Underworld Awakening: A Lackluster End to an Amazing Series

Ashley Johnson

True to its title, Underworld Awakening  leads the audience to find Selene (Kate Beckinsale) waking up from cryogenesis 12 years after humanity’s discovery and “purging” of the vampire and lycan hordes living within their midst. Selene quickly finds herself in a world where vampires and lycans are near extinction and that the humans keep tight control of things, methodically searching for and destroying the last of “the infected. However, before Selene can even get her bearings, she is swept up in a rescue mission involving a young girl named Eve (India Eisley), who is more powerful than anyone imagined. It’s up to Selene to protect Eve from those who would harm her – be they human, Lycan, or the vampire coven itself.

Unfortunately this Underworld movie looks and feels like an extended TV episode, rather than a big-budget feature film. The film is nothing more than a string of action sequences and cheap set-pieces, often shot at wide angles that reveal the elementary (and by now, routine) fight choreography. Cheap CGI effects make the blood spatter, superhuman feats, and supernatural creatures look no better than something you might see on a TV now days in comparison to its once rich predecessors.

The script for the first Underworld succeeded in creating a rich mythology, as well as some interesting and complex characters. However this last installment of Underworld suffers from half-cooked ideas and timelines.

Kate Beckinsale is still in her prime as a gorgeous action starlet, and there was a lot of room for her character (Selene) to experience some real development across the course of the story. Yet, Selene reacts to her new circumstances with such unflinching stoicism that it’s hard to become invested in anything that’s happening.

The movie looked as if it had so much promise and finesse, yet what it delivered was far from the great movies it followed. Though Kate Beckinsale is a beauty in this movie, she alone cannot save what has already been lost.