Underworld Awakening Review

Underworld Awakening Review

In this post I'm going to review the newest installment to the Underworld saga. There are spoilers inside.
First of all before i begin the review, i have to say that i was a huge fan of the first Underworld from 2003. I was slightly disappointed from Underworld : Evolution from 2006 and really liked Underworld : Rise of the Lycans from 2009.
After waiting three years here we are. Underworld 4 or as the producers called it: Underworld Awakening is here.

Underworld: Evolution movie
Underworld: Evolution (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Like in the sequels Underworld Awakening has a short glance to the events which took place in Underworld and Underworld Evolution.
For people who didn't see the previous movies. There are three major races involved in the plot: Vampires, Lycans and the Humans. The Vampires and the Lycans are in a constant war between themselves while majority of the human population is not aware of the two races existence. Three of the vampire elders (Victor, Marcus and Amelia) were killed. Lucian the Lycan leader is dead as well. In the first scenes of Underworld Awakening we see that the conflict between the vampires and the Lycans deteriorated to a complete chaos. To the level that the humans found out about the two races, and as a result decided to exterminate the vampires and the Lycans alike. The vampires gather in small covenants and try to survive the extermination (unsuccessfully if i may add). While the lycans ... well i will get to them soon.
Selene and Michael are on the run. In the attempt to leave the city Michael was killed (or at least that's what we are mislead to think), Selene was captured but soon after (12 years) we are witnessed to Selene's escape (with a little help).
Selene - Underworld Awaikening
Farther along we discover that the person who helped Selene escape was subject 2 who is actually Selene's daughter. Somehow the evil doctors in the lab that Selene was held for 12 years succeeded to clone or deliver a child (this part was completely unclear. They just said that subject 2 was the daughter of Selene and Michael nothing more than that - and that's unfortunate because they could develop this angle a lot more). While Selene is tracking her daughter (who escaped from the lab as well) she encounters a bunch of bald Lycans ... yea i know bald Lycans. They supposed to be the inferior Lycans - they live in the sewerage's and have a bad diet (what's there to eat in the sewerage's) so i can understand why their hair fall out. There was a completely forgettable vampire (i think his name was David) who helped Selene and her daughter escape the bald lycans. Anyway David brings Selene and subject 2 to his covenant. David's father ("Tywin Lanistar" or a Victor look alike) is the leader of the covenant and he doesn't really want having Selene and her hybrid daughter around (Selene killed two of the vampires elders, and trouble tends to follow her, so he got his reasons). David's father goal in this new world is to ensure the safety of the covenant and its members. Without any warning and in some mysterious way somebody discovered the covenants location and is trying to breach in. The vampires think that it's the humans trying to kill the all but actually it's the Lycans trying to get the hybrid girl. Opposing his father David gathers the vampires to make a stand and fight. Unfortunately for him (and the rest of the vampires) there were a lot of Lycans and one huge Lycan.

After the Lycans finished beating the crap of all the vampires (killing most of them including David) we discover that Davids father handed over the hybrid to the Lycans to spare the lives of the remaining vampires.
From this point i started to lose interest in the movie. It just got very slow and ... just boring.
When Selene wakes up from the K.O. that the huge Lycan delivered she brings David back to life (like she did to Michael in Underworld Evolution) and goes after her daughter.

During the search for subject 2 Selene encounters a very sad police detective - Sebastian (who has a "very sad" story about his vampire wife and how she got killed ... and blah blah blah and i really didn't care for him nor his dead vampire wife). Anyway Sebastian reveals to Selene that the dudes that held her for 12 years were not humans but in fact ...  Lycans. From some mysterious reason Sebastian allows Selene to arm up in police stations armory (they put people in jail for less). From now on i had a Matrix flashback, when Selene decided to take on the entire army of Lycans that were nesting in the lab. In between battle scenes with the Lycans Selene discovers that Michael is alive (in a frozen state but alive). Immediately after that she is being used as a punching bag by the huge Lycan for a while, flying all over the parking lot. Because there must be a good end to the movie, Selene kills the huge Lycan with a grenade. The movie ends with the scene where Michael escapes, and I'm thinking to myself - see you again in a couple of years with a sequel.


Selene and the gun in Underworld Awakening

The good stuff

  1. Kate Beckinsale was back - it's always great to see Kate in tight black leather kicking some body's ass.
  2. The fight scenes were decent not something out of the ordinary but solid. The fights were fun to watch.
  3. Michael - or the lack of scenes with Michael. There was a scene with Michael (or the fake Michael, they took an actor that didn't even look like Scott Speedman) in the beginning taking the blow of a grenade and a scene with a frozen Michael in the end. Scott Speedman made the Michael character in the first two movies so ... how will i put it ... boring and meaningless. I was so happy to see him die in the middle of Evolution, and so disappointed to see him come back to life in the end. I got my hopes high in the beginning of Awakening when he died again, and crushed to see him live again (or to be accurate - being implied that he lives yet again). Dude just leave Selene alone, take your hybrid with you and die already.
  4. The shift of power - It was nice to see the flip in the status between the vampires and the Lycans. In the first movie from 2003 we were introduced to the high society status of the vampires and the low status of the hunted Lycans. In Awakening we see that the two races switched places, the vampires scattered, scared and live in hiding. While the Lycans managed to seize political power and technological advancement.

