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|Index||271 reviews in total|
This movie was, at best, mediocre. The action was good, I suppose, but
it simply wasn't as good as its three predecessors. The plot was
underdeveloped and unsatisfying. Also, without Speedman, it was really
just missing something.
The story was, quite simply, lacking. It's difficult to explain this film's shortcomings without spoiling it, but, to say the least, they ignored elements that could have made a good movie and skipped to rather simple, unsatisfying plot devices. This movie was also absurdly short, testifying to its lack of content.
In the end, it just didn't feel like Underworld. I would compare this to the way I felt about The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - just an out of place fourth movie of a series. I really wanted it to be good, but it just wasn't.
I LOVED the first three Underworld movies, but in all honesty
"Underworld: Awakening" was for me a complete disaster. The first three
movies were amazing because they made you think deeply about history,
love, hatred, war, friendship, family, and other riveting themes; they
encouraged critical thinking and connection making skills with all the
powerful flashbacks and twists and turns that were within a strong
plot-structure. But "Underworld: Awakening" failed to do any of these
The plot absolutely sucked; there's nothing original, and I don't even know what the point/theme was at all. Yes there are a few good twists in the movie, but they happen in like the last 30 minutes, and even here all we get to see is action and no real depth or explanation of the who, what, where, when, why, how? of the story. If humans are now the common enemy, then why on sam hill are vampires and werewolves still fighting? It doesn't make sense. Near the end, just as the story was getting good, I suddenly noticed the credits popping up. The movie was over. I thought, "Huh? It can't be over, it was just getting good!?" The film was also WAY too short. All of this taken together makes "Underworld: Awakening" more like an added TV episode than a major motion picture. I honestly can't believe 70 million was spent on this cop out. It would have been much better if they actually showed the fight between humans and vampires and focused on that instead of going back to a now pointless feud between vampires and lycans.
WHAT made "Underworld: Awakening" worse was the fact that the directors did not really connect this sequel to the other 3 Underworld movies: where are the flashbacks? Where's the dialogue? What exactly happened to the other characters in the earlier films, etc, etc? I know this will disappoint all of you die-hard fans like me who love the other movies, but truth hurts: the film was terrible.
The storyline was the worst part, I think. In the 1 hour and 30 minutes of the film, only about 20-30 minutes is spent actually talking. Selene only opens her mouth a few times, and nobody makes longer speeches which made the other movies great. If the film was really about Selene waging war against humans (which it wasn't) it would have been much better and an interesting story, but that wasn't the true plot at all.
To the Producers: "It was the STORY that made the Underworld series a success, not the action, but you failed to see that. Because there is VERY little dialogue in this one and A LOT of action, there is very little story here, which makes it very unlikely that ANYONE will remember this movie after watching it. If you want to make another Underworld movie, focus on the story, on speeches, on the intellect, on actual acting instead of crappy action I can see for free on a TV series." I hate to say this because I am such a huge fan of the series, but "Underworld: Awakening" is utterly forgettable. I was really disappointed, and if you're an Underworld fan you will be too. I don't think I'll watch it a second time.
My Objective Vote: 3/10
P.S. I think the people who rate this film more than a 5 either haven't watched the other Underworld films, were paid-off, or are insane. It just doesn't deserve anything more than a pass.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I may be acting a bit rash in rating this film at 2 stars, but at the
time of my writing, there are just too many shadow marketing reviews on
this site to ignore. In a different situation, and if the first 2(3)
underworld movies were not so good, I might rate this a 5.
New writers, new director/directors, different movie.
If you just want to see some cookie cutter CGI 'action' movie, then give this a look.
If you are a fan of the earlier movies, if you know the story of Selene, Viktor, Corvinus, and the rest, you will be disappointed. It is not as bad as the crazy changes they made to the highlander movies, but they just decided to forget the past films and do something new. Actually they decided to rip off a few other stories, none of which were good the first four times you saw them.
I am not going to go into every detail of what is wrong with this movie. For the most part, it is bad because it must be compared to the earlier films in the series. It just does not compare in any way. Acting, scenery, sets, writing, story, effects, all better in prior underworlds.
Aside from all I have said, the production value is high, and the movie is watchable.
I'm not sure why this film seems to be getting fantastic reviews. I
mean it was a good enough action flick but it didn't blow my mind. In
fact it was a case of the same old stuff just done better. Brilliant to
watch but not refreshing at the same time. The story was lacking in
depth and character development and just felt like a filler for another
I don't want to be all doom and gloom about it because Kate really did kick some ass and looked good doing it too so as far as action and eye candy goes its great. But any fan of the series knows that the Underworld saga isn't stupid. They always paid attention to script and story and that was lacking here unfortunately.
