An origins story centered on the centuries-old feud between the race of aristocratic vampires and their onetime slaves, the Lycans.
When the human son of a werewolf is born in a cell, the evil leader of the clan of vampires, Viktor, spares his life and names him Lucian. He then forces him to transform other humans into the new breed - Lycan, and raises him as a slave wearing a leash to control his ability. Along the years, Lucian becomes a brave warrior with a great leadership over the other Lycans. He protects the aristocratic vampires during the daylight against the vicious and infectious breed of werewolves that are unable to take human form ever again. However, Viktor's daughter, Sonja, and Lucian are lovers and they secretly meet each other every now and then. Lucian unleashes and transforms in a werewolf to save the life of Sonja in a battle against the werewolves. However, Viktor sentences him to be brutally whipped thirty times and then imprisons him in the dungeon. Sonja saves Lucian and he escapes with other prisoners to the woods. When Viktor discovers that Sonja is pregnant and in love with Lucian, he locks her up in her room to force Lucian to return to the castle to rescue her, in the beginning of the feud between the two bloodlines.
Where Part II left off, it was a brand new relationship, a brand new world and a well-needed goodbye to the over-long "ancients" storyline. So, where do they go from there? Well, back in time, of course and of sadness. 'Underworld: Rise of the Lycans' (2/5 Stars) wasn't the worst period piece movies I've seen, even involving beasts and vampires, but it sure as Hades wasn't good. Unoriginal and too-long (EVEN at only 92 minutes, a series low) for such a simple slave revolt/forbidden love story. And I haven't even gotten to the worst part: Kate Beckinsale didn't want to return as the awesome Selene and yet the ever-annoying Bill Nighy as Viktor did. Of course he did, he needed a paycheck and of course she didn't, because she's got smarts. Only, spitting most of his lines like he's reading a Goosebumps's vampire story to kids isn't fun to watch for three movies in a row. At very least, I can say it wasn't as bad as I remembered it (SEE: Below) and at least they've finally improved on, though not completely there yet, the werewolf CGI.
Originally, I saw this 2 years ago in 2 days and this is what I had to say then (Doesn't seem much has changed, except the ½ star increase in rating. I must be lightening up ):
(January 23, 2010) Just to watch something new and always being a fan of werewolves, er, I mean (bleah, hate the label) "lycans," I decided to give 'Underworld: Rise of the Lycans' a chance, even though not being a follower of the first two in the series. And this part three didn't change much. If anything, it worsened the chance of seeing a part IV or greater. I have heard this prequel added very little to the already revealed background story of the wolf-men and their abused treatment from the so-called vampires. They were right. Much like the more recent 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine,' extremely little insight was given to what we already knew: lycans were treated like slaves by the vampires that all-but manufactured them. Mercifully, it was only about 1½ hours long, so it didn't take too long to get through the period piece age-old forbidden love story between a slaved lycan and a vampriess. Once again (and this was another reason I wasn't too keen on the previous installments) the CGI werewolves were so laughable and badly shot, I had to pause to stop laughing. Strange, I am a huge werewolf fan, but can barely name more than one or so werewolf movies worth watching. 'The Howling' (only part 1) was a classic. 'Wolf' with Jack Nicholson wasn't my idea of a "werewolf" story (i.e. man turning into hairy wolf/man who could stand) but it was still oodles better than this piece of crud. In 'Underworld 3' we get humorously over-the-top 'Braveheart'-type acting, dialogue that made me shudder and action straight out of a Sci-Fi Channel movie. Not recommended, even for die-hard 'Underworld' fans. this movie was a great film. i thought it was going to be stupid because it didn't have kate beckinsale in it but i was wrong. the film explained to me how the war started. i thought that the fighting between the lycans and vampires were really cool. i liked the theme of betrayal because it shows that you can't trust anyone. i was kinda upset with the ending but then i realized that it couldn't have ended differently. when sonja and luciun were tied up and sonja was burned, it made me sad. after that i felt better because i knew luciun would get revenge. although this movie wasn't that long i still liked it. this film should at least win some award because it had the romance, action, drama and suspense that a movie needs. i am looking forward to seeing the next masterpiece in the history of underworld. A needless threequel. Note to director: avoid 'rise of the' titles. In ancient times, when werewolves were stuck in their werewolf forms 24/7 and were brutal enemies of vampires, a werewolf baby is born that has the ability to change between werewolf and human form. Naming him Lucian, vampire elder Viktor (Bill Nighy) raises the young Lycan in captivity, forcing him to feed on humans and create more of his kind to be used as slaves to the vampires. When Lucian (Michael Sheen) and Viktor's vampire daughter Sonja (Rhona Mitra) grow up and fall in love, they plot to release Lucian from his enslavement and run away together. However, nothing (and no one) can escape from Viktor's cruelty. Rise of the Lycans is the third movie in the Underworld series, preceded by Underworld (2003) (2003) and Underworld: Evolution (2006) (2006), and followed by Underworld Awakening (2012) (2012) and