comparison! The entire prologue does nothing to really enlighten new viewers of the films in any way making it seem necessary. However, after this wasted footage, it at least picks up where the last one left off. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t really venture anywhere story-wise that feels new.
The special effects are, again, impressive, and even improve upon the original, but what about a plot? Sure, there’s a love story of sorts, but if one doesn’t care about the characters, so what? It feels pretty obvious that Wiseman was given a bigger budget and a go-ahead to do more of what he did in the first film, based on its success, but he didn’t improve upon the original in any meaningful way. There’s just a lot more production design and a lot more of “slow pacing!”
SONY has given this film an outstanding presentation on BLU-RAY! The dvd version offered a stunning image, however “BLU-RAY” offers a much more impressive image. To begin with, the scenes that felt too dark on dvd, have incredible clarity and brightness on “BLU-RAY!” The 1080p resolution really shines in every moment on this release. Detail really makes the image appear to be jumping off the screen at times!
The original 2.35:1 image is intact and none of the edge enhancement problems plaguing various dvds is present on this “BLU-RAY”. While Kate Beckinsale’s beauty is a matter of taste, there can be little argument, that she’s never looked hotter than she does here as she walks and prowls in her incredibly detailed leather outfit on this BLU-RAY release!
SONY has presented a “PCM” 5.1 mix and it’s outstanding!!! While the dvd version had some noticeable problems related to the subwoofer effects, the fidelity is greatly improved here. The quality of Surround and discrete effects offer enough substantial improvement over the dvd version, to make audiophiles really pleased with the “BLU-RAY” format.
SONY has filled this “BLU-RAY” release with extras! In addition to several featurettes and a music video, there is a surprisingly captivating commentary offered with Wiseman and others.