Thursday, February 2, 2012

Underworld: Awakening

On one of my last days in Australia, I decided to see my third film of the trip and watched Underworld: Awakening, the fourth film in the franchise. With a movie like this, I know I’m not going to be viewing a future Oscar winner, instead I’m simply looking to be entertained. In the past, two out of the three Underworlds had accomplished that (the Underworld: Rise of the Lycans was pretty bad), and I’m happy to say that the fourth did the same.

When a film manages to entertain me throughout, I will automatically give it a near-50% rating. While Underworld: Awakening got to that point, it didn’t go any further. For those who don’t know, the Underworld franchise is based upon the vampires vs. werewolves concept, or as it is known in Underworld, Vampires vs. Lycans. That concept carried the first three films, while the latest installment added human-element into the mix.

After being absent from the abysmal Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Kate Beckinsale reprises her role as Selene, a vampire death dealer who specializes in the extermination of Lycans. The film essentially picks up were the second one left off, namely Selene’s romance with Michael (formerly played by Michael Speedman), who was a hybrid vampire-Lycan. The latter character is run out of the storyline fairly early on, so Speedman’s absence, and subsequent replacement, isn’t really noticeable.

Instead of Michael, we get his love child with Selene, who is named Eve (played by India Eisley) and serves as the new hybrid. The story is set twelve years after Underworld: Evolution in a time when humans have discovered the existence of the vampires and Lycans, and doing their best to eradicate them. It all sounds pretty silly, and it really is, but what else would you expect from a movie like this.

The story of Underworld: Awakening is mediocre at best, but some decent special effects and high-octane action sequences make it watchable. Beckinsale’s reprisal is gratifying, as is watching Stephen Rea as Dr. Jacob Lane. Rea, who is soft spoken and accustomed to playing a good guy, shows his range by playing a diabolical villain. With that said, there were a lot of characters in the film with minimal development and seemed almost frivolous including Detective Sebastian (played by Michael Ealy), David (Theo James), and Quint (Kris Holden-Ried).

I’m not particularly glad I saw Underworld: Awakening, but I didn’t regret it either. I guess I would say that as a bad movie, this was a good one, if that makes sense. Your life won’t change one way or the other if you see this movie, but I can think of worse ways to waste 90 minutes.

Buddies Forever Movie Club Rating: 47%

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