Reviewed Jul 11, 2012
kiion Thomas Clarke’s review:
In the present film market, there seems to be two major factors that are having a major influx lately; vampire movies and the use of 3D, Underworld: Awakening uses them both. That is not to say that the original 'Underworld' does not deserve to have a second sequel- not counting the 'Rise of Lychans' as that was a prequel- as the original was a highly entertaining film.
The first sequel, 'Evolution', added to the formula, with more gore and action, along with a complete mythology to both opposing sides of the narrative. This mythology was the subject of the prequel and for the better parts worked. Now, with the subject of vampires being highly popular and the success of the latest 'Resident Evil' movie- the closest comparison to this film- it is understandable why this movie was commissioned.
In a majority of ways this film is a more fuller experience than the previous installments, although those films are not of a poor standard. This outlines that Underworld: Awakening is a highly enthralling and exciting action movie for those who are fed up with swooning vampire love stories. However, the 3D in this film was not needed and such is clear that it is only in place for the extra revenue that it will bring in. Throughout the film the 3D becomes unnoticeable and therefore it seems irrelevant to the piece.
As you would expect from an action film, there are a lot of separate set pieces within this movie. As you would hope, these sequences are directed in a way that the audience will become energized in what they are seeing. This film is highly entertaining, and never within the hour and a half duration will you feel a slow moment. So much occurs that for the most part you are only required to shut off and enjoy the ride. It really is great fun.
To compliment the action sequences, the special effects are used in a way that will add overall spectacle. They are all presented correctly, and although they are not perfect, they are more than appropriate for this film. Along with special effects, the film's many fight sequences are shown in a highly compatible way to the movie, adding excitement to what is being seen. Donning a leather suit, Kate Beckinsale's character Selene is the main protagonist and thus is the main visual point for most of these fights. The use of her leather outfit is a simple way to add sex appeal, and in all the right ways it does.
Another interesting factor is the use of setting change from a world that is unaware of the existence of vampires and lychans, to one that does. This adds a completely different direction to the existing formula and through this change it means that, even though this film is the fourth in the series, everything has a feeling of freshness. The inevitable sequel will no doubt, add more to keeping this series fresh and this is a superb way of doing so. Of course; like most action movies, there is a lot of filler characters within this narrative. These stick to various action stereotypes such as the untrusting leader turning down aid needed. This becomes annoying as never are you able to connect to these characters, and over time they seem to start slowing down the action.
If you are out for a no-held-back action movie, then there are far worse films than this. If you are fan of the series then this installment adds enough to keep it fresh and progress the main story arc. With irrelevant 3D use and too many filler characters that hold no purpose, this film is far from perfect. If all you seek is 90 minutes of adrenaline filled fun then this is for you.