I went to Walmart yesterday and picked up DVDs of Taken (which btw, was good enough for me to see on bootleg, in the theater, and now own on DVD) and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. Last night I watched Underworld and I wasn’t blown away. I loved the first two movies but this one fell a bit flat. Was it because Kate Beckinsale wasn’t in it? Well, that didn’t help matters, but it was a prequel so it wasn’t harmful to the story. Was it because the acting was bad? Nah, it’s on par with the acting in the other films. Weak fight scenes? Nope, they were decent overall. So what was the problem with this one? The problem was that the Lycans (werewolves) got the focus. No cool hybrid vampire/lycan like in the first two films (he hadn’t been born yet); just a bunch of werewolves, a few vampires who weren’t very vampy, and a lackluster storyline.
But my frustration with werewolves is due to the fact that they’re just not that cool. For starters, they have to change into werewolves, usually only at the full moon (depending on the movie). This change always looks painful and awkward (except of course for in the Teen Wolf movies which were probably the best werewolf movies ever, yes, even Teen Wolf Too), and once they change they just become savages. There’s no hint of intelligence; they become big animals; dumb dogs looking for dinner. I sat through more than my fair share of The Howling movies and An American Werewolf in London/Paris, and in all of them I’ve been bored. In flipping the channels today Blood and Chocolate was on and these werewolves turned into actual wolves! It was lame and ridiculous!
Ahh, but vampires are vamps all the time, no change necessary (except of course for the initial conversion). They look like they looked before they were turned into vampires in most films, and even in the ones they don’t they’re still infinitely cooler than werewolves. They’re intelligent and conniving, as well as fast and strong. They can fight with or without weapons and sometimes they fly! In every respect a vampire is better than a werewolf, and it’s because of this simple fact that vampire flicks are better than werewolf flicks. That was the appeal of the first couple of Underworld movies; the vampires were up front for the most part. And let’s face facts, we got two great television series based on vampires in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. What great TV shows ever came from werewolves? NB that Werewolf (FOX) doesn’t count because 1) it was lame, and 2) it only lasted a season.