Monday, January 23, 2012

Phil sees UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING in 2D at the Camera 12-January 21, 2012

The fifth and final film I saw on Saturday was UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING, the fourth installment of the highly successful and popular franchise. However the screening I attended is not the 3D version, as the Camera 12 did not have that version of the film. So the version I saw was the standard 2D version. Just making sure we're all on the same page.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2012)
The film begins with a nice prologue that brings the audience up to sped with the series, then it kicks off on a bleak note. Set six months after the events of UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION, the human race has discovered the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans. As the result of this discovery, the humans have declared war on both factors, a mass extermination that has been called "The Purge." Trying to escape, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is captured and frozen in cryogenic suspension. She is awaken twelve years later and escapes from a medical facility called Antigen, who are trying to make an apparent antidote to the virus that creates the Vampires and Lycans. Also escaping Antigen is a young girl named Eve (India Eisley), who revealed to be a hybrid daughter of Selene and her lover Michael, the only other hybrid to exist. Together they fight for survival in a foreign world to them, with the humans hunting them while the Lycans begin to replenish their clan.

Also appearing in the film are Stephen Rea (Dr. Jacob Lane), Michael Ealy (Det. Sebastian), Theo James (David), Charles Dance (Thomas), and Chris Holden-Reid (Quint).

These films are not true horror films, even though they do offer the monsters that have plagued the nightmares of theater audiences for the past 100 years. The UNDERWORLD series are more action than horror, but there are some elements of the horror genre that are predominant: blood, gore, violence, and monsters. But when the filmmakers meld these ingredients with the action/adventure genre, they discovered a had something that was original and unique. Audiences became enthralled with the series since the first film was released back in 2003, and now in 2012, we have the fourth installment to the series.

What I enjoyed with this film is the fact that the filmmakers took our favorite characters and expanded the storyline and took it to a whole new level. Instead of the present day, we and Selene are flung twelve years into the future, where her kind are on the brinke of extinction. Now this was a smart thing to do, and the film fulfills my requirements for sequels: it expands on the story of the series, while also having our characters evolve and grow. Complacency is what can kill off a franchise, rendering it in an abysmal mess and cause its audiences not to come back. Here the story transcends to its next level, our characters are transformed from what they were originally, and the environment they inhabit in has also changed, in this case it has changed for the worse.

Once again Beckinsale is both beautiful and deadly as Selene. While her mannerism hasn't really differed from the previous films, her new role as mother will be an interesting factor to watch. Also let's face it: the woman was born to wear black leather clothes and shoot up werewolves, and she still looks sexy as hell. Also worthy mention is young India Eisley, who really gives a great performance as the hybrid child Eve. Her ability to be cute one minute and a ferocious killing machine must be very trying at times, but Eisley pulls it off. Hope she is recast for the next installment.

Overall, UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING is a worthy entry to the franchise! Whether you see it in 2D or 3D, if you are a fan of these film. then you will not be disappointed with this installment. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen! Four out of five stars.

UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

1 comment:

  1. You know this may come as a shock but I have never seen an Underworld movie. I think before I see this I should have an Underworld marathon. Nice review hun - thank you for sharing.