I'm sure if you go and see it you wont be disappointed but just leave your brains at the door and watch the action commence.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When details finally came out about "Underworld: Awakening," my heart
sunk a little. True, the second installment wasn't very good, and the
third was a prequel, but I was still looking forward to seeing further
adventures of the vampire, Selene (Kate Beckinsale). As it turns out,
she's the only returning cast member. Everyone else is gone from the
project, leaving her the one tie to a series (seemingly) well past its
prime. "Awakening" also clocks in at under 90 minutes, making the first
film's two hours seem like days in comparison.
The plot this time around is told to us in the form of exposition. After "Evolution," humans discovered that lycans (werewolves) and vampires exist, and decided to wage war against both mythical creatures. They decided that genocide was the only option, and all but wiped out both species. So, how did Selene manage to survive? Well, she was captured by some scientist folks who decided to keep her alive, but frozen, for the past twelve years. Michael (previously portrayed by Scott Speedman), her vampire-lycan hybrid lover, has presumably died.
So, you'll be unsurprised to find out that Selene eventually escapes from her prison, fits back into that catsuit that she has grown accustomed to, and begins trying to find out just what the world has become in her absence. Of course, she still believes that Michael is still alive, so she sets out on a quest to find him. Meanwhile, she's also getting random visions flashing in front of her. It turns out, as anyone who has seen Evolution will have assumed, she has given birth to a daughter, Eve (India Eisley), and the two are linked via their sight. She can see what Eve can see if they are close to one another.
The villain this time around is the head of the scientists, a man named Jacob (Stephen Rae). I suppose the humans are also the bad guys, as they want to kill any vampire they come across, although the one human whose name we learn, a detective named Sebastian (Michael Ealy), ends up helping Selene. She's also eventually joined by another vampire, David (Theo James). Lycans also still exist, and they end up becoming more frequent as the film progresses after a plot twist is revealed that you'll probably see coming from a mile away, if you haven't already guessed it.
There isn't really a central plot that's worth discussing. "Underworld": "Awakening's" screenplay reads as both lazy and very loose. It's hard to even reflect back on it and try to remember key moments. It doesn't care about secondary characters (they're plot devices), and it doesn't care for its main one all that much either, although Beckinsale's Selene does have to show a tad bit more emotion than in previous installments. But not much more.
Essentially, we're here for the action scenes, which serve both as the main material as well as the glue that holds it together. In what is probably the most action-packed and gory iteration in this series, "Underworld": "Awakening" certainly doesn't have many boring moments. There's no substance to the plot or characters, but if you're watching the fourth "Underworld" film, chances are you don't care about that kind of thing. You're here to see Kate Beckinsale in a tight leather catsuit running around, doing flips off walls, shooting at anything that moves, and doing it all with a blue tinge. You get that with "Awakening."
Initially, I couldn't quite put my finger on why I still didn't have a great time with this film. It did most of the things it needed to right, and was overall quite exciting. But it lacked substance, and I don't just mean in its story and characters. Even at its worst point ("Evolution"), the "Underworld" series has always maintained some depth to the world that the characters inhabit. An entire back story was mapped out, and we understood the history of both supernatural clans. "Awakening" seems dedicated to both ruining and ignoring all of that previous work.
Here is a film that's premise involves the destruction of the majority of both species' members. Presumably, artifacts and historical documents were also destroyed, rendering much of the back story unknown to the survivors. Those who do know, like a man named Thomas (Charles Dance), have no proof of it and have no need to bring it up. The world is no longer an "Underworld" one; instead, it's just a generic action movie with vampires and werewolves. All of the work that went into the crafting of this universe is destroyed with "Awakening." It almost seemed like directors Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein went with this story just so that they didn't have to include any depth, even if that depth is what made "Underworld," well, "Underworld."
Maybe I'm overthinking things. Like I said, you're watching "Underworld: Awakening" to see Kate Beckinsale in a bunch of physics-defying action scenes while dressed in her character's signature leather outfit. You get that here. The action scenes are slick and well-made, the lycans look better than they ever have before, and the ending sequence, involving at least three distinct battles, is satisfactory, even if the ending as a whole promises much more than it delivers. I did have a good time, even if this installment completely ignores all of the history and back story of its universe. This is a movie for the "Underworld" fans. If you're one of them, you'll have a good time here. Newcomers will want to start at the beginning. If you aren't a fan, this one has less depth and more action than earlier iterations, so make your decision accordingly.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was excited when I found this movie was coming out. I saw all 3
movies again on DVD 2 times each to be fully prepared. I saw the movie
right when I got off work on opening night (no matinée pricing, extra
for 3D), and I was sorely disappointed. The 3D technology used all the
gimmicks that I hate about 3D such as things flying at the screen. That
is soooo 1950s. Parts of the 3D near the beginning made it look like I
was watching a cartoon or some kind of animation. The inclusion of
"humans" in the main story line really mucked this movie up. The other
3 movies were much more interesting in learning and understanding the
cultures and issues between the Lycans and Vampires in this
"Underworld" that humans knew nothing about. If you are going to go
above ground, if Selene is now a day-walker thanks to Alexander
Corvinus, if humans are involved, it is no longer an "Underworld" is
it? Possible spoilers coming. I liked the new male vampire lead David
for himself, but felt him playing against Selene made her look like a
cougar even though there was no romantic interactions between the two.
