Oblivious to the human eye, two races have lived and struggled for centuries. These are the
Vampires, portrayed as aristocratic and sophisticated, contrasted to the brutal, feral Lycans (werewolves).
To humanity, their existence is no more than a whisper of a myth. But to each
other, they are lifelong mortal rivals, sworn to wage a secret war until only
one race is left standing. A Vampire
warrior, Selene, during the ongoing struggle, discovers a Lycan plot to kidnap a young human doctor.
After shadowing Michael through the city, she forms an unprecedented bond with him.
When the Lycans make their next move, Selene is there to defend him from
vicious assault. As she races to save Michael and unravel the Lycan intrigue
surrounding him, Selene discovers a secret that has terrifying repercussions for
both tribes. A plan is in the making to awaken a new invincible species of predator
that combines the strengths of both creatures and the weaknesses of neither.
This threatens to tip the balance of power in favor of the werewolves, who have
been on the losing end of the struggle for since the beginning.
This movie had great potential. The premise of vampire versus werewolf war was greatly intriguing,
with a captivating cool factor, and the lovely Kate Beckinsale as the lead was enticing. However, somewhere in the
execution, it all fell through.
The movie began in shades of blue (and
continued throughout), to provide that eternal darkness feel,
which was appropriate for this kind of movie. But right from
the beginning, the action scenes proved unsatisfying. A large
part of this had to due with the fact that these two legendary
myths were using guns to fight (each modified to kill the
other, silver bullets for the werewolves, and UV filled
bullets - sunlight - for the vampires). This reduced the fight
scenes to any ordinary shoot 'em out action flick, unbefitting
the possible uniqueness of the film. As a filmgoeer, what I
really wanted to see was these two powerful, immortal
creatures having at it with inhumanly strong hits and
reactions. And even when this finally did occur, as in the
final scene, it felt underplayed and weak, even comical.
'The Matrix' influence agains rears it's head in this
movie, with leather clad protagonists and high flying feats.
Fortunately, 'bullet-time' was not used, which has become
overused as of late. However, the movie used a recoginzable
piece of music score from the Matrix, over and over again.
This odd choice unavoidably brought up comparisons to the
movie, which perhaps was the intention, to create a subliminal
cool factor? Also worth mentioning is the created social casts
of the movie, placing vampires as the wealthy aristocrats, and
the werewolves as the downtrodden poor "working classs'. This
humanized construct couldn't help but make me feel
uncomfortable about the whole thing. Seeming to take
away somehow the dignity of the myths of each.
The special effects for the movie were adequate; they were
not the limiting factor in this movie. That being said, the
movie would've benfited greatly from better cg models of the
werewolves. The biggest problem was that these were
suppose to be werewolves, yet they were almost completely
hairless, which just felt wrong. I know that the budget was
limited and creating realistic animated hair is a more
complicated process, but it did detract some.
The limited special effects were
forgivable, but what wasn't was the apparent miscast of
several important characters and feeble acting which gave the
whole movie a b-movie feel. Several times the movie's
awkard dialogue created unintentional laughter for the
audience. The plot itself was thought out and fairly
compelling, it was just in the execution of the movie that it
fell apart; Most responsible was the awkard dialogue and
uncompelling action scenes. If you are a big fan of
vampire or werewolf movies, i would still give it a watch,
just keep you're expectations low.
See this movie if you're a fan of:
Vampire Movies (Blade Series, Bram Stoker's Dracula,
Interview with the Vampire, Lost Boys)
Werewolf Movies (An American Werewolf in Londan/Paris,
Howling Series, Wolf)
The Matrix (1999)