<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein. Starring Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, India Eisley, Michael Ealy, Stephen Rea.
If, like me, you’ve not really followed the Underworld series, don’t worry. This film will make you want to go and watch the last three films, if for nothing else but to see the sexy Kate Beckinsale kick some Lycan ass!
Not expecting much out of this movie and almost likening it to the Mila Jovovich horror/fantasy saga Resident Evil (not as good, but Mila is pretty hot), I must say I was delightfully surprised. I don’t know the directors, I don’t know most of the other cast apart from my dream girl Kate Beckinsale. It was a Thursday morning, 3D glasses on nose I was ready for what I knew was some weird story about Vampires and Werewolves (Lycans) battling it out. But what greeted me was an interesting story, with a history, with brains and relatively good acting as well as some of the best stunts/action I’ve seen in a very long time. And yes of course, it erases all the bad memories the Twilight series has given us of pallid boring Vampires and fluffy, buffy Werewolves.
The story and screenplay are by Len Wiseman (Kate’s very lucky husband) who was also the director and/or producer of the previous films. Directors Marlind and Stein only have one film to their credit: Shelter, which received horrible reviews and BO takings. But, and there is a very big but, the film looks so gloriously slick, so fantastically and dexterously directed, that you must remember the old adage: if at first you don’t succeed…
Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and her covens of Vampires and their immortal enemies the Lycans have been found out by humans who want to eradicate this plague of infectious beings and almost do. Frozen cryogenically (and mysteriously), awakening 12 years after the ‘cleansing’, Selene realises that she must fight again but this time with the help of a young girl who turns out to be her child (India Eisley) with her Vampire/Lycan hybrid boyfriend Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman from the previous films). But this child has been genetically engineered for a purpose. What ensues is a rescue, a run, a retaliation and a final showdown that may be formulaic in parts but is totally edge-of-the-seat stuff.
Underworld: Awakening is the perfect mix of horror, suspense and fantasy that you look for in films such as these. The awesome music by Paul Haslinger and the death-defying stunts and crisp visual effects support a tight storyline and some pretty good acting.