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Review: Underworld Awakening

Jan. 20, 2012by: JimmyO

PLOT: The battle between Vampire and Lycan has gone on for an eternity behind the shield of anonymity. Yet when the human race discovers the feuding beasties, they do what they always do… wipe them out. After being captured, Vampire/Death Dealer Selene and her hybrid paramour Michael are cryogenically frozen for research purposes. Years later somebody thaws out Selene, leaving her naked (yes, Kate Beckinsale is nude with items strategically placed) and alone. Luckily she is ready to destroy anybody that gets in her way as she searches for Michael and faces another hybrid, and super-sized Lycan ready to rumble.

REVIEW: If there was ever a movie franchise that was “critic proof” it would be UNDERWORLD. In this continuing saga, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) - Death Dealer and Vamp - spends her immortal years fighting off Lycans in a long and bloody war. That is until she acquires the knowledge that her own race of undead was troublesome too. In the first film she discovers a hybrid – part Lycan, part Vampire - in the form of Michael (Scott Speedman) whom she develops a thing for. In order to save him, she must protect him from both sides of the supernatural war. This is all recapped in the beginning of AWAKENING, where we find Selene has been cryogenically froze. Years after the humans took her hostage, she is freed by a hybrid… Could it be Michael (nearly non-existent except in flashbacks)? When she awakens she finds a brand new enemy as humans have discovered and destroyed most of the things that go bump in the night.

There is something inherently entertaining about the UNDERWORLD saga for me. The effects are decent, the kills are bloody enough, and most of all Kate Beckinsale is terrific as Selene. Brutal, beautiful and collected, she is a sight for sore eyes after taking a break for the previous installment, RISE OF THE LYCANS. While her performance in AWAKENING is mostly shooting up the enemies and making narrow escapes, she absolutely owns this role. I believe wholeheartedly that she is a huge reason why audiences come back to this franchise. And plus she is absolutely stunning.

For the fourth installment Len Wiseman once again steps back from the director’s chair to bring in some fresh blood. The Swedish directing duo Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein (STORM, SHELTER) remain true to the visual style Wiseman created. Don’t expect a whole new world, even with the human hunter element. Mårlind and Stein present the visual aesthetics without sacrificing the look of which fans of the films – as well as its detractors – take notice of. Much like RISE director, Patrick Tatopoulos, their UNDERWORLD is filled with shadows and characters drenched in cobalt hues.

The look and feel of AWAKENING is pure unadulterated Vamp/Lycan fun. Yet the script this time around in essentially a chase film with heavy emphasis on the action, fighting and bloodshed, suitably displayed in 3D and IMAX. The 3D is better than some, but the 2D release will suffice nicely.

One change is that the melodrama is lessened here (aside from an entertaining turn by Stephen Rea) as the story revolves around Selene searching for Michael and finding Eve (India Eisley), another hybrid. Once she and Eve join forces, the two of them - along with another Vampire named David (Theo James) - go hunting for Michael while fighting off monstrously large Lycans. Michael Ealy is also in the mix as a Detective who could be friend or foe to Selene. And let us not forget the super baddie Kris Holden-Ried who does a good enough job of being creepy.

UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING is a fast paced action flick running just over eighty minutes. More liken (pun intended) to an ultra-violent television episodic as opposed to a feature film the latest chapter gives fans basically what they want. Some may be disappointed by the downplayed theatrics that Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen offered in the earlier films. Nevertheless part four remains faithful enough to the franchise and it most assuredly promises another chapter. In the end, I appreciated the simplicity of it all and was ready for the chase. It may not be great filmmaking, and it won’t attract new fans, but those already invested will be able to satiate their bloodlust with the return of Beckinsale’s sleek and sexy Selene.

Source: JoBlo.com

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2:52AM on 01/31/2012

HORRIBLE

This review is not in line with what I saw. I walked out of the theatre. The effects looked really cheap, poor acting and Kate looked like she was wearing a thick wig. I loved all the other Underworld films. But this one certainly dropped the ball.

Plus the little girl scenes were really annoying. I can't understand why they did away with a notable actor in the first of the movie and depended on unknown to be Selena's ally.
This review is not in line with what I saw. I walked out of the theatre. The effects looked really cheap, poor acting and Kate looked like she was wearing a thick wig. I loved all the other Underworld films. But this one certainly dropped the ball.

