Underworld Awakening (2012)

Underworld Awakening

Directors: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein

Writers: Len Wiseman, John Hlavin, Allison Burnett, J. Michael Straczynski, Danny McBride, Kevin Grevioux

Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy, India Eisley, Stephen Rea, Sandrine Holt, Theo James, Charles Dance, Kris Holden-Reid, Jacob Blair, Adam Greydon Ried, Catlin Adams

Synopsis: When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrioress Selene leads the battle against humankind.

MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence and gore, and for some language

These aren't your Twilight vampires

For those yearning for a good old fashioned bloody death match between vampires and werewolves (aka Lycans), then look no further than the "Underworld" series. Granted, the story lines aren't always the best; especially in this film. However, if you just want to see vampires kicking a**, and taking names like the blood thirsty monsters you've might read about in folk lore, then this film will definitely quench your needs.

Not only is there a lot of gory violence, but some of the scenes are arguably some of the most graphic content you'll ever find in a vampire/werewolf film. In one part for example, a lycan gets half his face ripped off on screen, while in another scene, we see Selene stick her hand inside a guy's chest to squeeze his heart to revive him, when he was presumably thought to be dead. Now, if that doesn't tell you how graphic this movie can be, then I don't know what will. Therefore, if you're tired of seeing the non violent sparkly vegetarian vampires that have dominated the with big screen lately, then "Underworld Awakening" will certainly more than make for it.

In terms of action fantasy films, audiences will get what they paid for, as the action scenes are very well choreographed and shot. Unlike most films that tend to over use the slow motion bullet time effects, this movie seems to have a good balance with it, as it utilizes it just enough to get the audience hooked into the action, but never too much to where it feels borderline obsessive. In fact, I doubt seriously we'll find too many films that have better action scenes than this one.

Unfortunately, that's part of the problem with this movie as well. Although I do admire how well the action scenes were handled, the story leaves something to be desired, as it's clearly an after thought in this movie. No, if anything, the story serves as nothing more than an elaborate set up for the various action scenes; while offering little to no closure at all, as it conveniently leaves itself wide open for another sequel. Meaning, "Underworld Awakening" is nothing more than a teaser for the real story to come in the next movie. Granted, there are a few interesting plot twists introduced revolving around the lycans, but as I said earlier, most of this film is used as nothing more than a set up for the action scenes, and possible next movie; hence I wouldn't expect much of a plot from this movie.

As some people may know, the story essentially takes place several years later after the second film; where the humans have discovered the lycans and vampire clans, and try to wipe them off the face of the Earth. Now, I know some people might be thinking...does that mean they're going to team up against the humans? One would think that, but you'd be wrong to assume such a thing. No, the lycans and vampires are still enemies. Plus, to make matters more interesting, the lycans have begun to become even stronger than before, as they yearn to rid themselves of their petty weakness to silver. How do they plan to accomplish such a feat? I can't say, as you'll need to see the film to find out, but it does play an intricate part of the movie.

Anyway, to get back to the story, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) wakes up almost a decade later inside a military laboratory. Unaware of what happened to her and her boyfriend, Michael (a hybrid vampire and lycan), she manages to escape upon waking up, as she searches needlessly to find him. But as luck would have it, she ends up discovering that while she was asleep, the government managed to make her a daughter. Could this girl really be her daughter? Or is she some sort of clone? Who's to say? However, the only thing that is confirmed is that she's a hybrid vampire and lycan like her father; hence she immediately becomes a prime target for the lycans and humans to hunt.

Selene knows the value of this child immediately, as she vows to protect her by any means necessary. Although Selene's alleged daughter may not look like more than a frightened little girl, but she's actually stronger than most vampires and lycans; hence making her instant threat to anyone that crosses her path.

Although the story is mediocre at best in this film, as it serves mainly as a plot device to set up the action scenes, but it's definitely entertaining nonetheless. Like the "Expendables", it's just an all around fun action movie, with a subpar plot, that isn't meant to be taken seriously as anything more than a popcorn flick; which is essentially what "Underworld Awakening" happens to be.

As for Kate Beckinsale, I know she'll probably never be taken seriously as an actress for this role, but she's actually a lot better than most people give her credit for. Granted, there's a lot of limitations with her character throughout most of these films, but she always manages to shine through nonetheless.

As for the special effects, there pretty much what you'd expect from a movie like this. Granted, the CGI tends to be a bit shoddy during the lycan transformation scenes, but throughout most of the film, the CGI looks fairly well done. However, if you choose to see this in 3-D, then I should tell you that you'll only be wasting your money. Most of the movie takes place in the night time, which makes it next to impossible to see the 3-D cinematography to begin with; hence I'd probably wait to see this film on DVD/Blue Ray, as it's not worth seeing in theaters.

In the end, I'd have to give this movie a two and a half out of four. It's not a bad action movie per say, but it's certainly not the best out there. However, if you just want to see good old fashion gory as hell violence with vampires and lycans, then you'll definitely get what you paid for here, but I just wouldn't expect much of a story though.

