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Underworld: Awakening

A 2012 film directed by Mårlind and Stein

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The Original Death Dealer Returns To Fight A New War Against Humans and Lycans!

  • Jan 21, 2012
Rating:
+4
I’ve been a fan of the “Underworld” film franchise since it came to light some years ago. I mean, Kate Beckinsale would be enough to draw me into any film, but the story arc of the series have had ambition and for the most part, it knew where it wanted to go. Admittedly, the franchise really isn‘t awesome and “Evolution” was a step back in the stories, but the recent “Rise of the Lycans” proved to be the best one in the series since the original. Now, with a fourth chapter, the franchise seems to have gained more of its footing, as “Underworld Awakening” seemed to have improved everything the first two films and at the same time, introducing a new twist and threat to the mythos of vampires and werewolves--humans.

                             India Eisley in "Underworld Awakening."

Some months after the events of the second film, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) was captured during the “Cleansing” when she and Michael intended to go into hiding. The entire world mobilized to rid the world of vampires and lycans, and after being held in cryogenic suspension for 12 years, Selene is freed by circumstances caused by a test subject called Eve (India Eisley), whose escape may prove to be the new threat to humans since she is herself another hybrid. Now, Selene must battle her way to survive in this new world, with Eve at her side and the vampire nation reeling, she uncovers a conspiracy and a secret that will turn the entire planet upside down on vampires, lycans and even humans themselves….

                          Kate Beckinsale in "Underworld 4."

                          Kate Beckinsale "Underworld Awakening."

The plot of this fourth film is filled with revelations and twists that the more Selene discovers the truth behind the ‘cleansing’, the more the truth becomes hazy and the more secrets are uncovered. The screenplay co-written by Len Wiseman and one of my favorite comic book writers, J. Michael Straczynski goes further into the mythos, introduces new twists that further develops the Underworld storyline while having the film filled with a lot more vampire action since the “Blade“ franchise. Directors Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein keeps the flow of the film moving with a lot of action, as the viewer is led to learn the new rules of this world alongside Selene.

The screenplay has its own share of twists and intended surprises; ok, granted they weren’t all that unpredictable since fans of the franchise may see those twists coming rather quickly. I think it was the film’s intentions to be a little predictable as the film does manage to wrap up certain details in the first two films as well as introducing new plot elements. The story after all, is coming from a war, and coming from a war usually means certain conspiracies and planning that follow the rules of war. “Awakening” is more into the development of the Selene character, and well, into her present existence and her estranged relationship with Michael. Kate Beckinsale is all business this time around. Her performance marks a woman on a mission; she is meaner, more ruthless and determined to get to the depths of the secret--a secret of this "Cleansing" and another secret about Selene herself.

                      Kate Beckinsale "Underworld Awakening."

                      Michael Ealy in "Underworld Awakening."

The Underworld franchise had always had its share of blood and gore; and since the third film, they seemed to have made the film much more violent. I mean, the kills and the stakes have been elevated, so as much as the first two films was the introduction of a hidden war where subterfuge appeared to be the way, “Rise of the Lycans” was a more direct struggle between the combatants, “Awakening” is more about survival. Keeping the same gloomy, bluish atmosphere as we have been used to in the first films, the direction loads up the film with set ups after set ups for the action sequences. My previous minor complaints about the first two films seemed to have been solved; Selene really moved like a top-tiered vampire this time around, and the special effects have been much improved. Beckinsale looked so sweet as she goes forth into combat, she dispatches her enemies with supreme ease and confidence, all the more displaying her true powers as a vampire. The Lycan effects appeared to be a lot nastier and more feral than the ones in the first two films. Some looked like they were skinny and hungry while others were larger and more ‘stoked’ than usual. It is to the filmmakers’ credit that they managed to pay such attention to minor details.

I have mentioned that Selene takes over this film’s plot, and supported by a cast that were truly minor fillers to advance her story, the film does what it is supposed to do. The new vampire nation leader (Charles Dance) and his son David (Theo James), were present to connect some dots to the previous films, but I wasn’t too excited with the addition of the Sebastian character (played by Michael Ealey), his presence was just a little too convenient, and really felt like a filler. New Lycan characters were introduced and it remains to be seen how far they’ll be developed in the story (there is a hint of another sequel). Watching the first three films would aid in this film’s enjoyment, and aid in its appreciation.

                         Theo James in "Underworld Awakening."

