“ Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / Suitable for 18 years and over / Director: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein / Actors: Kate Beckinsale, Sandrine Holt, Stephen Rea, Charles Dance, Kris Holden-Ried ... / DVD released 2012-05-14 at Entertainment in Video / Features of the DVD: PAL „
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Underworld awakening is the 4th film in the underworld saga. So you probably know what the film is all about, but each film has had a different sort of story and this one is no different. As you may or may not know underworld has always been about the Lycans and the vampires fighting against one another. But to start in this film we are led to believe that the lycans have been made to be extinct and the vampires nearly on their way to extinction apart from subject one and two.
Selene played by Kate Beckinsdale is subject one, who has been frozen for 12 years and then suddenly is defrosted by two people who she has yet to meet. After coming round a bit from her ordeal, she tries to escape the lab that she is in, although lots of people tries to stop her, she is still far too strong for them and manages to escape.
She keeps seeing things through someone else's eyes which she assumes due to the connection that her and Michael have that it his him, and with it been the only man she has ever loved she follows the insight to try and find him. But to her shock when she finds the eyes she is following they do not come from Michael but from a young girl who she has never seen before.
When she finds the girl she is about to be attacked by Lycans and a fight breaks out with Selene defending and rescuing the girl. Selene finds out then this young girl is her daughter conceived by her and Michael, so she is then even more protective. The lycans kidnap the girl and it becomes apparent as to why they need her so much for survival. But Selene goes on the rampage to rescue the girl yet again. But can she defeat all the Lycans and bring the girl to safety. Well I am not going to tell you that you will have to watch it.
The acting I found in this film as with the other sequels in this to be very good. You really can not find fault with any of the acting at all, each part is played out brilliantly, the young girl who's called eve and played by India Eisley also played her part very well, she never faltered in her role at all, To me these were the main two parts in the film but even the smaller roles in the film were played out to perfection.
I also found the special effects in this film to be really good, I mean you had lots of stunts and effects, jumping on roofs of lorries, cars been thrown and lots of blood been show and all of them looked very realistic.
I did find the film enjoyable, and it kept me on the edge of my seat most of the way through, and it kept you wondering just what would happen next and whether or not she would ever find the only man she has loved Michael. The film only runs for 88 minutes so it is not too long a film and it does not drag it out, but I must say I was very disappointed by the ending of the film, which I will not tell you why, but maybe they have done that to leave it open for another one. But that is the only thing I could say I disliked about t his film was how it ended.
'Underworld Awakening' is an American action fantasy film released in 2012 and directed by Bjorn Stein and Mans Marlind replacing original director of the 'Underworld' movies Len Wiseman. It is the fourth film of the 'Underworld' series, runs for an hour and 28 minutes and is given a guidance rating of 18 because of its violence and gory content. The film is rated 6.4 out of 10 on IMDB which is a great rating, but I would think the film has probably gotten a mixture of views because there is not much that goes in the film in terms of the plot, besides the action and fight scenes. This is not necessary a bad thing - it is still a entertaining film to watch.
When a Vampire woman Selene finds herself awoken out of cryogenic sleep, twelve years have passed and things have changed. She now finds herself in war against human beings who are out to rid of vampires and Lycans. The vampire needs to win a battle against this newfound enemy and the BioCom company run by these humans who are about to create a super Lycan force powerful enough to eradicate all. Along the way, she finds people she didn't expect to have met. Will she work with them to fight through another battle...
Beginning: The film starts the way 'Underworld Rise of the Lycans' ends (although the 'Rise of the Lycans' tells the story of the origin of the characters well before the events of the first film) but it flawlessly carries on from that third film. There is a nice recap of all previous events into one, so you would still be able to follow basically just like all the other Underworld films, where the background is from the viewpoint of Selene (Kate Beckinsale) with 'flashbacks', explaining the war between the vampires and the Lycans, all the way up until she meets hybrid Michael and how things got out of hand as the vampires turned on their own. You have got to be hooked right from this beginning to the film because of the way it just gets into the story right away. Once the recap is done with, the very first action packed scenes gets the plot moving some more. This then leads to the title of the film that kicks in and again without any breathers or gaps just carries on, months after the events of 'Underworld Evolution'. I thought this was a cool opening to get viewers right back into the Underworld films and couldn't wait to see more!
