Sunday, January 22, 2012

Underworld: Awakening (2012)

Directors: Mans Marlind & Bjorne Stein

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James, India Eisley, Sandrine Holt, Charles Dance

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Vengeance Returns

Plot: When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrioress Selene leads the battle against humankind.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

I caught this one over the weekend at a drive-in theater along with THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2011). Because it's a really darkly-lit picture, it doesn't lend itself to watching outside. Maybe the projector bulb needed to be replaced. Any case, I like the first UNDERWORLD movie a little, didn't see the second and saw the third one in the theater for free and didn't care enough about it to go see the second one. I still feel that way but this entry isn't all that bad but it's flawed.

My biggest issue is the plot. While I like where it goes with the vampires and werewolves being found out and hunted to near-extinction and then jumping twelve years into the future, the rest of the film is about as simple as it gets. I'm not opposed to simple but there should at least be an attempt at something more than girl gets frozen for 12 years, escapes the lab to find out she's got a daughter, the daughter gets kidnapped and she and her pals rescue her to live long enough to make it to the next sequel. That's really the gist of it. They fortunately had the sense to know they couldn't survive long on that basic plot and they let it go for about 77 minutes before running the long-ass credits. That's an hour and 17 minutes.

With movies like this you can't apply much logic. It's just a bunch of beautiful people running around looking macho, doing and saying things that sound like they're badasses. Along the way there are things that just don't make any damn sense and stand out like a sore thumb. Take, for example, when Kate Beckinsale breaks out of her frozen chamber she's been locked in for the past dozen years. She's naked but that's OK because right next to her chamber is a 6' glass display case with the outfit she was wearing when she arrived, on display as if in a museum for movie clothes. It's a huge WTF moment. It's not enough to ruin the movie but it's so ludicrous that it's laughable. U:A isn't a bad movie but it's such a safe sequel that it's kind of a let down they didn't try for more.

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