Here’s the thing – Underworld: Awakening is one of those type of movies that will not appeal to folks who don’t like “Action” movies. It also will not appeal to people who don’t like “B” movies. Me, however, I love a good grade B/C action flick. When I walk into a movie like this, I don’t expect much, but what I do want is a good spot of violence, something that looks interesting visually and a movie that holds my attention.
The reason the Underworld series works is Kate Beckinsale’s portrayal of the all black clad, baddass Vampire Selene is just cool. No matter how ridiculous things get in this series it comes down Beckinsale’s awesome screen presence. After watching this new trend of wimpy Vamps made popular by Twilight and The Vampy Cat Diaries I just love seeing a Vampire who doesn’t mope, she just kicks ass whether they be Lycons (their natural enemies) or her own kind. Or in the case of Underworld: Awakening – humans who have discovered the existence of the Underworld and declared war on Vamps and Werewolves alike.
So now we have the Werewolves and Vamps being hunted by the humans, but now there’s a new twist – the existence of an vamp/werewolf hybrid child Eve (played by The Secret Life of an American Teenager’s India Eisley) who sports some of the worst monster effects that I’ve ever seen.
While we are on the subject of effects, I love Beckinsale’s shiny black outfit. Some of the monster effects are actually pretty good – especially the “Super Wolf”. The CGI of that character model looks great. The problem with Underworld: Awakening is the fact that Directors Måns Mårlind, and Björn Stein don’t infuse this movie with a particular vision. The action scenes are nicely done – they park the cameras and don’t go in tight, close-up shaky cam mode. I can actually see what’s going on. Beckinsale really brings it.
This movie is shot way too dark – dark clothes, dark and gray color schemes, to be effective in 3D – adding another layer of the 3D tinted glasses would make this movie almost unwatchable which is why I’m glad I watched it in 2D. The story by Len Wiseman (and 6 others!) is serviceable enough and gets you from point A to B in a way that makes some sense. It’s very generic and the acting by all involved is basic.
Underworld: Awakening was exactly what I was expecting it to be and wanted out of a movie like this, nothing more, nothing less. It’s not for everyone, it’s a shut your mind off at the door and go for the ride type of movie. This movie rises or falls based on whether you like Beckinsale or not and I do.
Final Grade B