The story: The story on the whole actually does take a bit leap into a new plot idea completely, as the vampires now have new enemies and these are not the Lycans. They are the human beings. The rest of the film continues to build on this, only downside for some maybe is that there is very little dialogue, but instead just thrives on straight-up action sequences with scenes of battle between these two kinds of characters. Along with this the story revolves around Selene's newly discovered daughter, and as it develops on just that and reaches towards the final scenes in the film, it almost feels as if it is made so that there is room for a fifth chapter and the purpose of this film was really just a bridge to a next one. If anyone gives this film bad reviews, I think it might be because of the fact that the story is so thinly spread over the entire film, and because the film is so short and over in an hour and 20 minutes. It didn't bother me though, and I think it was worth the wait. I think overall story-wise, the 'Underworld Awakening' still delivers and presents everything we would want a really engaging way even if felt as if we were watching a video game most of the scenes.
Theme/Mood: General effects include typical gloomy and dark, almost grey-blue scenes throughout that are really characteristic of the Underworld films, contrasted during some scenes with the bright red of the blood, along with others themes like the science lab as part of the plot, test subjects, research experimentation, the usual supernatural characters, the city at night, guns, axes, needles. There might have been more focus on bringing out the emotional side of Selene, more so than the other films, in relation to her daughter and the situation with herself and Michael, bringing up more issues to do with family/friendship and the notion of love vs. war as well, of course. There is also the recurring theme of the past and history in which this 'war' is entirely based. Along with this, the film is packed to the rim with the same of all the usual - so there is nothing really new in terms of most of the themes revolving around this film. If you watch a little piece of this film, you could actually be watching any of the Underworld films! The intense non stop sequences of horror, blood and gore, fast moving battle scenes and fast paced special effects always achieve an awesome visual experience for the viewer. But you really need to be in the right mood to watch it. And also when watching at home, it probably needs to be watched in a very dark room since all the scenes are always so dark.
Special effects: The special effects look and go beyond most of what we have seen in the previous film, but I think that had to be expected since the film is mostly just relying on the visual quality more than anything else. With the CGI Lycans, the killing techniques and all the gory violence, continuous fight sequences, and the wound healing vampires, these all bring out cool effects in the film. If you don't see the film in 3D, it should be obvious that this is a 3D film when, for example, the computer generated Lycans come jumping out at our screens - things like this are made just for 3D, but still look really great 3D or not. Other special effects include the usual things typical of Underworld films like jumping off of high rise building, jumping off walls, fighting the CGI werewolves, blood splat and Lycans transformation from human to werewolf form. As well as this, the special effects of vampire make-up, the effects of being frozen in a sleep, machine guns blazing and the effect of looking into the minds of the vampires all help bring out the best of sfx used in 'Underworld Awakening'.
Audio: Epic background tone to the movie makes it fun and absorbing to watch - its sombre and dramatic sounds are exactly what we would want from this film and during dialogue scenes, we get intense musical background sounds and also throughout the film where there is no area left without any musical tone not being heard in the background. This just helps keep up the intense and powerful atmospheric nature of the film, and with a fast paced action adventure going on, we would want enough audio sound to make it as convincing as the brilliant visuals. During action scenes, we get sound effects that come across really nicely with the whole cinematic experience such as the loud machine guns, the sound of growling werewolves, the sound of blood splat and slicing, and the rain.
