Film Review – Underworld: Awakening

Underworld: Awakening (MA)

Directed by: Mans Marlind, Bjorn Stein

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rhea, Michael Ealy, Theo James

Two stars

Review by: Julian Wright


That corsetted vampire warrior Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is back in the same old clothes, same old plot and same old overblown action sequences. How this franchise keeps going is beyond me. When Beckinsale didn’t even turn up for the last one I was sure that would be the end of it – well, at least at the cinema. A few direct to DVD additions would not have been surprising. But that one little novelty named 3D is apparently enough to keep reviving any dreary action series (another Resident Evil was previewed, but don’t even get me started on that franchise).

After a much-needed catch up sequence – I certainly wasn’t going to go back and re-watch the others just to be reminded of how inane these movies are – we are thrust into Selene’s latest adventure which is brief (humans know about vampires and lycans and have waged war on them, doing their best to exterminate them) before she is caught, frozen and stored in a lab run by Doctor Jacob Lane (Stephen Rhea).

Released 12 years later, the war continues but her lycan loverboy Michael (played previously by Scott Speedman) is dead, or maybe  just conveniently missing, and she has a young mutant girl Eve (India Eisley) in tow. How cute, this installment tries to make us care by giving Selene an ankle biter to look after and bond with.

Selene and Eve, or otherwise known as Subject 1, have a special connection – they can see through each other’s eyes. They also must discover what kind of experiments were carried out on them and uncover Lane’s plan, while on the run from super lycans.

Yet, with all the runnig, jumping, driving and shooting, it is a wonder how they make any revelations at all. I’d love to see some fanboy’s count of how many rounds were fired, lycans killed and cars totalled. This film seems to be aiming for some sort of record. The simpleton dialogue is just a mere excuse to get from one action sequence to the next, which is usually accomplished in about 90 seconds.

No-one expects good performances out of these films, and rightfully so, they are horrible, but the waifish Beckinsale does still impress with her athleticism in such a figure hugging outfit – not that the corset has to be pulled all that tightly – and the way she effortlessly handles the hardware.

Despite feeling like I was being beaten into submission from the get go by the endless action and overbearing soundtrack that would threaten to upset the Richter scale, the action scenes are a tolerable enough distraction. Just skip the 3D version – the effects are barely noticeable – and wait for the DVD. But keep the volume down for the sake of your neighbours.

One Response to “Film Review – Underworld: Awakening”

  1. I stopped reading after the first paragraph. Inane? Really? Go watch The Notebook, or Not without my Daughter.

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