The bad stuff

  1. The visual appearance of a hybrid - I never liked the look they gave the hybrid in the first two movies. In Awakening we were introduced to a female hybrid, and it was bad ... VERY BAD. The girl looked scary and not in the good way. She looked like the girl from the Ring movie, yea ... the one that came out of the well. If the writers would have created a male character as subject 2 it would of been a lot more effective.
  2. The lack of significant villain character in this movie - On paper there were supposed to be two major villains: the mad professor and his son the huge Lycan (the guy that played the huge Lycan just doesn't look like a Villain). In fact because those two characters were not developed properly i just didn't care enough about them. If i focus on the mad Lycan professor, this guy is just not a villain and not vicious like a villain character in his position supposed to be. The little hybrid girl wiped the floor with him.
  3. One of the problems for me in Underworld Awakening was: if you take out Selene and Michael out there was no major connection to the previous movies. In Underworld (2003), Evolution as in Rise of the Lycans all kinds of supporting characters appeared through the three movies (each character appeared at least in two of the movies), for example: Kraven and Victor who appeared in all of the movies, Lucian and Raze in Underworld and in Rise of the Lycans, Amelia in Underworld and Evolution and Tanis in Evolution and rise of the Lycans. I understand that the majority of the characters i mentioned are dead, but they could have brought back Erika for example, even for only one scene (to be butchered by a Lycan in the beginning or hide with rest of the vampires in David's covenant) just to preserve the connection to the previous movies. You can't say that there was nowhere to put another few scenes in. The movie was really short (less than 90 minutes if I'm not mistaken). 
  4. The weak supporting cast - In the near future when you think about Underworld Awakening (you probably won't think about this movie ever again but try and work with me on this one) and try to remember some of the characters that appeared in the movie. You will think of Selene and ... that's it. That's where the problem is, the lack of supporting cast. Let's break it down: 
  • David - The warrior vampire that wants to be a death dealer but lacks the charisma and gets himself killed in his first major fight.
  • Subject 2 - her role in the movie was to create sympathy but as i mentioned before her visual appearance didn't let her achieve her role's goal.
  • Sebastian - I hated that character. This guy was just sleeping through all of his scenes. Every time he appeared on the screen he was all depressed and sad, as if he is going to shoot himself every moment now. This guy's character was completely disconnected from the plot. It looked as if the script was ready a month before and at the last moment somebody created a new role just to put this guy in the movie. I waited the entire movie for this guy to do something suicidal but the only thing he did was shoot a couple of rounds from his shotgun on some Lycans (like he couldn't have done that before. I guess the one woman army of Selene made him man up and revenge his wife after a decade of walking around like a corpse and being "sad" all his life).
  • The mad professor and the huge Lycan - i addressed them in section 2.
All of the supporting cast characters are completely forgettable i didn't care for none of them, if they would have died, i would not care (actually they should of died, that would have helped the plot). The only character i did care about slightly was the vampire covenant leader David's father. If i think about the supporting characters from the previous movies and compare to what we had in Underworld Awakening, there is no competition. Let's take Amelia for example, she didn't speak a word in the movies, she appeared in only two maybe three scenes in both Underworld and Underworld Evolution but still her character is more memorable than all of the supporting cast of Underworld Awakening taken together, and that says a lot.


Selene (Underworld)
Selene (Underworld) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Awakening was a lot darker than the previous movies and in times was very slow paced (especially the 2nd half of the movie).
Generally i was slightly disappointing. The budget of this Underworld installment was lower than its predecessors, it was easily noticed throughout the movie, and affected the outcome we received in the end.
I am a very big fan of the vampires Vs. Werewolves genre and i feel that the Underworld franchise (the previous films) managed to fulfill the full potential of the genre. That is the reason for my disappointment from this film. Every time that an Underworld movie was released i got excited like a little kid and most of the times i went  home happy after watching it.This time Awakening just didn't deliver, its quality was much lower than the previous films.
I hope that when the producers will start making the next Underworld movie they will do a better job than they did with Awakening. They need to understand that Kate Beckinsale alone cannot pull everything on her shoulders she needs a reasonable plot and a decent supporting cast. Cast that the audience will care for. Without those two elements it will not work. And only the die hard fans of the Underworld saga will care for it.

Buy Underworld DVD's on Amazon

Underworld: The Legacy Collection (Underworld / Underworld: Evolution / Underworld: Rise of the Lycans / Underworld: Awakening) [Blu-ray]
Underworld (Unrated) [Blu-ray]
Underworld: Evolution [Blu-ray]
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans [Blu-ray]
Underworld: Awakening [Blu-ray] 

photo credit: cumi&ciki via photopin cc cumi&ciki / Foter.com / CC BY

About Sasha Shapiro

Sasha is the founder and editor of Cool Reviews Rule. He is very passionate about Movies, TV Shows and some Books. His favorite genres are: Action, Fantasy, History, Horror, Sci-fi and Adventure.
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