Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: Underworld Awakening (2012)

“This day was bound to come!”

Directors: Mans Marlind, Bjorn Stein
Actors: Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Indie Eisley and Michael Ealy
Writers: Len Wiseman, John Hlavin, J Michael Straczynski and Allison Burnett

My first 2012 movie for the year, and its Underworld Awakening, is this an ill omen of things to come? I mean I don’t hate the Underworld series, but I can’t say I’ve been totally into them. There has always been potential in the series but it’s never reached those lofty heights of awesome. So along comes this newest movie in the hopes of rebooting the franchise by bringing back the original starlet, and continuing the story into the future.

I think the wisest thing this movie did was keep the story pretty simple and just concentrate on the action. The action is crammed into this movie and it was pretty easy to go along for the ride. All the action was well shot, and it also made full use of the 3D technology. Hat’s off to Kate Beckinsale for being such an action presence in the movie. She along with Milla Jovovich are doing a lot for strong female characters. Oh and one last thing for the action scenes, they are pretty brutal which was nice to see. Selene is not screwing around in this movie.

Acting wise Beckinsale is fine as Selene, she hits the right notes of the character, and lends credibility. Stephen Rea is interesting as the main villain, and it was an unique portrayal of a villain. He gave more depth to the character than the story really warranted. Indie Eisley also came off pretty damn good as the character Eve. Normally child characters can be pretty damn annoying. Being too damn smart for their own good, or just being useless baggage. Thankfully Eve is both a scared little girl, and capable of helping at times. Overall the acting is not horrendous, but honestly with this movie you shouldn’t be expecting too much from it.

While the 3D is good, the special effects weren’t exactly great. Too many times the CGI looks like a computer game which was a shame considering the action scenes were well put together. Also the blue pallet of the film does drain the movie of a certain excitement, but then again it’s keeping with the look of the previous three movies. I do think there was some lost potential in the look of the movie, but then again this could of just been a way of keeping costs down.

The plot of this movie is bare bones and is only there to get from action scene to action scene. If you want a thrilling epic story then you best turn around. Also the more you think on the plot, the more questions that start appearing. But for a ninety minute movie I wasn’t too concerned, I was more enjoying the visceral experience. Still I do think the movie is cursed with having four script writers, it’s never a good sign, and the movie does reek of lack of focus. But at least, as I stated above, they kept the story simple which helps with driving over the holes.

If you like the Underworld movies then you should enjoy this movie. Personally I thought that this movie was best of the series, and it was a pleasant surprise as I wasn’t expecting much. If on the other hand, you don’t like the Underworld movies then just skip this offering, as there is nothing new here to win you over.

1 comment:

  1. This is what a vampire & werewolf movie should be. This new installment into the Underworld franchise is excellent and was well worth the wait. The war has intensified and now humans are the hunters. Excellent twist and some favorite characters return.