Underworld Awakening poster of Kate Beckinsale as Selene

As a huge fan of the Underworld series of movies, I took in it’s latest instalment, Underworld Awakening, this week. I generally enjoyed this movie, and while it’s tone was a bit of a departure from the films that came before it, it still works quite well with the rest of the franchise. Kate Beckinsale seems like a vampire herself, as she is still as lovely as she was years ago when this series began.

The film takes place 12 years after Underworld Evolution, after a human cleansing of Vampires and Lycans leaves both species struggling to fight extinction. With the plot centering around fighting powerful companies, engineered creatures and general ass kicking, the movie is reminiscent of a Resident Evil film, though still unique in it’s own way.

Kate Beckinsale as Selene shooting guns in Underworld Awakening

My main complaint about the movie would be it’s length. With a total run time of only 88 minutes, and long credits that are probably about 10 of those, the film itself wraps up after about an hour and twenty minutes. With the first film weighing in at over two hours, 133 minutes for the director’s cut, this is a bit disappointing.

Keep reading for more thoughts which will include some spoilers.

Perhaps if Michael had properly been in this movie, we would have been able to fill out two hours. As the fill in for the actor in the first scenes of the film were obviously not Scott Speedman, audiences quickly realize we will not be seeing him this time around. This makes all the close calls with finding him quite unsuspensefull, as we all know a proper reunion is just not in the cards, despite Selene’s main motivating in the film being trying to track him down. This was certainly not as problematic as Kate Beckinsale not being in what I suppose is technically considered the third film in the series, Underworld Rise of the Lycans. That ended up being pointless retcon, and a ridiculous waste of film such as hadn’t been seen since Battlestar Gallactica: Razor. So what exactly was Scott Speedman up to that he couldn’t be in this? He’s in an upcoming movie “The Moth Diaries” which is about a girl who suspects her roomate is … a vampire! Dude you don’t skip on a phat vampire action movie pay check to make a shittier vampire movie! Obviously they could have used you in this movie, so why waste our times? I haven’t been this annoyed at Scott Speedman since he was nailing the Pink Power Ranger!

India Eisley as Eve in Underworld Awakening

Michael may not be around but 12 years later his semen from Underworld Evolution is back and grown up into Eve, a creepy kid that’s also a hybrid. Why is this hybrid not like her father or Marcus? Why not? Pick a reason! Her mom is a vampire so she’s technically 3/4 Vampire, 1/4 Lycan. Maybe it’s because her mom drank Alexander Corvinus’s blood. Whatever! Eve’s character is pretty cool. It’s a bit jarring to see a kid ripping things to shreds. If they keep making these films, which we all hope they will be as long as actors stop being bitches and doing other projects, then surely we can follow Eve as she ages and becomes a more capable and hardcore fighter. We’ll of course need a reason for get a new kind of hybrid in the next movie, because this is kind of what we’re doing. Eve’s storyline felt like it could have been elaborated on a bit more. Surely by fleshing out her relationship with her mother we could have stretched out that run time a few minutes.

Michael Ealy as Detective Sebastian in Underworld Awakening

A new character in the film is the human Detective Sebastian played by Michael Ealy. His role also seems like it could have been more prominent, but perhaps this will all play out in later films. Also joining the cast is a new Vampire David played by Theo James. I wonder if there was perhaps a requirement to have a pretty male Vampire to fill those seats with Twitards. The Lycan antagonists played by Stephen Rea and Kris Holden-Ried were interesting though a bit too obviously villainous.

Theo James as David in Underworld Awakening

The film’s plot had some interesting twists that were fun to follow. Bringing the story back to a Vampires vs. Lycans story seemed a bit of an odd choice seeing as it looked like maybe that feud would be over as the humans were the new enemy, but ultimately people want to see Vampires fighting Werewolves, and I don’t mean Edward fighting Jacob. The conflict with the humans added an interesting angle to the story, as the situation unfolds in a way that one might expect it to happen if such creatures did exist and were inevitably discovered by us.

Kate Beckinsale as Selene holding a gun in Underworld Awakening

Finally, the movie was 3D, which I make no secret of not being a fan of. It was shot with actual 3D cameras, so it’s not all bad, but the film makes far too much use of fancy 3D exploiting scenes of stuff flying at the screen or pointing right out at you. I’m looking forward to a 2D viewing when this is out on video, though no doubt I will still be annoyed as shards and pins flying at the screen remind me of how scenes are compromised these days for these kinds of gimmicks.

Underworld Awakening stupid 3D pin flying at the screen

I really liked this movie, as I do all of the films in the series that aren’t that horrible prequel. With an obvious setup for a sequel here’s hoping we get new Underworld movies every few years for a long time to come.

Underworld Awakening - India Eisley as Eve as a hybrid