Don't get me wrong, she looked SUPER hot as usual, but he was way too
young (or young looking) to be her male lead. The storyline seemed to
have themes of every action and/or futuristic movie I have ever seen.
This movie series should be like a serial, an evolving storyline, not
more, bigger, badder to try to get butts in the seats. I enjoyed
getting to know the previous characters, but sadly almost ALL of them
are gone. I never got to know the new characters too well because the
writing, directing and/or editing sucked. A Black cop? What a cliché.
Black characters were used effectively in the previous films, but the
cop in the new film was a mistake. Also the cop helping out the
criminal, human killing vampire (just because she's hot) is also a
cliché. Cops never abandon their responsibilities for fat smelly biker
looking criminals with big hearts. Additionally, the cop was a known
actor. This is a gimmick. They may as well should have added Sean
Connery or Liam Neeson. Great actors, but gimmicks. Just like when
Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds showed up in the 3rd Blade series.
Selene is a death dealer killing Lycans. I was surprised when she
killed certain people in the movie like when she dropped the guy out
the window who SAID he'd saved her (she did not know at the time that
he was lying). Also Selene was WAY more acrobatic (in terms of
frequency and physical ability than the previous movies), I did not
like this. The Godzilla sized Lycan was ridiculous. They never fully
explained what/why was going on in the laboratory. There was
inconsistency (in the other movies too) in the fact that when Selene
shoots Lycans with bullets, they die. However, everyone else must use
silver bullets? Shooting the floor of the elevator about to crash down
on her? Rip off of movie 1. First, why did she not just get out of the
shaft if she is THAT fast. Secondly, even though the floor was shot out
that DID NOT (or should not) stop the circular disk from crashing into
her and smashing her. If her skeletal structure is strong enough to
withstand this, then what's the need to shoot out the floor. In fact,
if she is immortal, other than sunlight (which no longer affects her),
why the need to shoot the floor out of the elevator at all. In fact, if
she IS a day-walker, like Michael how did they ever become known to the
police. the story points out that the police were dragging people into
daylight to see if they would burn. Michael and Selene do not have this
issue. Michael can change at will. Wouldn't they just blend in and
never be discovered? Finally, where are these movies supposed to take
place? Hungary? Eastern Europe. Selene speaks a foreign language in
this and other movies, but now she is suddenly in the United States
with no explanation?. Where and why did she ever learn English in the
first place.Oh...the daughter. According to IMDb she is turning
NINETEEN this year! So much for playing a 12 year old.
The movie felt short and it also felt like a total setup for the next film which we'll have to wait, how many years for? Maybe never if enough folks don't go to see this. I like this series and will see the next one. True fans won't pass this by either. However, new fans keep things going. I doubt they'll be back.Note to the producers, for underworld 4 PREVIEW the script and the movie with the real fans, the folks that have seen the other 3 movies multiple times, not a bunch of tourists walking around Burbank looking for free passes.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm generously giving this movie 3 stars simply because Kate Beckensale is so very hot in a black cat suit and because the action was impressive. Unfortunately, the writing was seriously lacking, which is pretty sad since I didn't go in with terribly high expectations in the first place. Without giving away any spoilers, the story was virtually non-existent. I'm not saying to avoid this movie altogether, just to know what you're getting onto, lots of flash and next to no substance. This is NOT on par with the original Underworld, nor Rise of the Lycans. Even Evolution was better, and that was pretty forgettable. Kate, however, continues to impress as Selene, though her age will belie her vampire nature soon if they keep making sequels. The amount of makeup on her face was actually distracting in this film, especially since there was no time set aside between beat downs for her to apply Ru Paul style cake. But, these are small matters. The real issues are related to the story itself and I'm trying to avoid mentioning specifics. Speedman's absence was sorely felt too, despite the infusion of a new piece of beefcake for the ladies.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw the movie in 2D but to be honest, the low rating was not because
of the lack of 3D but rather that it was very disappointing. I felt
like the movie had a good storyline but it only touched on segments of
it rather than expand on it. The Cryogenics with a 12 yr gap did not
make any sense. If the little girl was her daughter than how come she
had no memory of giving birth. If the hybrid was a test tube baby she
would have still come from somewhere, unless the female scientist who
looked after the child was the real person who gave birth to her? Also,
when Selene met with Thomas, he knew who she was and that she was
responsible for killing elders but it didn't really touch on how he
knew even though he acted like he was an elder which I do not think he
was. As for me, the special effects were so/so but it was more like
watching the first Matrix movie. The scene where she storms the office
building and attacks the guards was very similar to scene in the
Matrix. It did not really leave much for the imagination.
