Action Movies, by Mike Richardson, 08 February 2012

Director: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein

Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy and India Eisley

Country: USA

Runtime:

Release Date:

Language: English

It’s been 3 years since the last instalment of the Underworld franchise with the third film being so coolly received and lacking even Beckinsale herself most people thought this vampire story was pretty much dead and buried, especially because of the success of the Twilight saga, the TV show True Blood and the alternative vampire flick that was Let the Right One in. However, it seems that there were sufficient weekend Goths to resurrect Underworld especially when the anaemic film was given a 3D gloss.

Underworld: Awakening

Underworld: Awakening

The first Underworld came out way back in 2003 and somehow managed to make an underground war between werewolves and vampires bland, but there were sufficient distraction in the Gothic visuals and Kate Beckinsale’s kinky latex outfits. The first sequel; Underworld Evolution came out three years later and supplied more of the same, that’s more boring story, unsatisfactory narrative, questionable effects and Kate Beckinsale in kinky latex outfits. 2009 gave us a prequel in Underworld Rise of the Lycans, which was a horror film for all the wrong reasons.

It does seem that you can’t keep a bad vampire film down and we get a fourth instalment of Gothic mediocrity and kinky latex outfits.

The story has Selene breaking out of a cryogenic suspension tank in a medical lab and taking on a confusing three sided war involving werewolves, humans and vampires while not really forming a bond with her McGuffin/daughter Eve. The film tries to wring a little more mileage out of the franchise by having the underworld war between vampires and werewolves discovered by humans which somewhat negates the title. Allegedly set 12 years after Underworld Evolution, the new film is set in a world where humans not only know about werewolves and vampires but are actively searching for a cure.

Fights are fought, races are run, while narrative, character development and plot are forgotten while the 3-D budget goes into overdrive and desperately attempt to keep people watching. A dead horse being flogged is not a pretty sight, especially in 3D.

While I’m no fan of excessive 3D, I’ve got nothing against vampire films, nothing against Kate Beckinsale and nothing against kinky latex but I do feel all three of those things deserve something better than Underworld Awakening. Please somebody drive a 2 D stake through this franchise may be free to rest in peace.

3/10 and two of those were for the kinky latex outfits.

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