Film

Allegory, with giant drooling wolves

Eight random thoughts while viewing the trailer for Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, which isn’t being screened for critics

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1. In TV ads for the movie, scenes showing actress Rhona Mitra are edited in a speedy way that leaves just a little hope that the woman you see is, returning for a third time, Kate Beckinsale. It’s not.

2. When he’s howling his Braveheart speech—“We can be slaves, or WE! CAN! BE! LYCANS!”—does Michael Sheen remember he was once nominated for a Lawrence Olivier Award?

3. Little-known lore exposed by the Underworld franchise: Vampires and werewolves can only engage in climactic battles during rainstorms.

4. I miss Kate Beckinsale.

5. More precisely, I miss Kate Beckinsale hermetically sealed into her black leather suit.

6. “We are not animals!” Lucien, the enslaved Lycan leader, declares in a stirring plea for humanity echoed by oppressed people everywhere. Later he turns into a giant drooling wolf.

7. If you think of the aristocratic vampires (elegant, lavishly tailored) as, say, bailout-frittering bankers or arrogant hedge-fund operators; and the werewolves (earthy, angry, eccentrically groomed) as, oh, factory workers whose jobs have been quashed by bankers and hedge-fund operators, it’s easier to know whom to root for.

8. I can recall at least four times it would have been nice to become a giant drooling wolf, and that’s right, Mr. Beatty, former Basic High government teacher, one of those involves you!

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