Towards the end of the movie where the bad guys get the upper hand and the plot of the movie, it is short lived. The ending of the movie was like when the Empire Strikes Back ended. Just when the movie was getting good, and they followed a lead to meet with her hybrid lover, the movie ended! Guess there will be another sequel! When the movie ended, I looked at my watch and realized that it was just under and hour and 1/2. There was so much more they could have done with this movie and cranked out another 20-30 minutes to complete the storyline.
It just seemed as if they filmed the movie in a couple of months. I do not understand how there was a budget of $70 million when the special effects seemed below par. Yet, Underworld 3, was budgeted around $35 million.
Naturally, Kate Beckinsale looked as sexy as ever, which probably the highlight of the movie.
For those who came in late, the Underworld series is all about the
eternal enmity between the non-human species of Vampires and Lycans,
the latter being an evolved race of werewolves. So far, we learned all
about the centuries of bloodshed, and the absolute necessity for the 2
groups never to reconcile.
At the heart of the narrative is Selene (Kate Beckinsale), who was once the pride and joy of the Vampire army, till she fell in love with a hybrid (part vampire part Lycan), and began to question the ethics of her tribe.
Underworld: Awakening begins with a new development in the world that Selene and Michael inhabit. Thus far, the inferior human species has remained unaware of the existence of the other species. Now that covens and nests have been unearthed, paranoia strikes, and annihilation of non-humans becomes military priority.
Selene and Michael try to leave the area by boat, but both are captured and frozen in a lab, for research. When Selene awakens, she manages to flee from her prison, only to find that it is now 12 years later. Lycans are almost extinct, there is a weapon that she has, and her enemies want it for their evil purpose.
This installment of the Underworld franchise has the flimsiest plot, the least talented actors (except, of course, for Stephen Rea), and the most unsatisfactory climax. In fact, this has to be the first movie of the series that leaves loyalists not clamoring for more. The premise is so incredulous (and not in a good way), that you will stop trying to comprehend the sequence of events that leads Selene to the end of the movie.
To make up for the lack of a credible story, the makers decided to intersperse every second conversation with visuals of ripped heads, severed body parts and plenty of blood. The gore in the movie is not only irrelevant, but also added for shock value, or so it seems.
The icing on the cake is the presence of constantly flickering lights. The lab has them, the parking lots have them, the corridors have them - the civilized world does not seem to believe in proper lighting. What the audience is left with is a semi-hypnotized sense of being after sitting through all those lights.
Kate Beckinsale goes through all the motions of being Selene with the ease of a professional. She has done this to perfection before, but this time, she seems complacent, and bored. To give her credit, she has maintained her figure, and looks no different than the Selene who first made an appearance almost a decade ago (in the first movie of the series).
The very talented Stephen Rea plays a villain of sorts in the movie. He does look confused at times, as if he wonders why he signed the film. There is no sign of effort from any other member of the cast.
The music is more like stock music, and production value is inconsequential (there's nothing in the film except walls and piers). The fight sequences are not engrossing enough, and the spurting blood and flying intestines are distracting.
In short, the entire movie is a disappointment. If, however, you insist on watching Underworld: Awakening, avoid the 3D version, and maybe your headache will not be as bad.
On a more positive note, there is always the hope that the next movie will manage to regain the lost glory of the series.
Like most here, I'd have to say that I was pretty excited to see a new Underworld coming to the screen. My excitement was quickly snuffed out by disappointment from the very beginning and all the way up through the very end. This movie was full of undesirable 3D gimmicks, poor and sloppy use of CGI, and a weak story line. Once again, we've been given a film that was quickly thrown together for an additional squeeze on the franchise name, and a final milking of the of a reasonable fan base. This film didn't last more than 1.5 hours, leaving the audience with an underdeveloped story line and cast of characters. I wasn't too happy with a majority of the character selections. No one seemed to fill their role well. The acting/directing was mediocre at best. As for the CGI, many of the scenes seemed like a under-budgeted video game rather than a well designed special effect. Rest assured, this film will not win any awards and we've probably seen the last installment as this film just seemed as though it was coming for it's last breath of air before going under completely. At best, you can add this one to the long list of pop-corn entertainers best viewed on a rainy day when nothing better is available to do.
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