by Jesus Ibarra
Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.
Kate Beckinsale returns as vampire heroine Selene, in the fourth installment of the Underworld series. After the events of movie two (three was a prequel) humans have become aware of both the vampires and lycans (werewolves) and have begun and all out war to eradicate the species. The movie picks up when Selene and Michael the vampire/lycan hybrid try to escape and are discovered and blown up. While Selene is captured and held captive for twelve years, Michael’s fate is left unknown.
The movie for the most part dispenses with the large mythology established by the first two films and moves the franchise into more of an action oriented series. It isn’t a bad thing, but I for one liked the huge mythology established. Here’s hoping the next film, should they do it, goes back to the gothic style with huge mythos, more dialogue, and interaction between Selene and Michael. It is a great action movie, with great sequences, and Kate Beckinsale did a lot with the little dialogue she was given because the film was extremely short. More importantly is the fact she still looks amazing in that leather cat suit, since she first put it on nine years ago.
Back to the mythology, you get a very basic storyline, but felt introductory so you didn’t have to watch the first two films starring her even though I think they were better. The gore from the second movie is back and in full force, there is head splitting heart tearing, and face ripping. And those are good things.
My only complaints are these: not enough dialogue, referenced a little bit of the mythos, Scott Speedman wasn’t in this movie, and by default, the character of Michael was regulated to the side, but there was an added benefit for Selene in the middle of the film which I thought was really well done and necessary for the character. The movie was a little too fast paced for my taste, and like I said it could have been a bit longer, but it was still good.
The film also left out the gothic style for a more modern setting, but still I loved it because at its core it had what drew me in the first place, Kate Beckinsale as a vampire in a leather cat suit just mowing down everything in sight. Because let’s be honest that’s really what you want from the Underworld series, now if they could replicate the balance from the second film you would get an even better film of action and supernatural world building. If you are into vampires (and not the sparkling variety), action, gore, and Kate Beckinsale in a leather cat suit kicking werewolf ass then you have to see this movie.
Rated R for strong violence and gore, and for some language.
Underworld Awakening is now playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6. Showtimes can be found on their website.