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Grab Bag Review: ‘Underworld: Awakening’ – Fourth Verse Same As The First, But Worth Your Time

I personally am all about vampires and werewolves and zombies and witches and anything else supernatural, so the opportunity to review another film about bloodsuckers and ravaging beasts was awesome as is Underworld: Awakening. As much as I love Twilight, I want my vampires and werewolves to be bad ass and not go whining and crying over each other (given there are some tears in Underworld) throughout the whole film. This newest version in the Underworld saga delivers not only on story but action as well.

The movie begins right after the ending of the second film (remember now, parts 1 & 2 came out before the prequel did so do not want any confusion going on out there). Humans find out that vampires and werewolves (Lycans) exist, there is a full force war between mortals and immortals, bad things happen and it’s a little over a decade later. Selene (portrayed by Kate Beckinsale) wakes up after being cryogenically frozen in a world she does not recognize (I do not really know why she doesn’t understand what is going on, everything looks the same in the future as it did when she was fighting for her and vampire/werewolf hybrid lover’s freedom). She has a weird psychic link to some “thing” she cant understand once she wakes up, she escapes imprisonment and then she meets up with this very hot vampire named David (played by Theo James whom I have never heard of but am now totally in love with). Together they find this half-breed child and take her back to a hidden vampire coven. There is some arguing amongst the coven leader and Selene, a father/son disagreement interaction and then a bunch of Lycan’s attack the coven. A big fight ensues, a ginormous werewolf appears, some more fighting, a little bit of kidnapping and Selene once again is pissed. Basically the same format from the three previous films…a strong female lead who is pissed because of someone else trying to control them or a situation and they don’t want to concede so they fight for their rights.

It is amazing how many films out there play women in a strong role yet make them emotional victims to their situation. I don’t think Underworld does that. These women find their strength due to the circumstance and yet still prevail. They use their emotions as a means to fortify their duty as an individual and not succumb to societal pressures. Selene kicks ass and she is content being an ass kicker.

There wasn’t much disappointing about this movie. I do wish they explored a bit more on what has been going on in the vampire/Lycan world for the past decade, but what story you do get isn’t questionable. The flip-flopping between films on who is more the victim, werewolves or vampires is rather interesting and this sequel doesn’t shy away from that. There are tons of those quintessential drops off of higher buildings which Underworld is known for. Kate Beckinsale looks awesome in her leather dominatrix outfit. And due to newer film technology, when the actors eyes change color it looks a lot more believable then in previous movies. The fight scenes were good and plentiful.

I was nonplussed with the fact that there is minimal mention of the fact that Selene can be out in the sunlight. There also is marginal background story on the big giant werewolf. I don’t know if this movie had to be in 3D or not, none-the-less it didn’t deter from the visuals, nor did I feel it enhanced anything either. It was also a lot shorter than its predecessor films. I would wonder if there is going to be another one, but this movie, like the previous three sets itself up for Underworld 5. All in all I loved it. It was just what I expected and am looking forward to seeing where the story continues on.

4 Bags

About the author

James Fitzpatrick

A self-appointed non-conformist movie enthusiast, I enjoy everything from films depicting alien robots transforming into transportation devices(awesome), thrasher film victims running away from their walking attackers (comical) and overweight individuals over coming domestic violence (engaging). Growing up in the smog induced skies of Southern California, I am the lover of good, bad and horrible movies of all types. The quintessential movie fan whom happens to be (in whispered tones) gay, who would rather watch action movies then musicals (even though I like those sing-along films) any day. Presently living in the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix), I hold a B.S. in Family & Human Development, a B.A. in Sociology and a MAS in Infant Family Practice. I have a deep care and understanding for people and am very knowledgeable about culture and society... with all my brains, compassion and academic know how, I can admit to my love of atrocious 80’s film (The Pirate Movie).