Sunday, February 5, 2012

Movie Review: Underworld: Awakening

Directed by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein. 2012.

If I admit to being a rather picky filmgoer I hope you will trust me when I tell you that I'm rather forgiving of the action genre. This past autumn's Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol was not fine cinema but it worked. It had some action, some gadgetry, some sex appeal, a liberal dose of humor, Tom Cruise looked like he meant business, and the plot held enough water. In short, I was entertained. Underworld: Awakening did not entertain me. I'm not sure what it did, if it did anything. In fact I barely remember anything about it and I just got back from the theater. Guns are fired. Police run. A werewolf explodes.

Kate Beckinsale plays Selene, a gun-toting, death-dealing vampire who struts. . . no, I would remember strutting and I recall no such locomotion. Actually I can't picture her doing anything from this movie other than firing those two damn guns over and over again. She shoots them up, she shoots them down, she shoots people, she shoots werewolves, a whistle blares in the distance, my tea is ready. Speaking of pictures I'm fairly certain the costume, lighting, and special effects departments conspired to keep the gun-toting heroine as hidden as possible. This is inexplicable and does not work to the advantage of the movie.

You want me to talk about the plot? Well thanks a lot. . . fine. Selene wants her daughter, a doctor wants her daughter, the werewolves want her daughter, the few remaining vampires don't care. Why do the werewolves want her? Because she's the last descendent of Corvinus and apparently she'll make them very powerful. (Although her father is apparently alive and they have him captured so who knows. . .) Anyway the sides fight over the girl. One side breaks in somewhere, another side breaks out somewhere, one side breaks in somewhere, and you put your left foot out. The action might as well be stock footage from other movies.

There is nothing interesting or funny or sexy or novel. There is certainly nothing scary except for a few early scenes which take the form of a police investigation and do indeed terrify the viewer with the threat that the rest of the movie is going to be as numbingly boring. Ah my tea has steeped.

So should you be considering taking a trip to the theater to see Underworld: Awakening, consider the equally fulfilling and less costly alternative of enlarging the movie poster above and viewing it from a variety of angles.

P.S. The 3D effects consist of dust and light debris. Dust and light debris.


  1. Man Kate is so awsome in all the underworld moves. She is by far the best vampire out there hands down. I have followed and fell in love with her and her perfomance in this and her other films. I love her in this move and would love to meet her some day in real life and thank her for giving such a great performace for her fan base. India is a great upcoming actress as well dont miss her in this film I cant say enough about her but GO GIRL make history.I hope these two stay togather and come out with something even better soon. Underworld meets Stan Lee. oh man anyone not giving this 5 stars is insane... Must watch.... Don't talk your way out of this one. Most people are not into Vampire and Warewolf movies But please open your mind up and watch this. Not a Horor slasher film by all means and you may come out with a hole new opinion and my end up buying the complete DVD set if your not careful.

  2. Thanks for reading and of course for taking the time to comment! I'm sure Beckinsale et al would do more with more material but this was an especially thin entry in this franchise which has rather consistently not lived up to the potential of the material. The earlier entries were more substantial and the first had a certain style to it but for some reason Awakening told the most interesting part of its story in summary via flashback. I'm not against the series or concept rather I've always wanted more for this series which seems again and again to have been hastily and under-written. Glad you enjoyed what was good in it!