Certificate 18, 88 minutes
Directors: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein
Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy and India Eisley
Underworld: Awakening is the fourth film in the Underworld series, and the third to star Kate Beckinsale (Absolutely Anything, Contraband, Total Recall) as the vampire death dealer Selene. The film in the series that didn't feature Kate Beckinsale was the third film, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, which was a prequel film set centuries earlier. The original death dealers were the warlord Viktor's army in the prequel. Underworld: Awakening was shot in both 2D and 3D, although the version watched was the 2D one.
The film is set after the events of Underworld: Evolution. Humans have become aware of the existence of both the lycans (werewolves) and the vampires, and have declared war - called "The Purge" - on both species as they attempt to find a cure for those infected. It's believed by the human race that the lycans are now extinct and that the majority of the vampires have also been killed.
It turns out that the lycans aren't as extinct as was originally believed. Selene has to defend Eve against the attacks of the lycans, helped in this by a vampire, David (Theo James), who believes that if vampires are to survive then they need to start fighting back, and by a human policeman, Detective Sebastian (Michael Ealy, Last Vegas). David's view opposes that of his father Thomas (Charles Dance, Dracula Untold, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, The Imitation Game), who considers Selene a traitor and blames her for causing the Purge. The lycans include a huge, super-lycan, at least twice the size of any other lycan ever seen, whose size and strength may be related to the studies that were being carried out on Eve in some way, which would explain why the lycans want her back.
Some of the special effects with the lycans in the film seemed distinctly ropy, looking like rather dated stop-go animation than the newer CGI effects commonly used. It's pretty much a straight up action film, with lots of explosions, shooting and mayhem, especially on Selene's part as she wreaks havoc against her enemies.
Underworld: Awakening is not a bad film. Kate Beckinsale shows that she can still play the part of Selene (including fitting into the costume). Apart from the occasionally dodgy lycan animation, which was most noticeable in the attack on the vampires, the rest of the effects are decent. One downside of a film with a lot of traditional vampires in it is that a lot of the film takes place in the dark - the rest of the vampires, excluding Selene, dying when exposed to daylight. Underworld: Awakening is probably not the type of vampire film preferred by fans of Twilight though, and will doubtless be very confusing if you haven't at least seen the first two films featuring Selene.
Amazon Price: $9.99 $4.31 Buy Now
(price as of Feb 13, 2016)