Underworld Evolution

Inciting Event: Marcus—the original vampire—awakens and learns of the whereabouts of the protagonist vampire Selene, who is on the run with her vampire-werewolf hybrid boyfriend Michael. Since Marcus needs Selene and the pendant Michael now has, this is the first intersection between the two. Selene is the obstacle to Marcus’s goal, even though she isn’t absolutely aware of it as yet. She is basically aware, since this is a sequel and she knows Marcus is awakening and likely to come after them. Her lack of specific knowledge about the conflict at this point isn’t ideal, but the story staggers along thanks to leftover conflict from the previous movie.

First Plot Point: Marcus finds Selene and Michael and attacks them—revealing he is after the pendant Michael got from the now-dead werewolf leader Lucius. In many stories, this would be more appropriate as an Inciting Event, since it isn’t so much a departure from the Normal World for the protagonists as it is their first brush with the conflict. It at least tries to make up for its lack of technical correctness with a big set-piece action scene that declares itself “the” moment in the First Act.

First Pinch Point: Selene realizes she has memories of the pendant, and she and Michael go to visit the exiled vampire historian Tannis—who sics his pet werewolves on them. The pinch points in this story are particularly weak. Although we’ve got a “pinch” (in more than one sense of the world) of physical danger, thanks to the werewolves and we do gain a few new clues thanks to Selene’s memory, which turns the plot, there really isn’t a massive emphasis of antagonistic power here.

Midpoint: Tannis tells Selene the pendant is, in fact, a key to the specialized prison built by Selene’s murdered father. The cell has held Marcus’s brother William—the first werewolf—prisoner for centuries. Marcus wants to free his brother, even though William is dangerously uncontrollable. Here we have a major revelation that turns the plot. Up to this point, Selene has been reacting to Marcus’s opposition without really understanding it. Now that she knows what he’s trying to accomplish, she can go on the offensive against him.

Second Pinch Point: And this is where the structure really starts getting shaky. The second half of the story moves at a whirlwind pace, jumping from turning point to turning point with little in between except action scenes. This Second Pinch Point is basically lost in the mix: it’s nothing more than a tiny scene in which Marcus interrogates Tannis and learns what Selene (and the audience) already knows. It allows Marcus to pursue Selene and set up the Third Plot Point, but beyond that, it offers little heft or new information. Plus, the timing is awkward with the Pinch Point literally crammed between the Midpoint and the Third Plot Point.

Third Plot Point: Marcus follows Selene and Michael to the base of his own father—Alexander Corvinus, the first immortal, who has spent the centuries cleaning up after his sons’ messes (but refusing to kill them). Marcus attacks, kills Michael, takes the pendant key, and learns from Selene’s memories how to find William.

Aside from the fact that it feels rushed so close on the heels of the Midpoint and Second Pinch Point, this is a good Third Plot Point. It forces Selene to the depths of herself in just about every way. Emotionally, she has now lost Michael, the one person she most cares about, and her plot goals are horribly endangered with Marcus now having gained everything he wants. But she rallies and allows Alexander to transform her into an immortal just as strong as Marcus and William.

Climax: Selene goes after Marcus and battles him. Michael revives—thanks to his strange hybrid abilities—just in time to save her from having to fight William as well.

Climactic Moment: Selene kills Marcus.

Resolution: Selene discovers that her new abilities, given her by Alexander, allow her to stand in the sunlight without burning.

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