Underworld: Blood Wars (2016) (2016). Underworld and Underworld: Evolution were based on original screenplays by American screenwriters Kevin Grevioux, Danny McBride, and Len Wiseman. They were subsequently novelized as Underworld (2003) and Underworld: Evolution (2006) by American science fiction writer Greg Cox. Cox also wrote a third novel, Blood Enemy (2004), which describes the Great Battle between Vampires and Lycans that took place over 1,000 years ago, but this is not the source for Rise of the Lycans. Danny McBride and Len Wiseman developed the screenplay for Rise of the Lycans. Cox has subsequently novelized Rise of the Lycans, which was released in December 2008. Although it is the third movie in the Underworld franchise, Rise of the Lycans is a prequel to the first two, so it can be watched in either order. It provides the details of the story behind Lucian's comments in the first movie where he tells how Viktor had "his own daughter burnt alive just for loving me." Back in the 5th century AD, a Hungarian warlord named Alexander Corvinus survived a plague epidemic that decimated his village. Corvinus had a rare blood abnormality that morphed the plague virus in his bloodstream, giving him superhuman strength and immortality. Approximately 200 years later, he fathered three sons. All three sons carried the same genetic defect as well as the virus of their father. One son inherited the virus in its dormant state and remained human. He died a mortal death, passing down the hidden gene. The other two—William and Marcus—were bitten by wolf and by bat, respectively, becoming the first werewolf and the first vampire. More about their fates and progeny are presented in Underworld. No mention is made of Lucian's father in the movie. His mother is shown as a werewolf, so there are two possibilities: (1) Lucian's father was another werewolf, and Lucian is simply a mutant, or (2) Lucian's mother was human but got bitten and turned into a werewolf while she was still pregnant, making Lucian half-human and half-wolf (Lycan). Most viewers favor the second possibility. By the fact that Sonja is wearing the pendant around her neck in this movie, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) must be alive at this time, although she has not yet been adopted by Viktor and entered into the storyline. However, it is her voice heard narrating the prologue, and she appears at the very end of the movie in scenes from the beginning of the first Underworld movie. The pendant holds one of the keys to William's prison (the other is inside Viktor), a prison that was constructed by Selene's father when she was a young girl. This key comes into play more fully in Underworld: Evolution. Because they're in hibernation. Back in the first movie, it was explained that, 1,400 years ago, Vampires had decided that the best way to ensure the survival of their species was for the three Elders—Viktor, Marcus, and Amelia—to "leap frog" through time, one ruling while the other two slept, each being awakened at their appointed time according to a never-to-be-broken covenant. In Rise of the Lycans, it is Viktor who is awake. The collars were made of silver. Lycans can't turn when silver is in or on their body. For example, Lucian was watching Sonja's death but he couldn't turn until he removed silver arrows from his back. The collars also have three silver spikes pointed directly at their throat. If the Lycans are to turn while wearing collars, their body mass, including their neck, grows bigger, which would plunge the silver spikes into their neck. When a vampire drinks the blood of another vampire, s/he gains their memories. Viktor wanted to know whether Sonja was lying to him about helping Lucian escape, and the only way he could be sure she wasn't lying was to tap into her memories. This tactic is used again in Evolution when Marcus tries to drink Selene's blood and when Alexander Corvinus makes Selene drink his. Lucian awakens, still chained to the floor in the chamber where Sonja was put to death. Viktor enters and pulls the medallion from around her neck. Outside, the full moon is rising, giving Lucian enough strength to eject the silver-tipped arrows from his back and transform into a werewolf. He breaks his chains, grabs the medallion after Victor drops it, and leaps through a window, but Viktor's guards are able to quickly subdue him with more silver-tipped arrows. Before he can turn back into a human, Lucian lets out a tremendous howl that is heard by Raze (Kevin Grevioux) and the other Lycans camped in the forest. Together, they descend on the fortress, easily overtaking the guards and going after the vampires. Raze finds Lucian, removes the arrows from his body, and then releases the Lycans still being held in the dungeon. Viktor orders Tannis (Steven Mackintosh) to attend to the elders while he stays to battle Lycans. Lucian spots Viktor and goes after him, chasing him down into a pit where Viktor becomes tangles in chains. "I should have crushed you under my heel the day you were born," Viktor hisses. "Yes, you should have...", Lucian agrees and rams his sword right through Viktor's mouth, "...but you didn't." Viktor falls in the water at the bottom of the pit and floats lifelessly. Lucian goes out into the courtyard where the Lycans have risen victoriously against the vampires. "It is finished," Raze says. "No, this is just beginning," Lucian replies, his hand tightly clutching the medallion. In the final scene, a boat can be seen sailing out to sea. In the hold, Tanis tucks Viktor into his hibernation box. The movie ends with a scene from the first movie where Kraven (Shane Brolly) tells Selene how it was Viktor who killed her parents but spared her because she reminded him of Sonja. a5c7b9f00b
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