Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Friday, January 20, 2012

Underworld: Awakening IMAX 3D

Bullets, Bites and Beauty

Rated: R  Strong violence and gore, and for some language
Release Date: January 20, 2012
Runtime: 1 hr 29 min

Director: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein
Writers: Len Wiseman, John Hlavin, J. Michael Straczynski, Allison Burnett, Kevin Grevioux, Danny McBride
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James, India Eisley, Kris Holden-Ried, Charles Dance

SYNOPSIS: When the humans discover the Vampires and Lycans living among them, they hunt them down to the point of extinction. In the meanwhile, Death Dealer Selene has been captured and experimented on, resulting in a hybrid Vampire/Lycan child.

REVIEW:  Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein, directors of Shelter, take the lead on the fourth entry in the Underworld franchise series. With the writing duties carried out by a large group of storytellers, including franchise devotee Len Wiseman and Babylon 5's J. Michael Straczynski, Death Dealer Selene continues her corseted ass-kickery.

In the fourth entry of the Underworld film franchise, the human population has discovered the existence of Vampires. With their discovery comes the swift discovery of their weaknesses and a 'cleansing' to kill off the Vampires wherever they hide. During the operations against the Vampires with silver nitrate and ultra violet weapons, they discover that another nonhuman infection exists, that of the Lycans. Marshall law is enforced and both of the infected species are hunted down. While Death Dealer Selene (Kate Beckinsale, Contraband) tries to fight against the humans, she and Michael decide to go underground. During their escape, the military captures them. Twelve years later, Selene wakes up from a cryogenic sleep in a scientific facility. Gaining her senses and power, she escapes the facility and follows a strange vision to a little girl Eve (India Eisley, The Secret Life of the American Teenager) who is a hybrid like Michael. Teaming up with a Vampire named David (Theo James) and a police detective sympathetic to Vampires (Michael Ealy, Takers), Selene takes on the government scientific research facility that is producing more than just the vaccine to the Vampire and Lycan infections, led by Dr Jacob Lane (Stephen Rea, Stella Days) and a powerful Lycan experiment Quint (Kris Holden-Ried, Lost Girl).

Underworld: Awakening starts off with a Selene narrated montage of the first three films in chronological order, leading up to the current entry. Then, in documentary and newscast style, we bear witness to the humans reaction to the discovery of Vampires, then Lycans, and watch the humans' methodical extermination of the infestation of the nonhuman threats. From the point when Selene is mysteriously released from her cryogenic slumber, the action begins in earnest - and seldom slows or stops.

Wrapped in her signature corset, covered neck to toe with her long-sleeved body suit, and sporting her speed automatic pistols, Selene is the perfect mix of the supernatural and the Matrix. No teenage angst between diamond skinned bloodsuckers and six-pack abs furry wolves. The Vampires and Lycans still have an utter hatred for each other, but the addition of the human military exterminating both species throws a different dynamic into the mix. With both nonhuman species barely sustaining their existence, they hide out and cower to survive instead of rising up against their oppressors. When Selene shows up with no memory of the harsh reality of the last twelve years, she reverts to what knows best, dealing death.

The movie is 90 minutes long, and Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein and the writers deliver a tight simple story that is packed with brawls, bullets and bites. As Selene evades her first human aggressors, she spins, kicks, shoots and neck-snaps her way through the soldiers like they were make from paper. The slow motion choreography of the fight sequence is viscous and beautiful, Beckinsale's lithe shiny black physique a silhouette of power and battling perfection.

In addition to Beckinsale's Selene, others join in the fight - on both sides of the fight. Vampire Dave rebels against his clan leader father Thomas (Charles Dance, Your Highness) on the hunt to reclaim a life better than hiding out in the base of a hydro dam, anxious to follow Selene into war. Hybrid daughter of Selene and Michael, Eve, shows the strength and stamina of both Vampire and Lycan, still young and unsure of the limits of both. On the other side of the fight are Dr. Jacob Lane and a Lycan double the size and strength of any wolf Selene has ever seen in her centuries old career.

Short and sweet, Selene dispenses death to all who oppose her, her kin, and her kind. In IMAX 3D, the blows are thunderous and the combatants in your face. The climax in the parking garage booms with flying vehicles, a shower of speed pistol discharges, and Vampire on over-sized Lycan action. Fans of the series will appreciate the straightforward story and non-stop action, everyone else should enjoy 90 minutes of popcorn movie bliss.

WORTH: Matinee or DVD


  1. This is getting repeated. Action sequences here are not for promoting story but story is for promoting only action. Emotional bond is least, unable to generate any touching moment during the mother-daughter reunion. Munch popcorn during the show and enjoy the action if you must ....

  2. Certainly expected a popcorn movie. Took points off because the story was straightforward and simple. But the popcorn was buttery and delicious!