Underworld: Awakening is my guilty pleasure. The Underworld franchise is one of those film series that people shouldn’t like but the over the top violence and attractive female lead played by Kate Beckinsale make it impossible not enjoy this horror action franchise. The Underworld films focus on the war between Lycans also known as werewolves and vampires. Awakening is the fourth installment in the Underworld franchise and the first in six years to have Kate Beckinsale’s character of Selene as the film’s lead.
The plot of Underworld: Awakening is very basic. Humans have learned of the existence of Vampires and Lycans and now seek to eradicate both species from existence. Selene is captured by the humans while attempting to escape with Michael Covin her husband from Underworld: Evolution. Selene is held captive in a state of suspended animation for twelve years before someone named Subject 1 helps her escape. Selene decides the best way to survive is to protect Subject 1 from the Lycans and Vampires as both species are on the hunt to harvest Subject 1’s blood in an effort to use it for themselves to become stronger. Human’s are also on the hunt for Subject 1 as they believe she is the key to curing human being after they have been infected and transform into vampires or werewolves.
Underworld: Awakening is one of those movies you go to purely because you either like Kate Beckinsale or love violent action. I happen to love both. This film is an intense thrill ride with action that just keeps coming regardless of whether you are ready for it or not. Directors Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein know how to keep the camera steady and focus during action sequences and still and focused during dialogue driven moments. The color palette of the film is purposely dark keeping with the tone of the previous three films. I love the moody atmosphere of the film. The series has always felt apocalyptic and grim. Kate Beckinsale doesn’t need to use much of her acting range in this film because most of the film revolves around well choreographed fight sequences. Secondary characters aide in the protection of Subject 1 but do not deepen the lore the Underworld series is known for.
I think fans of the Underworld franchise will enjoy Underworld: Awakening a great deal because it delivers the spectacle and violence fans have come to expect. I recommend viewing the film in 3D if you are a fan of the gore the franchise offers as the third dimension will immerse you in the experience rather than take you away from it. Underworld: Awakening is the first solid action film I’ve seen in 2012.