Directed by Len Wiseman, starring Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Shane Brolly, Michael Sheen and Bill Nighy.

"I am a Death Dealer, sworn to destroy those known as the Lycans. Our war has waged for centuries, unseen by human eyes. But all that is about to change."

After a summer where the likes of The Hulk and Lara Croft didn't measure up, is the world ready for a new breed of superhero? Step forward Kate Beckinsale as Selene, a vampire warrior who travels around with her pack of death dealers fighting off their enemies, the Lycans. The Lycans are a breed of werewolves locked in a centuries long war with the vampires.

When the Lycans show an interest in a human, Dr Michael Corvin (Spellman), Selene takes it upon herself to protect him and uncover why he is so valuable to them. Along the way she must battle against her own coven, which seems determined that she adhere to their rules and not get involved with this human. But it's too late: she has already fallen for him. Orphaned as a child and treated as a slave in her coven, Selene bonds with Corvin and so begins a journey to discover her past and rescue her breed for the future.

Set in a dark aristocratic world, 'Underworld' pays homage to some big hitters of the past. It has enough gore to rival 'Blade' and action sequences to battle 'The Matrix'. First time director Len Wiseman learned his craft on advertisements and music videos and it's evident in his presentation of the underworld with both the sets and action pieces very well designed.

The problem here is with the script. By trying to overload us with information that makes no sense, it's hard to know where the film is going. No doubt 'Underworld' will appeal to fans of 'Buffy…' and 'Angel', but it suffers from confused plotting and a made-to-measure finale.

It has the potential to become a cult classic and a sequel will see the light of day – and maybe then the characters can be developed more. Action packed and visually appealing, but there's nothing here to leave you rooting for either side.

Seán Kavanagh