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Movie rating system (0-2) The movie is balls (2-4) A few moments but mostly bad (4-5.5) Entertaining film but lacking something to make it good. (6-7.5) A recommendation meaning a good solid watch. (8-10) must watch films, they are usually leaders in their respective genre. I can also be found on Facebook or follow my blog at the bottom of this page. THERE MAY BE MINI SPOILERS AHEAD!!! But there will be no endings/twists/cameos/or large plot reveals given.

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Monday, 11 March 2013

Underworld: Awakening

Underworld: Awakening
Action (Sci-Fi,Vampire)
Rated: R
Running Time: 88 minutes
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James, India Easley
Directed By: Mads Marlind, Bjorn Stein
Rating: 3.5 out of 10
The vampire Selene wakes up after being frozen for 12 years to a world that she does not know. She must find her lover and try and survive in a human dominated world.

Every great franchise needs a solid finale to send it off with a little style and grace. Unfortunately, for us, Underworld: Awakening was not that movie. It has been a steady decline for this once great franchise. It is sad that instead of going out with a bang, it goes out with more of a whimper.  It has been six long years since the last Underworld movie. (That does not include the forgettable prequel.) Underworld: Awakening follows the story of the world in turmoil. Humans are aware of Vampires and Lycans inhabiting their cities and they are determined to annihilate them. We follow the vampire Selene in this as she awakes from a Cryogenic sleep. She must lead the fight against the humans while also trying to track down her long lost love.

So, there are obviously way worse movies out there but this may have been the biggest disappointment of 2012 for me. I loved the first Underworld, liked the second, was entertained by the prequel, and now puzzled by this film. I agree movies need new angles and stories to keep them fresh, but having this movie a futuristic tale of vampire survival was the wrong choice. They should have gone with elder vampires from different parts of the world chasing Selene, but I am only a lowly movie reviewer so what do I know? The film starts out and we get a brief synopsis of what has taken place in the first two Underworld films. This is nice of them as it will save you from having to familiarize yourself with the back story.  Having Vampires fighting humans is a new touch but it is too in your face for the entire film. There is too much blood, there is too much CGI, and lastly there are too many inane fight scenes. This franchise went from being well designed and almost indie in nature, to unremarkable and generic in nature. I had to blink many times to make sure I wasn’t watching a Resident Evil film because this movie was so lacking. To be fair, if you are a mindless action lover then there is lots of it in this film. Selene uses her automatic dual pistols to kill swaths of humans as well as Lycans in her quest to find her lover (Michael). There are also lots of heads being torn asunder and lots of bodies piling up so it is also entertaining in that department. That is all I can really say positive about the film is that it is easy to watch. Besides the fast pacing, please prepare yourself for an hour and a half of bat guano.

Selene is played by Kate Beckinsale and as always she does a great job with the role. She holds her own during the fight sequences and she almost looks the same as the first film, which is quite remarkable. (Sorry fat Data from Star Trek: Nemesis). It is too bad that the story doesn’t support Beckinsale more, as her talent with this character was mostly wasted.

So as the movie continues they try and incorporate things to make this movie different. They add an enormous Lycan that smashes buildings and rips apart vampires. Although visually cool, it didn’t work. They add camera work where Selene can see out of Michael’s eyes when he is close. It is a little cheesy and reminded me of the eagle's view from the Beastmaster (Hell yeah I just referenced Beastmaster),so that didn’t work. They tried to introduce a new coven with new vampires and it didn’t work due to their pathetic nature (It is hard to top Bill Nighy as Victor.) Lastly, they try and make this movie about right and wrong and that didn’t work either. Vampires help vampires, vampires help lycans, and humans help vampires, and so on and so forth. It was simply a boring tale of unnecessary morality. As the film comes to a close with dead bodies piled all around, one gets the feeling that this franchise has lost its way and it will never be found again. In conclusion, there are lots of torn throats and many gun fights. There are a host of new ideas and tons of new weapons and characters, but the positives seem to be a description for a new X-Box game instead of a new movie. The terrible story line of love and deception, plus the lack of any depth to the characters really held this movie back, and figuratively staked this movie in the heart.

Unknown Mads Marlind and Bjorn Stein replaced Len Wiseman as directors of this franchise, and it was a big swing and a miss. They received a hefty budget (70 million est.) and didn’t seem to know what to do with it. Sure there was a lot of action but little direction. The film was a sloppily shot mess and all the subtle nuances of the first films were replaced with flashy explosions and arcs of computer animated blood. Without an elder vampire as the bad guy, the film seems without focus. The film just seems a little low rent for a franchise that had once been so cool.

I cannot recommend this film as its cheesy visuals will leave you batty.

T Factor + if you like vampire movies then this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – If you are expecting anything like the first two movies then 
this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: The Chronicles of Riddick, Van Helsing.

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