Underworld: Awakening stars Kate Beckinsale reprising her role as Selene, along with newcomers to the franchise of Stephane Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James and Lost Girl‘s Kris Holden-Ried.
The story goes, that humans have discovered the existence of the Vampire and Lycan species and it’s an all out war between humanity and the non-human species.
The movie started out and I was surprisingly sucked in quickly in how the story was presented, and it was, for me, an interesting and fresh spin on the Underworld franchise.
We’re quickly reminded of the events from the first few films and then we jump to present day where Selene is going at it with some humans. She’s trying to get to Michael and when she does, she finds them surrounded by a human task force and they’re knocked out by concussion bombs.
She’s later broken out of a cryo chamber. But later, she finds out that it’s not later that day or the next day, but twelve years later.
Humanity is the new enemy and in the twelve years she’s been out, they’ve had a few non-human cleansings.
Theo James plays an eager vampire, ready to take on humanity and the surviving Lycans, and Michael Ealy plays a vampire-smart human cop. Holden-Ried plays… well, you’ll see.
The movie was released in 3D but the movie wasn’t too over-the-top with stupid camera tricks and I have to say, that I was pleasantly surprised by the fresh new spin on the age-old war we’ve been shown in the previous Underworld films.
They had a nice divergence of species skills that were shown off. In most confrontations, with the supernatural up against the supernatural, everyone is pretty much on level ground. But on a few occasions, we’re shown just how fast Selene is while she deals with a human or two throughout the film.
Plus, I love Selene’s methodology of fighting, and of course, from all appearances, Kate Beckinsale fits nicely back into that tight little black leather suit. (Sorry, the guy in me took over the keyboard for but a moment!)
The only real lame factor in the film was the movie’s weak portrayal of Michael, who was previously played by Scott Speedman in Evolution. They didn’t get Speedman back for this movie, but they attempted to show Michael and make the character look like Speedman… and not doing a very good job at it. Otherwise, eh, it is what it is, a fun popcorn movie at the top of its game.
This chapter of the movie was directed by Måns Mårlind & Björn Stein. The screenplay came from Len Wiseman and a few others, most notably, J. Michael Straczynski.
As a fan of the franchise, I highly recommend it.
Had I seen the movie in theaters, (I was boycotting it then), I would have been happy to have spent the money on the film. As a rental, I’d say this is a no-brainer and if you’re a franchise fan, seriously, what are you waiting for!? Snag the Blu-ray or DVD!
Footnote: So Why Did I Boycott The Film?
You didn’t see much coverage about Underworld: Awakening from me during the marketing phase of the movie because I got a bit pissy.
It’s one of my favorite franchises, but I made a boo-boo and had posted some marketing material that wasn’t meant for me. Their legal machine was a bit crappy in their approach to asking me to remove the content, so I stopped covering it. They had plenty of other free coverage from other sites and I decided to play it safe.