Truthfully, the “Underworld” film franchise had garnered a cult following and I am one of them. The film series would never be as great as other ‘once in a generation’ series, but the creators of the franchise have enough ambition and ingenuity to keep the franchise going. I mean, when films like the horrible “Hatchet” franchise gets made, “Underworld” brings the viewer a credible, imaginative taste of the life and struggles of a vampire in a world where they are hated by lycans and feared by humans. A vampire stands tall to survive against the assault of the lycans. Not to save a world, but rather to save a race, and I am glad to be along for the ride.

Recommended! [4-Out of 5 Stars]

poster art for "Underworld Awakening: An IMAX 3D Experience." Theo James in "Underworld Awakening."



 
The Original Death Dealer Returns To Fight A New War Against Humans and Lycans! The Original Death Dealer Returns To Fight A New War Against Humans and Lycans! The Original Death Dealer Returns To Fight A New War Against Humans and Lycans! The Original Death Dealer Returns To Fight A New War Against Humans and Lycans! The Original Death Dealer Returns To Fight A New War Against Humans and Lycans! The Original Death Dealer Returns To Fight A New War Against Humans and Lycans!

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February 03, 2012
Good! I'm so glad it didn't suck because we're really looking forward to seeing this one and hopefully soon! Great write-up as always, Woo!
March 10, 2012
seen it yet?
March 19, 2012
No! I can't believe we haven't...thanks for the reminder. I'm going to have to troll Redbox for this one ;p
 
January 23, 2012
Great review WP, I will be seeing this myself, also I liked "Hatchet" man. Any way great write up.
January 24, 2012
I didn't like Hatchet at all. Thanks for the read, man.
 
January 22, 2012
I normally hate "tough" women in the movies, but I have to admit I have liked her in the previous Underworld films (this surprised me LOL) - I know I'd enjoy this one as well. She plays her part well without being an obnoxiously "I'm all that" kind of character. This is one I'll definitely see; I'm ready for a good vampire fix! Thanks for a great review, as usual, and I love all the pics. Thanks Will....
January 22, 2012
thanks for the read, Brenda! I guess I am a sucker for the vampire-werewolves kinda deal, and I agree, Selene can be an obnoxious character, but it makes her more relatable in an odd way. This weekend is the battle of the femme fatales in the box-office--HAYWIRE was also pretty good.
 
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More Underworld: Awakening reviews
review by . September 04, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
2012 Film   Running time: 1hr 28 minutes   Stars   Kate Beckinsale   Michael Ealy   India Eisley   Bjorn Stein      Kate Bekinsale, is Selene, a vampire warrior who was caught and brought to a research laboratory. She was kept in a laboratory tank, in suspended captivity for twelve years. She is able to sense another presence and learns that she has a powerful daughter named Eve. The Lycans are trying to use her DNA …
review by . September 04, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
2012 Film   Running time: 1hr 28 minutes   Stars   Kate Beckinsale   Michael Ealy   India Eisley   Bjorn Stein      Kate Bekinsale, is Selene, a vampire warrior who was caught and brought to a research laboratory. She was kept in a laboratory tank, in suspended captivity for twelve years. She is able to sense another presence and learns that she has a powerful daughter named Eve. The Lycans are trying to use her DNA …
review by . January 21, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         The fact that I liked Underworld: Awakening says more about me than it does about the filmmakers. I have to admit that up front, for I want you to read this review all the way to the end. From my perspective, the first and second chapters of the series were needlessly complicated and nearly impossible to keep pace with. The prequel film, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, was much more palatable, not only because it achieved the right look for the …
Quick Tip by . January 21, 2012
Caption
Kate Beckinsale returns as the vampire-warrioress Selene. This time, the stakes are bigger and goes beyond the war with the Lycans--this time time, the enemy is the planet's most dominant race: Humanity.      Sporting more advanced special effects and more polished editing tricks, "Underworld Awakening" goes further into its mythos, and this time, Selene is very angry.      See full review here.     
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William ()
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Please "Like" Film and Movies and Keep the Economy strong....LOL!!      My Interests: Movies, Anime, History, Martial Arts, Comics, Entertainment,Cooking, Things I don't … more
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About this movie

Wiki

  • Underworld Awakening
  • Opened January 20, 2012 | Runtime:1 hr. 29 min.
  • R
    strong violence and gore, and for some language
  • Kate Beckinsale returns in her lead role as the vampire warrioress Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.
  • Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James, India Eisley
  • Director: Mans Marlind
  • Genres: Action/Adventure, Horror
Kate Beckinsale "Underworld Awakening."
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Details

Genre: Action, Fantasy, Horror
Release Date: January 20, 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 1 hour 30 minutes
First to Review
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