Monday, January 23, 2012

FILM REVIEW: Underworld: Awakening (2012)


Kate Beckinsale...in skin-tight black latex? Again? Count me in!

There's something to be said for the popcorn flick. Especially in horror. Now...don't get me wrong...I usually love the intricately woven complex story with great acting and impeccably beautiful film making. But, sometimes...just sometimes...you just wanna go into the theater and be entertained. And Underworld: Awakening entertains.

Now...it's important to point out that I'm a huge Selene fan. Not so much an Underworld fan...but, a Selene fan. Like...I'm kind of in love with her. The only downside to that love is that she's a fictitious character who enjoys snacking on human blood played by the lovely Kate Beckinsale. But...does it really matter. Doth not love hath no boundaries?

Anyway...I'm telling you this because as an Underworld enthusiast...I'm as casual as they come. I kinda know what's goin' on in the mythos. I know that Selene fell for some dude named Michael Corvin, who is a direct descendant from some hybrid species of both vampire and lycan...and I'm aware that Selene is a death dealer. Oh...and there's something about the elders all being corrupt and Selene attaining the powers of the elders which allows her to do cool things like revive dead vampires and kick major lycan ass.


So, after sitting out the third entry of the Underworld franchise, Beckinsale's Selene is back...better than ever. She does all kinds of things in Awakening. She's doing her usual dropping from a high place thing and she's kicking all kinds of ass...violently. As a matter of fact, I'm happy that the filmmakers allowed her to be as brutal as possible. In the film she's motivated by the love of her Michael...so, it's understandable that, as a blood-thirsty vampire who's been asleep for 12 years, she goes on a bloody fucking rampage. The film is surprisingly filled with so much gore that I was delighted by the cold-blooded ways that Selene dispatches everyone---including humans!

The premise is pretty much light here. The vampire/lycan war has forced humans to come in and deliver a no bullshit policy to extinguish all things non-human. So, after a nice little Underworld recap, we open with Selene and Michael planning an escape from the whole mess. Before they can do so, the humans pop in and stop them in their tracks...freezing them for research purposes. After a 12 year slumber, Selene is awoken by an unknown entity and she immediately dons her trademark black latex fetishist bodysuit, which happens to be stored conveniently in glass cases nearby. She goes on her bloody fucking rampage, eliminating anyone and anything in her path until she reunites with Michael...except, it's not Michael...it's her daughter Eve (played really well by India Eisley). She's joined by a fellow vampire (Theo James) and a human (Michael Ealy) along the way as she struggles to figure out what the hell she's doing with a freakin' daughter...and where in the hell her beloved Michael is.


Now, I realize that's a bit much to swallow...especially given the little plot-twist they throw at you for the final act...but, it's all served in a neat little 88 minute package with tons of action and bloody carnage whenever someone's not delivering some of the lame dialogue the film had. Along with the lame dialogue, the only other thing I didn't like was the 3D in the film...or rather, not in the film. I'm not sure why they're marketing this film as a big Real 3D extravaganza, because it's really not. Most likely just to inflate ticket prices in which to squeeze an extra 3 bucks from each horror fan. Otherwise, just check out the 2D version that they're showing because it'll be just as awesome...except without the clumsy 3D sunglasses.

Oh...and I'm not sure why Scott Speedman chose to stay out of this entry. Michael Corvin really doesn't have much screen time and the actor they found looks almost like Speedman, but...would it have killed him to walk onto the set and film a few goddamn scenes? Perhaps he thinks he's above the whole Underworld "thing"? Who knows? It's not like he's in anything else these days. I hope he does come on board for the inevitable 5th installment because having another actor playing Michael felt a little distracting. I also hope that they somehow work in a female lycan to go up against Selene in the next round. That might be cool.

Anyway, Kate Beckinsale is back as Selene. And that's really all you need to know. You could've just skipped my entire review all the way to this one paragraph to learn the best thing about Underworld: Awakening...that Selene is back killing all kinds of lycans and humans that get in her way. And she's in skin-tight black latex.




India Eisley without the creepy eyes...




Thanks for reading,

bryan.


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