All movies that tell stories that are set before the first film are usually pretty boring as we already know what happened to the characters - it is the same here. Unfortunately it is only marginally better than a video-game, Rhona Mitra is no Kate Beckinsale and her shiny ass cameo at the end makes me miss her even more. At least Michael Sheen and Bill Nighy have reduced their extreme overacting from the first one.
"Dark City" production designer Patrick Tatopoulos graduates to the director's chair for this "Underworld" spin-off that's about as compelling as a lower-budgeted, Kate Beckinsale-less prequel sounds. That said, this benefits greatly from the fact that Tatopoulos is a visualist first, storyteller second, with "Rise" leaning heavily on its period setting for a welcome and occasionally lavish gothic fantasy atmosphere.