Plus the little girl scenes were really annoying. I can't understand why they did away with a notable actor in the first of the movie and depended on unknown to be Selena's ally.
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+2
9:16PM on 01/23/2012
I gotta completely disagree with you here, JimmyO. Just saw this today and was stunned by just how little impact the film had. It was actually one of the strangest experiences I've had at a theater. Here's my full review:

[link]
I gotta completely disagree with you here, JimmyO. Just saw this today and was stunned by just how little impact the film had. It was actually one of the strangest experiences I've had at a theater. Here's my full review:

[link]
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1:00AM on 01/22/2012

The return of Selena!

This was by far better than the second or the third ones, which were a bunch of crap-fests. I enjoyed this badass of a movie! The 3d worked well, it didn't really stand out like most films but it's a worth the extra money. Go see this NOW!
This was by far better than the second or the third ones, which were a bunch of crap-fests. I enjoyed this badass of a movie! The 3d worked well, it didn't really stand out like most films but it's a worth the extra money. Go see this NOW!
Your Reply:



+4
4:30AM on 01/21/2012

Seeing her in that outfit

i realize she would be perfect for a female crow movie, not remake, new story or some connection to the first one, a good sequel that erases the other ones.
i realize she would be perfect for a female crow movie, not remake, new story or some connection to the first one, a good sequel that erases the other ones.
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+3
3:32PM on 01/20/2012

nice review!

lookin forward to checkin this one out, hope I dig it as well!
lookin forward to checkin this one out, hope I dig it as well!
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3:25PM on 01/20/2012

FUCKING TERRIBLE.

I mean God fucking Awful. There is literally NO character development at all. There is no gravity to the action scenes b/c there's so many goddamn many of them. Yeah, it looks cool, but it's like a video game. I look at the 1st and 2nd Underworld and I see a rich story and characters, and actual fucking plot. This has nothing. Worse movie I've seen in a long time. And JimmyO, you are an idiot if really liked this movie (if they paid you off for a positive review, well then I understand
I mean God fucking Awful. There is literally NO character development at all. There is no gravity to the action scenes b/c there's so many goddamn many of them. Yeah, it looks cool, but it's like a video game. I look at the 1st and 2nd Underworld and I see a rich story and characters, and actual fucking plot. This has nothing. Worse movie I've seen in a long time. And JimmyO, you are an idiot if really liked this movie (if they paid you off for a positive review, well then I understand - money talks).
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12:57AM on 01/21/2012
Dude are you serious?!?!? All you see is a rich story and characters from any of the Underworld movies??? You're opinion has just been rendered garbage, and you sir, are an idiot, please stop putting your opinions because they are obviously garbage...
Dude are you serious?!?!? All you see is a rich story and characters from any of the Underworld movies??? You're opinion has just been rendered garbage, and you sir, are an idiot, please stop putting your opinions because they are obviously garbage...
7:13PM on 01/21/2012
The only idiot here is you man. You can't handle somebody with a different opinion then you, so you name call him. Like a child. And getting paid for a review? That's funny! What fantasy world you living in? Oh yes, the one where you're right and nobody can think different than you. You sure your name is not Ebert? Get down from that pedestal before you choke on your own pretentiousness.
The only idiot here is you man. You can't handle somebody with a different opinion then you, so you name call him. Like a child. And getting paid for a review? That's funny! What fantasy world you living in? Oh yes, the one where you're right and nobody can think different than you. You sure your name is not Ebert? Get down from that pedestal before you choke on your own pretentiousness.
-2
3:06PM on 01/20/2012

I'm there.

I liked them all. One of those rare movies that I will actually go to on opening night for the stylised action & seeing Ms. Beckinsale's ass in tight latex-like material. The villians look lame in the trailers (Bah, puny humans & overly large were-wolves) but it won't detour me.
I liked them all. One of those rare movies that I will actually go to on opening night for the stylised action & seeing Ms. Beckinsale's ass in tight latex-like material. The villians look lame in the trailers (Bah, puny humans & overly large were-wolves) but it won't detour me.
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2:37PM on 01/20/2012
Spot on review. I had a fun time with this. No, won't convert any new fans but bloody fun for us that are.
Spot on review. I had a fun time with this. No, won't convert any new fans but bloody fun for us that are.
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+8
10:21AM on 01/20/2012
Probably won't catch in in theaters (Haywire is my go-to flick this weekend), but I always catch these when they hit the movie channels or blu-ray. Fun time wasters.
Probably won't catch in in theaters (Haywire is my go-to flick this weekend), but I always catch these when they hit the movie channels or blu-ray. Fun time wasters.
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