The early-to-mid 2000s was the ideal time to be a fan of action-packed fantasy movies that came packing either horror or sci-fi elements, especially ones that starred former models covered head-to-toe in leather in the lead roles.
One thing that Milla Jovovich’s Resident Evil, Kate Beckinsale’s Underworld, Charlize Theron’s Æon Flux, and the rest all had in common, though, is that they largely sucked. The pitch meetings must have been a hoot, where a bunch of middle-aged dudes that had seen their jowls become one with their necks breathed heavily over their latest genius idea, but we’ll be damned if it didn’t end up yielding a ton of money.
For reasons that continue to escape us to this day, Underworld went on to run for five installments, even though the opener set the bar in terms of Rotten Tomatoes scores with 31%. Beckinsale was a great action hero, she just deserved better material, which she also didn’t find when she took a sojourn to battle Hugh Jackman for the title of having the best hair in 2004’s Van Helsing.
Ironically, the only Underworld adventure where Beckinsale doesn’t appear (at least until the very end), has managed to sneak back onto the Netflix most-watched list, as per FlixPatrol. Rhona Mitra takes top billing in Rise of the Lycans instead, but it doesn’t make things any better or worse, it’s still just…there.