Doing a sequel is hard work. Sure, the first film has to set everything up, introduce the characters and tell a good story as well, but the sequel has it even worse. It has to tell a new story that still feels like a logical continuation of the first one, get the characters right and yet add some new ideas to keep everything fresh. The balancing act between old and new is never easy. Go too far in one direction and everyone will accuse you of doing a repeat act, go too far with new stuff and you will annoy fans of the first movie and confuse normal movie-goers.
In that regard, Underworld Evolution feels like the perfect sequel to me. It starts where the first movie ended and sports the same style. The main characters (Selene and Michael) still feel like the characters from the first movie, but they follow the arc set off in the first part. Okay, the movie really lucked out on with Tony Curran playing the second vampire elder Markus Corvinus. After Viktor was killed at the end of the first movie, I thought no other actor could provide the same menacing presence as Bill Nighty, but Tony Curran managed. His vampire elder was less controlled, more manic and yet just as convincing as Nighty had been. Sometimes lighting strikes the same place twice.
Apart from the characters, the story is just as good. A little bit less complex than in the first part and with even more focus on the action, but still strong to carry an entire movie. This time it’s not about the big war between the vampires and the werewolves, but about the original carriers of the vampire and the werewolf virus and their attempt to create another superior hybrid. It ends just like the first one, with the plot resolved but enough potential to make a good third part (that sadly didn’t happen, instead we got a pointless and boring prequel and a ten-years-later sequel which I haven’t seen yet, but which really doesn’t sound good at all).