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Comments 20 comments

Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD

Pretty much what I expected. I love Kate Beckinsale, I loved the first Underworld but was very disappointed with the second and third. Screen Gems is the studio behind this film, and Resident Evil...and we know what that movie is like to. lol


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago Author

Yeah, I felt the same way about the last three movies, and your right about screen gems. Although no matter how bad the story is for any of their movies regarding those franchises, they always manage to make to make money, so i guess they must be doing something right. lol.


emievil profile image

emievil 4 years ago from Philippines

I love the Underworld series (well the first and second that is). It's what I thought a kick *ss vampire movie should look like. And a female vampire at that! I'm not actually disappointed with this third movie, I guess I just accepted the fact that it's all action and almost no substance at all. I'm waiting for the 4th movie, I know there is one. I would still recommend this series to those who want to see an action - filled vampire movie.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago Author

Actually emievil, this is the fourth movie in the franchise though. although technically, the third one was more of a prequel versus a sequel. However, you're right about the series though. it may not have much in terms of story content, but it's definitely a great action movie to watch with vampires and werewolves.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by again to share your thoughts with us, and I hope you like the film whenever you see it. :)


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD

They are doing something right by appealing to the same suckers year in and year out that bash the movies but yet still go to see them, making me a hypocrite. lol. You should go check out The Grey when you get a chance though, I am about to finish my review. I saw it like 12 hours ago, and it took me that long to really think about it. I loved it though, very well done. What other reviews you trying to do before the Oscars hub?


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago Author

Well I'm literally pulling an all nighter on "The Artist" right now. Plus, I still have to review "Bridesmaids", "Hugo", "Cat in Paris", "Chico & Rita", "A Separation", "Beginners", "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo", "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close", "The Iron Lady", "Albert Nobbs", "Tree of Life", "Midnight in Paris", "Margin Call", and "Warrior." I know I'm very far behind, but i'll still try. besides, i figure it wouldn't be fair to try to come up with predictions for the oscars if i haven't seen every film nominated for best picture and screenplays; along with all the movie featuring the actors nominated.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD

Lol fair point. How do you watch all of these films if you don't mind me asking?


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago Author

Well I watch them online these days to be honest. I used to have a few friends of mine that could help me out with connections to see these films for free, but now I have to settle for online right now. There are some exceptions obviously like the "Underworld" one, but most of them I just see them online these days.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD

I was wondering because with my job I will have a lot of time to watch movies on a computer...it's a very slow job. lol. I used to use one site but I think it's gone now.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago Author

lol. that's cool. sounds like a great job. lol. what site did you used to go to if you don't mind me asking?


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD

it's a job through the college. im help desk but all i really do is make sure no one steals computers lol. watch-movies was the site. what do you use


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago Author

lately, i've been going to this site a lot, as it seems the most reliable by far.

http://www.1channel.ch/


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD

i appreciate it. this will help me review movies more often lol


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago Author

lol. no problem. glad i could help. lol.


emievil profile image

emievil 4 years ago from Philippines

Am back. was surprised when I read that this is the 4th. I went looking for the 3rd in this series. I don't think it was shown in the cinemas here in my country, otherwise, my husband and I would have moved heaven and earth to watch it :). We always ensure that we watch any movie from this series. Now if I can only find a DVD of this. Anyway, thanks for the heads up :).


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 4 years ago from USA or America

Hey Steven, I'm a fan of the series of movies and Kate Beckinsale. And, I've a downloaded version of the movie and rather enjoyed it. I get the plot line and can understand that the plot would be the avenue humans would take. I can also understand that the two clans wouldn't join together to survive. I found your review interesting.

@Emie- The movies- Underworld, which was the first, then Underworld Evolution, which was the sequel and as Steven said- Underworld, The Rise of the Lycans, wasn't a sequel to Underworld Evolution, but was a Prequel because it actually takes place BEFORE Underworld(the original). Selene(Kate Beckinsale) wasn't in it and according to the story line, she wasn't even a Vampire yet. Underworld The Rise of the Lycans is technically the "first" movie, it's just wasn't the "first" movie to hit the screen. The review Steven did here is the "fourth" movie of the series. And, yes it leaves things opened for a continuation of the series. :)


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago Author

@emievil

That's cool, and you're welcome. I hope you'll be able to see all of them then. As Cagsil just said in his comment, there's "Underworld", and then there's "Underworld Evolution", but after that there's the prequel "Underworld Rise of the Lycans", and then there's this one. I'm not sure if they might've retitled them though in your country, as I know that happens a lot when it comes to movies premiering overseas here, so I'd probably check a few movie sites to make sure. Can you access imdb where you are? If so, I would probably start there to see when each of those movies premiered, as it should also tell you if it got retitled as something else. Anyway, I hope that helps, and hopefully you and your husband will enjoy both films.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago Author

@cagsil

Well that's good to know. I understood the movie fairly well also, and I know that in order for the franchise to keep going, they weren't going to have the Lycans and Vampires team up. I merely mentioned that in my review, as the plot synopsis kind of suggests that. Or at least, it did to me, so I pointed that out in the review for those that might've came to same conclusions.

I'm glad to hear you liked the film a lot. I think Kate Beckinsale is a good actress, and as you already know, I'd love to see her play Wonder Woman someday. lol. Anyway, thanks for stopping by, and sharing some of your thoughts with us. It's good to see that you're still with us on hubpages, as I'm sure a lot of people will be glad about that. :)


Andree 2 years ago

Awakening has the mentality of a straight-to-video sequel, the body of an ADD child and the pulsing veins of a meth addict. Lately I've been using http://onlineseries.ch to watch movies and tv. Not bad!


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

Yeah, it's a shame this movie couldn't have been better, as it certainly had a lot of potential. Anyways, thanks for stopping by. Also, I would like to kindly ask if you don't post any links similar to the one that you just posted again please. It's nothing against you personally, but I'd rather not have one of my hubs feature a link that could potentially promote piracy in any form. If you leave any links like that again, then you'll leave me no choice but to spam your comment featuring the link.

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