Sunday, August 27, 2006

Underworld 2 : Stuntman to the Rescue!

So while I quite enjoyed the first Underworld movie, this one felt a little thin.
It wasn't bad, but it could have been so much better.

For one thing, Len Wiseman has colour-timed this sequel to death.
Seriously, enough with the all-cerulean picture palette! They could have called this one "Return to the Blue Lagoon".

Also missing is the whole war-between-the-races angle. Besides a few minutes of Lycan-slaughter at the start of the movie, werewolves and vampires rarely cross paths in this outing. In fact, the only real action not featuring Selene (who spends most of her time batting around human soldiers) involves Speedman's hybrid-beast, a winged super-vamp and a giant white Proto-wolf who only briefly gets his claws dirty at the end.

Sure, tie that in with an all-but immortal Clan patriarch, and it all sounds very epic. But from an adrenal point of view, it doesn't quite deliver.
Not as well as the first one, anyway.

Now for the compensation package...

On the special features/featurettes menu, you can scroll down to "The War Rages On" and get an eyeful of the real star of the movie:
I give you Brad Martin.

This guy has been in everything.
Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Daredevil, Batman...the list is longer than my arm.
And what a smoking hottie.

Plus, there's this:

Okay sure, lots of straight guys stand like that (remember Heath Ledger's SAG awards appearance?), it doesn't necessarily mean anything, but a guy can dream, right?

Brad's witty and laid-back style is evident in the feature commentary too.
He was joined by Wiseman, editor Nicholas De Toth, and designer Patrick Tatopoulos.
Not only did he supervise all the stuntwork for the movie, but he directed a ton of second-unit stuff too.
Including this scene:

He mentions having to digitally remove Scott Speedman's penis here.

I guess so. If you study this picture properly, you'll realize that there's no way a penis can't exist in this composition. Gravity pretty much dictates it. (The audience is led to wonder if the quadrupedal physiology of the lycanthrope has somehow affected masculine genital declension.)
And then Brad discreetly drops the subject, failing to mention how intensive the penis removal process became. (Whether it was an extensive, costly affair, or merely a cheap digital wipe.)
Completists like myself are left dangling...

Later, during his featurette interview, Brad says "werewolves".


But he pronounces it "werewoofs". Werewoofs.
Oh, man, could you just eat this guy up or what?

Anyway, I just heard they have announced Underworld 3. Some sort of prequel not featuring Kate Beckinsale or Scott Speedman. Ordinarily, that would be sad news. The Underworld universe without those two doesn't sound terribly interesting.
But trust me, if I find out Brad Martin is going to be part of this?
I'm so behind it.


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