Underworld Awakening (2012)

(On Cable TV, September 2012) After having trouble staying awake during the first two Underworld movies and skipping the third, I was a bit surprised to see that this fourth installment actually had some pep to it.  After a prologue that demonstrates how ridiculously over-powered the heroine of the series has become (a lot like Resident Evil 4’s Alice, from the same factory studio), Awakening seemingly take a bold narrative leap by skipping ahead 12 years and dealing audiences a new scenario in which humans have wizened up to the vampire/werewolf threat and are busy exterminating both.  I say “seemingly” because not much actually changes in this near-future: Awakening is still shot in black-and-blue, Kate Beckinsale still wears the same form-fitting bodysuit and the fighting between wolves and fangs still becomes a bit repetitive.  The addition of a daughter doesn’t do much after the first thirty minutes, and there’s a sense that plot-wise, the film sputters after a promising first act.  Still, this series is about the fighting and there’s some effective work here and there by directors Mårlind & Stein.  There’s a lot of mayhem on-screen, and some of it sticks.  While Awakening overcomes its welcome even at less than 90 minutes, it’s not a complete loss.  It may be a case of lowered expectations, but Awakening measures favorably against its often-dull predecessors in the same series, and action fans should see one of two good things in it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *