Saturday, January 21, 2012

Underworld Awakening eyes wide open

OK so Underworld Awakening is the newest film in the Underworld series. Now if you are one of those people unfamiliar with the Underworld series, aka real horror fans, it is basically the story of a sexy vampire with an S and M fetish who falls in love with the lead singer of Creed.

Stapp or Speedman
Stapp or Speedman, you decide

This is the fourth film in the Underworld franchise and it reunites Selene, played by Kate Beckinsale and Michael, played by Scott Stapp, um Scott Speedman.  Both stars were absent from the third film.  Beckinsale apparently busy with other film projects.  Speedman touring with Kid Rock.  Their reunion is short however letting Beckinsale carry most of the film.  Not that I'm complaining.  Leather clad hottie Beckinsale vs weepie emo werewolf, yeah no complaints.

With truth in advertising firmly in mind there is an actual awakening in the film.  Of course for an awakening someone must be put to sleep, someone besides the audience that is.

Where Underworld Rise of the Lycans was set in the past the majority of Underworld Awakening is set in the future.  Twelve years from the start of the film which we assume is set in the near future.  The gist of the film is that the human population has suddenly become aware of the vampires and werewolves living among them. 

We never find out exactly how and can only assume it was from watching True Blood.  Michael and Selene's reunion is short loved as the humans attack.  Michael falls into the ocean and Selene goes after him, as a bomb explodes they embrace, with arms wide open.  OK that's the last Creed joke.  I promise.
Michael Corwin Scott Speedman
Really hates Alterbridge

Twelve years later, Selene is revived from cryogenic sleep by someone whom she thinks is Michael.  She escapes from a lab and goes in search of Michael, only to find a very different world, where vampires and lycans are almost extinct and in hiding.  She also finds that she has given birth while in cryo sleep.  How embarrassing is that?  As she searches for Michael, while trying to protect her hybrid kid, who just happens to be coolest thing about Underworld Awakening, besides Beckinsale's booty that is. Stuff explodes, lycans transform, and vampires go "RARRR" in the camera with fangs bared.  Ya know, usual Underworld stuff.

Fans of the Underworld series won't be disappointed unless they came to see Michael.  It's basically more of the same formula.  Kate is still hot, lots of guns, werewolves etc, etc.  The series as a whole is getting a bit old but having Beckinsale back adds a bit of juice to it.  The open ended conclusion will keep the loyal fans itching for the next film.

My major complaint was the 3-D, which I felt forced to watch as every theater near me only had one non 3-D showing.  There was just no need. This is a 3-D movie when 3-D is the norm, not for now when it still costs extra for 3-D.  It did add to a few scenes, and made them look more real. Those scenes were where a character is just standing or walking and the 3-D adds depth to the scene.   However the 3-D dust clouds and gun barrels pointing into the screen are more annoying than anything else.

There was also too much CGI.  Now I know complaining about too much CGI in an Underworld film is like complaining there are too many dicks in a gang bang video, but still there was too much CGI.  Not just the transformation scenes, but all through the movie.  Especially the giant ass werewolf, honestly why not a normal sized werewolf, just with more strength and stamina.  I honestly felt like I was watching a Resident Evil movie every time the bigun was on screen.

Last complaint.  Kate Beckinsale.  Get your kit off or stop teasing.  Seriously.  You are becoming like that high school girl who always says she MIGHT go out with you, but is always washing her hair.  OK personally I never heard the "washing you hair" story, mine was "I might go out with you, call me when you aren't so creepy."  In Underworld Awakening we are treated to Kate in a cryo tank naked as naked can be, but do we see anything?  Even after the tank breaks, we get Kate lying on the floor in what can only be called "lessons in implied nudity 101."  All I could keep thinking was "If this was Milla we be seeing some boob," this isn't Milla though.  I know being nude on film can be a hard thing to do, and I believe in personal choice, all I'm saying is stop with the tease.  Tit or no tit, there is no implied.  Sorry Yoda.

With all that I can't say I didn't enjoy Underworld Awakening.  However I find it hard to say I enjoyed it.  It was just kind of meh.  The fights were fun, watching Kate walk around was fun, guns go pow pow.  This is the kind of film that should have went straight to DVD. Watching this on Netflix with a cold beer would have been funner than hell.  In the theater, I just kept thinking about what I could have used the ten bucks for.
sexy Selene black leather Kate Beckinsale
Super hot Beckinsale

So should you rush out to see Underworld Awakening?
Depends on just how much of an Underworld and more importantly a Selene fan you are.  Personally I'd say wait till it's on DVD