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Monday, January 23, 2012

Underworld: Awakening - Movie Review


*Review Number 50*

Kate Beckinsale is back as Selene, the last of the Vampire Death Dealers who, after being unconscious for twelve years, is ready to do some serious ass kicking. After losing her significant other Michael and discovering that humans have nearly "cleansed" the planet of Vampires and Lycans (werewolves), this unstoppable heroine is ready to get her revenge on anyone that stands in her path.

Personally, I was pretty excited for this movie to come out as each installment of the Underworld franchise has been filled with great action, lots of special effects, and Miss Beckinsale always looks amazing in those black outfits. With all this going on, I can forgive the writers for falling back on some pretty basic story telling techniques and presenting dialog that is at times just a notch above mediocre.


Honestly though, if you are looking for a dramatic plot with deep emotion and subtext, you are really missing the boat here. Underworld is all about the action and 'Awakening', which is the fourth in the series, has no shortage of explosions, lots of blood splattering, a never ending supply of bullets, and a really cool chase scene featuring three Lycans smashing through traffic on a busy street looking to catch Selene and her companions as they try to escape in a beat up utility van.


The main story (yes, there is one) focuses on a 12 year old girl named Eve (India Eisley) who is equal parts Vampire and Lycan and her DNA holds the key to lots of really interesting stuff that the Lycans want so they can become stronger than ever. There are lots of surprises and reveals throughout the movie so I can't go much further without giving stuff away, but overall this is a really solid entry in to the franchise and transitions the story in to a very interesting direction.


On the technical side, this movie looks amazing with eye popping special effects that are enhanced even more by the implementation of some brand new 3D digital cameras. Made by Red Digital Cinema, this is the same equipment that Peter Jackson is using to film 'The Hobbit'. No crappy post-conversion here, this is the real deal and the 3D isn't just a throw-in gimmick that allows for a higher ticket price.


If you like watching Kate Beckinsale jump off of 10 story buildings, chop werewolves in to pieces, leap over flame throwers, blow up buildings, and kill off an endless supply of generic bad guys with an equally endless supply of guns and other assorted weapons then you have come to the right place. 'Underworld: Awakening' is a really fun movie that focuses on some great sci-fi action, gets things rolling right away, and doesn't slow down until the credits begin to roll.

The cast also includes Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Kris Holden-Ried, and Theo James and is co-directed by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein.


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