Ostensibly, Underworld: Evolution is a film about vampires and werewolves fighting each other. And they do fight, at least twice, at the very beginning and the very end. Plus, in the middle, some other stuff happens: a whole lot of talking, mostly. But hey—it's hard to go wrong with a movie about vampires versus werewolves, right?

Well, sort of. As the sequel to 2003's Underworld, Evolution holds to its predecessor's simple, goofy template: Director Len Wiseman makes sure to shoot almost every scene through a blue filter, drenching his pop-goth sets with a neon blue that'd look more at home on 1984's MTV, and—way more importantly—he's also kind enough to provide plenty of shots of Evolution's gorgeous star (and Wiseman's wife), Kate Beckinsale, strutting around in skintight black latex as she shoots a whole lot of guns as the vaguely vampiric werewolf hunter, Selene. If blue lighting and Beckinsale's latex-enhanced figure were the most important things here, it'd be hard not to enjoy Evolution.

But it is pretty hard, if not impossible, to do a decent job of leering at Beckinsale or appreciating/tolerating Wiseman's stunningly monochromatic eye; while the first Underworld was largely content at throwing latex, werewolves, and vampires in a blender and seeing what poured out, Evolution tries to pull a five-course meal out of its extremely limited ingredients. Instead of the dumb fun of its predecessor, Evolution spends most of its time futilely attempting to develop an epic mythology, a faux-history detailing—in often excruciatingly laid-out, yet still confusing/boring/unimaginative detail—a reason why vampires and werewolves don't like each other. (What? It isn't enough that they're just vampires and werewolves? Shouldn't they just naturally hate each other?) The filmmaker's big answer... well, they never quite get to that, for all their trying; indeed, the seemingly interminable film's big climactic revelation sounds suspiciously like its opening crawl.

But other than some vampiric-on-lycanthropic violence, there's simply not much of interest behind Underworld's blue, blue façade. And aside from how very, very nicely Beckinsale fills out her bodysuit, there's about as much weight to her character as a six-inch action figure. (She still fares better than her half-baked love interest, the half vampire/half werewolf Michael, played by Scott Speedman, whose greatest acting talent seems to be that he doesn't care for wearing shirts.) But hey, at least at the start and the end, some vampires fight some werewolves.