Customer Review

169 of 183 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of the same, 17 Feb 2012
This review is from: Underworld: Awakening [DVD] (DVD)
Underworld: Awakening is the fourth instalment in the Underworld series. It follows on neatly from the last, showing us a world where humans successfully hunt & suppress Vampires & Lycan populations - officially the word is that Lycans are extinct and vampires are pretty much wiped out. Waking up from cryo-stasis-type-deal, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) has been out cold for 12 years and the world has changed into an authoritarian state (think Libria from Equilibrium) but, thanks to the Corvinus strain, she is plagued by visions from another's eyes - Subject 2 - her liberator with whom she shares a unique connection.

The Lycans want Subject 2 at any cost, will Selene manage to keep her safe from them and work out why she is so important?

Firstly, if you are not familiar with the Underworld Trilogy then this probably isn't the best place to start - despite being the highest budget ($70m) and highest grossing ($131m) of the quartet. For those familiar with the concept, you know the drill by now; guns, leather coats, spandex, blood-drinking and overly-muscled wolves.

Secondly, this film seems to have been written around the wardrobe department. We see Selene wake up from a secure 12-year-long-stasis and her clothes are right next to her chamber. Did they decide to keep them there just in case she woke up and needed to escape in a rush?? She falls to the floor in a fog of liquid nitrogen that allows her to assume the most glamour-model position possible as she lays on the floor. Then, the next scene freshly & fully dressed, she breaks into a separate clothes-shop for a coat (she's a vampire - as in, doesn't feel the cold!?) but boy, does that coat make cool swooping shapes when you are jumping off roof after roof.

Then there is a car chase, where Selene manages to find the only van in the city old enough to start by jamming a knife into the ignition, but turbo-charged enough to out-run sprinting quadrupeds 5 yards after a 90-degree turn. Even when they catch up, we are given no reason as to why Selene & co. were running in the first place as it appears they can kick Lycan butt with literally no effort as Selene is Supervampire (I'm thinking of trademarking that). The only plot mechanism they can possibly throw in after that revelation is Superwerewolf (not quite as catchy) and there's your finale.

And also, I feel the need to tell director Måns Mårlind, that spraying random letter-number combinations (e.g. "U-7") onto concrete walls does not make an entire dystopian city. Most of the scenes take place in the same/extremely-similar underground car-park & alleyways. Even when it is obvious this is meant to be a different part of the city, there is cringe-worthy prop-recycling (the same dumpster in every alley). At one-point, the vamps tool up in a silver-weapons locker with a big chemical symbol diamond on the door; "Ag 190" it reads. Silver's atomic number is 47, not 190. Or were there 190 silver storage rooms in this underground car-park city? Expensive.

Anyhow, apologies for whinging at length. I just wanted to point out that this film just feels half-assed - like they've got the structure established and developed all the characters and this is just another money-spinner in the franchise. There is literally not one-part of the sets, plot or costume that has had any thought spent on it. The plot is even lifted from F.E.A.R. with flashbacks through another's eyes - also named Subject 2. It's unimaginative (a little girl in a vampire film - Is there anything more cliché?) and Måns Mårlind pulls bad-guys out of thin-air to propagate the plot. Acting is an acceptable standard for most involved (anybody else think Theo James is a dead-ringer for James Franco?) and the direction, CGI on the Lycans and special effects are brilliant.

So all in all, this is just more of the same from Underworld, missing a couple of the major characters (Michael) and it's only 88 minutes long which includes the 14 minutes of credits. I'm opening myself up to get destroyed by the Underworld fanboys but I hope this helps make up your mind on whether it's worth spending your hard earned cash on this!!
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Feb 2012 21:41:12 GMT
Agreed - very average. An average movie just going through the motions. The franchise never really had many ideas, but this is scraping the barrel.

Posted on 19 Mar 2012 09:32:24 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 19 Mar 2012 09:35:35 GMT]

Posted on 3 Apr 2012 10:03:37 BDT
mark twain says:
great review Josh, made me laugh and made me completely aware of what I'm going to get for my money....
just as an aside, why do only vampire girls wear the spray on latex/leather combo?

Posted on 19 Apr 2012 17:07:38 BDT
Helen says:
Just what the doctor ordered, after a day at work - well written and funny! Having said that, I bought the other 3 so will probably also buy this one! Mug!!!!

Posted on 30 Apr 2012 09:09:48 BDT
Crookedmouth says:
From an "Underworld Fanboy"... great review. The seond UW was OK, the third one was just about watchable (just) so I dont have high hopes for this one (havent seem it yet). Im still buying the DVD, but I may wait till it's in the "£5 or less" bucket at Asda...

Posted on 16 May 2012 16:46:33 BDT
S. MAGILL says:
Brilliant review! I wish everyone had reviews like this (on every product on Amazon!) as it made me laugh a lot! (and I also did "yesss! I agree!" and "Wow this guy is brilliant" a lot as well) I'll still watch the movie (as am what you would call a Beckinsale fangirl) but may not buy it at full Amazon price! (more the used eBay price). Thanks mate! x

Posted on 22 May 2012 23:04:10 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 May 2012 23:23:38 BDT
SA Parmenter says:
Aaaaaw....come on peops! Don't shadow the dream! We know the score, but this is 'Underworld'....or 'Twilight' or......'Lord of The Rings'.....or 'The Chronicles of Narnia'! Are you telling me that I am never going to find that magic carpet,....I am never going to fly the besom (not too high mind you!). Is it really just Cameron, Zarkozy, Kate Moss etc (not to mention the Kardashians! I keep seeing the name....who are these peops?). If the lovely Kate Beckinsale...who can outmood 'Twilights' leading lady anytime, wants to collapse in a glorious heap of rubber and lycra...I say fabulous...never done it myself but why not? I suspect you might, just might, be the kind of dissenters who go to places like 'Harry Potter Land' to see how it's done....shame on you! Just reach out for your butterbeer and enjoy the show!

Posted on 25 May 2012 10:47:51 BDT
I always find it funny when in a film like this - a world populated by bloodsucking vampires and werewolves, someone can still write a review and criticise someone starting a car by jamming a knife into the ignition, I mean really? Do you think they should make it as realistic as possible considering the subject matter? Instead of trying to be clever just stick to being objective, no-one is going to spot the same dumpster twice or care what the atomic number for silver is, they are just watching an action film.
I'd probably agree with your rating, it's an average film that has lost something the older films had, but as the plot is pretty thin I'd also not mention the super werewolf in a review as it is probably a bit of a spoiler.

P.S. I doubt the director has read this review to take your comments on board, but you never know.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2012 11:16:49 BDT
J. Morris says:
I totally agree that picking out innacuracies in a fantasy film is a bit ridiculous. Given that vampires & werewolves are hardly realistic. But we still assume constants; like gravity and air so why change something as minor as the atomic number of silver? It just shows poor planning by the sets department. Whether or not realism is your thing, glaring prop recycling when you are not even looking out for it has to be noted. The knife in the ignition comment was purely meant to illustrate that this film is meant to be based in the future. A non-specialised knife in the ignition hasn't worked since the 70's. When this little thought & effort has been put into a film, it's worth an assessment before you put your hand in your pocket!

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2012 18:00:07 BDT
Cropes says:
Dear SA Parmentor,

In answer to your question...
The Kardashians are in fact the recurring villians in Star Trek Deep Space 9. The style and overall feel of them was based on the earlier Star Trek villian Ozzy Osborg.

Hope this is helpful.

Regards,

Cropes
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