May 23, 2012

Film Review: Underworld: Awakening

Premise:
The humans have caught onto the existence of vampires and lycans (werewolves) and show their superiority with ethnic cleansing of them both. The main characters of Underworld 1 and 2, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman [who didn't actually perform in this movie, only archived digital imaging of his likeness was used]) are captured and literally put on ice Han Solo style to be tested on by scientists for twelve years. During this twelve year period, a daughter named Eve (India Eisley) is extracted from Selene and breaks herself and her mother out in attempt to run away and start a new life.


Standouts:
No Scott Speedman reprising his roll as Michael? Lame! I don't have any information as to why Scott Speedman didn't return for this installment, but it wouldn't have been so bad just to recast him. Everybody remembers Kate Beckinsale as Selene, but Michael spends most of his time in beast-mode hiding behind his straggly locks, so I'd say he's just as interchangeable as Bruce Banner on film. And what in the world is up with all the blue in this film? Everything is blue! Blue lights, blue clothes, blue everything. Drives me nuts, but I think all of the Underworld films have been like this and it always takes me out of the film. Final thing that stood out more than anything, was Eve never throws a punch or a kick in the film but utilizes her mother's flawless MMA roll-through takedowns. Cheese and crackers.

My Highlights:
Selene stopping the van, Selene's elevator survival tips, and Dr. Jacob Lane's (Stephen Rea) big reveal.

Overall Rating:
A lot of things were working against this film. Hated the blue film over the lens. Hated how cut and dry (and poorly acted) David (Theo James) and Lida (Sandrine Holt) were. They basically just repeated/rephrased their lines over and over again. Hated how much I wanted to like Detective Sebastian (Michael Ealy) but the character was poorly directed and poorly acted, leaving him completely unfleshed out and looking silly. The movie, as you could probably guess just by walking into it sight-unseen and unheard, gets by on two things: action scenes and CGI. Lots of werewolves and lots of blood and guts. This was a B-movie if I've ever seen one. It didn't re-invent the wheel, which no one expected it to, but it did little other than leach off of the drawing power of the franchise name. Total score...

2 / 5

When You Should See It:
If you want to say you've seen all of the Underworld films, or if it's on TV when absolutely nothing else is on. It's more entertaining than watching paint dry, but don't bother actively trying to rent this film otherwise, or seeking it out in anyway. It's not laughably bad, it's just really mediocre. Acceptable background noise.

image from Amazon