Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rise of the Lycans



Not as good as the first, but a better attempt at storytelling than “Evolution” -- which was basically a vapid chase flick. I guess the logic here is that if you’ve seen the first two, you might as well watch this totally unnecessary prequel. The action is fine and Rhona Mitra is a decent stand-in for Beckinsale. Not a lot big set pieces to be found. Looks like they scaled back the budget.

Sadly, the film can’t escape its most obvious flaw: we already know what’s going to happen. There are no surprises here. You’d expect more character development. Would’ve been nice to see some new characters in the mix. Maybe a wrinkle in how Lucien and Sonja got together. Doesn’t happen.

Drama has always taken a back seat to action and special effects in the “Underworld” films -- hardcore fans certainly don’t mind. Is it a bad thing to give audiences what they want? No, but I don’t think audiences always know what they want. People connect to stories on an emotional level. Don’t pay any attention to the stuff they say about clichés and plot holes. Every single film has them. What they’re really saying when they talk about disliking a film -- generally, not the obvious stinkers -- is that they didn’t connect with the actors, characters, situations, etc. If they’re emotionally invested, they’ll overlook plenty. “Paul Blart“, “Madea” and “Taken“ anyone?

The mistake some writers make is to try and out-funny, out-scare and out-action what we see onscreen, but the true task is giving it meaning.

Lycans was pretty much paint-by-numbers for me. There was plenty of stuff to work with on an emotional level, but they dropped the ball.

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