Saturday, January 21, 2012

Underworld: Awakening

Movie Name: Underworld: Awakening
Year of Release: 2012
Director: Mans Marlind, Bjorn Stein
Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James, India Eisley, Sandrine Holt, Charles Dance, Kris Holden-Ried, Wes Bentley
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Horror
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5

The "Underworld" franchise is back, following the prequel "Rise of the Lycans", making the character embodied by Kate Beckinsale the center of the story again. The film follows Selene, a vampire, and her partner Michael, a hybrid. While the vampires and lycans have always been hidden from human view (and fought against each other for centuries), the reality has changed, and both find themselves hunted by humans. Selene is captured and kept frozen in a lab for testing for 12 years, upon which she's liberated by a fellow incarcerated person. Upon her release it's up to Selene to understand what happened to her species, to her partner and who is this young girl who freed her.
The "Underworld" series has by now clearly established Kate Beckinsale's character as her main focus point. Selene is a character that is meant to be cold and rational, but also emotional towards her partner Michael, who started as a human and was later "transformed". The films live from the battle/feud between vampires and werewolves, and of course of the elaborate action set pieces that allow to showcase special effects. The stories have been gaining further momentum as the series continues, but the characters continue to be non-existent in their depth or dynamics. Kate Beckinsale who is clearly an actress of talent, showcases her luminous beauty and not much else in this series. As is these are films that retain their entertainment value for the  industry of their teams.