Friday, February 10, 2012

Underworld: Awakenings

Sometimes there are movies out there we just like for no apparent reason.  They aren’t award winners or technically great but we just like them anyway.  I have always loved the Underworld series, even the one that didn’t star Kate Beckinsale.  I’m a sucker for vampire lore and this series didn’t disappoint, mixing modern action with a long and murky back story.  When they wrapped up the story in two movies, they made a prequel, without the rump-kicking Beckinsale, and while it was not as good as the first two, it was still immensely entertaining.

Which leads us to Underworld: Awakening.  The story jumps us forward to a world where the existence of vampires and lycens are discovered by humans.  Mankind declares war on these creatures with the purpose of destroying their species.  For the most part, humans win this war and again rule the world.  We are then jumped ahead another twelve years where Selene (Beckinsale) has been secured in a lab for the past decade plus, along with a couple of other specimens. 

The plot plays out and we are fed more and more information about the world as the film speeds along.  As always, the dark atmosphere and great special effects push this movie forward.  The spectacular action sequences come often and at full throttle.  As in past installments, gore and blood are plentiful.  What good flick about vampires and werewolves would be sanitized? 

As in the previous efforts, the dialogue isn’t great.  It is often stilted and plain.  The actors have little to work with outside of the action sequences.  This movie falls a little short in this area compared to the first films in this series.  To be honest though, these films aren’t about the dialogue.  They are about the plot in general and the action, both of which are just fine in Awakening.  Few acting performances stand out in this film but Kate Beckinsale was still awesome as the tough as nails and lycra-and-leather clad heroine, Selene.  Also, India Eisley was intriguing as Eve.

If you are a fan of these flicks, go see this installment.  It lives up to its past history and is probably better than the third movie.  The action is just what we have learned to expect from these vampire films and it set up yet another sequel quite nicely.  Don’t expect perfection, just a lot of fun.  It is rated “R” for graphic violence and is not appropriate for younger viewers and it is a very short movie.  I never came close to checking my watch.  Expect a standard Underworld flick and you won’t be disappointed.

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