The newest Underworld has arrived after a three year gap, and I can’t lie I was excited to see the series picking back up, especially after the flop that was Rise of the Lycans. So this past Friday, I paid a visit to the theater to check out this flick and I’m here to report on the movie. Read on to find out if this latest installment is worth checking out, or worth waiting until it comes out on TV.
So in case you don’t know the series. Underworld is a tale of a war between Vampires and surprise Werewolves, called Lycans. Throughout the centuries, the two factions have been fighting for superiority and ownership of the world. One vampire named Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is an elite Vampire who quickly learns the truth about the war and fights to eliminate the leaders of both sides. This movie picks up where the second movie left off, and after a brief recap of events, we find both Lycans and Vampires being hunted by the humans with Selene being one of the most wanted. However, she soon discovers a new underlying secret about the war, something that could turn the tide in an irreversible manner.
Yeah I know sounds exciting, and a much better story than the 2009 prequel. However I’m here to say that the trailers have once again painted another picture, one that I wish had come true. Underworld starts out with a bang, as Selene shows off her wicked fighting skills. The action is just as exciting and fast as ever, though they have taken a strong liking to guns over close range combat. Many of the action sequences unfortunately became nothing more than constant close ups of Selene shooting at the screen and someone responding to the digital bullets, which grew stale for me really quick. I felt that it wasn’t until near the end when the classic action returned, which was too long of a wait.
Normally in this series I don’t mind a lull in the action as the story was developed enough to keep me guessing the political game the leaders were playing. That was not the case for this movie, as the story was much simpler than I had expected. The plot I felt was rushed, and focused too much on finding this one girl (India Eisley) and trying to figure out her secret, which was pretty obvious. Despite the pretty shallow story, there was a twist I didn’t see coming that was actually well played. Unfortunately the motives behind this twist were disappointing and rather lazy writing. Despite the sea of simplicity, there was some character development for Selene and the studio did a nice job adding a new layer to her already complicated story, while still maintaining her killer edge. Beckinsale once again plays her role well and had me believing she was indeed a top-notch hunter. Eisley as well impressed me with her acting, though her character was in need of some serious development that I hope we will see later. The other two major actors Michael Ealy and Theo James also did a nice job with Ealy having the more balanced role of the two.
What else do I have to say about this movie? Well fans of gore filled violence will have no problem with this movie as every kill paints the screen in a shade of red, a couple of times coming towards the camera in 3-D. It’s here I’ll say that the action and violence is also well caught on camera and not flooded by spastic camera work. The graphics also were okay, but I felt the Lycans were not as defined as they were in the first three installments. It seems like the studio decided to put more money into 3-D shooting than into makeup, costumes, and probably even the storyboard writing, which I feel was a mistake. The 3-D wasn’t horrible, but many of the battles were designed to have something flying out at you, i.e. bullets, whips, a snout, etc., which is not what Underworld is about.
Overall Underworld Awakening is a nice introduction back into the series. It provides an opening for both old and new fans to get back into the series and provides enough action to rope any adrenaline junky into the mix. Unfortunately the simplicity of the action, story, and graphics may be disappointing to veterans of the series, making them miss the Elders from the previous installments. My biggest piece of advice is to avoid seeing this film in 3-D, as it is not worth the extra 5-6 dollars they charge. Perhaps the next movie, which the movie hints is coming, will have more of the quality the first two movies had and return the series back to its full glory. My scores are below:
Action Movie/Sci Fi: 7.5
Movie overall: 7.0
So until next time my friends, continue enjoying the movies and have a great day.