The ending: The ending of the film I thought was pretty good. Even though the film was short, it rounded up to the final scene really nicely because once you reach the narrative in Selene's point of view that closes the film and where she tells us about the leading events, you don't think you would be able to wait to the see the next part of it. The purpose of this film might have been to get you ready for the next instalment to come, or if not if certainly felt like that was the main idea of it. But despite this lack of much depth in the story, the film was still definitely appealing enough to take time out to see and what part of a sci-fi horror vampire vs. werewolf adventure is not fun to watch? Also since this is a pretty short film, you could hardly consider it being a dull film as it never reaches a point of boredom really - although if it had gone on for any longer it might have started to get slightly same-ole, due to the lack of plot content. So overall the length of the film is just right and the ending of the film is just great.
So this film is a continuation from the second one (Underworld Evolution), but even if you had not seen any of the previous Underworld films, it doesn't mean you can not still get hold of all of them and catch up on all that you have missed out on! Don't forget many film franchises have one awful release and maybe a couple more after that but this film is hardly like that! It is definitely a movie franchise worth being a part of and the best vampire vs. werewolf story there is. 'Underworld Awakening' may not have been up to everyone's standard but to dislike the film and pick out its bad points would be nit-picking.
I like the pace of the film, all the new characters in this film, the new story to this film and that some characters we thought we had lost may make a return later on, the fact that it is open and ready for the fifth chapter to continue on from here. But I think that if there is to be a fifth film for release, it should have a big story and should also be released very soon otherwise people may loose interest! Overall, don't listen to the critics, and watch the film to make up your own mind about it. Must watch if you are into the Underworld film, if not, start from the first film! :)
I have seen the first three of the Underworld world films and enjoyed them all, I enjoyed the first two better as they stared Kate Beckinsale and third was a bit nondescript really. I bought the forth to complete the set and was I was pleased to see the film had Kate back as the leading lady. I did go to the cinema to see the film and stupidly went to see the 3D version. I enjoyed the film but when it came to buying the film I went for the DVD version. I have all the rest of the Underworld films on DVD so it was only fair to complete the set in this medium. Bly rays are still rather expensive and this one just didn't have the extras that I thought was worth paying more for.
After being frozen for 12 years the leading lady wakes up. She was captured during the war where humans tried to rid the world of vampires and Lycans. On waking up, she is now in an age where most of the vampires have been forced underground and the Lycans are mostly extinct but are developing super strength Lycans. She also discovers she has weird powerful daughter who has been raised in the laboratory called Eve. The rest of the film sees Selene fighting back and waging war as she tries to find out what happened to Michael and protect her daughter.
I am a big underworld fan and from the first one I loved how it was a different take on vampires and werewolves. Underworld was doing vampires way before twilight and for this I feel quite loyal to the series. I was disappointed with the third film but the forth brings the series back on track. I thought the film started off really exciting and sets the tone for the rest of the film. Our first scenes of the film show the war on the "infected" and lead us into the plot nicely. Is it brilliant seeing Selene back in action and the idea that the world has Newley destroyed all the vampires and lycans is really interesting.
When Selene's get away van is attacked by three brutal hybrids, it was a really action packed moment and from then on the film gets better and better; yet the scenes get grittier and there is a lot of blood and guts to be shed. This is the sort of film that you need to pay attention to as it can get quite confusing who is who and which side they are on. Selene is a liable character and I must say I was pleased to see her back in the series but as a heroine she doesn't do much to win over the audience. She has this cool, aloof edge and does not show much emotion at all. It would be nice to see a different side to Selene. She is amazing at cracking heads and waging war but it would be nice to see a softer side. Bringing in a daughter would have been a great way of allowing the audience to see a different side to Selene and develop the character a little bit more. In one scene, Eve confronts Selene about how cold she is and instead of breaking down and showing a sensitive side she replies, "My heart is not cold, it's broken." It was a bit of cringy moment really which sounded quite unbelievable.
Selene is an assassin though and she has some amazing fight scenes. One of my favourite is where she blows up the giant lycan using a bomb, it is a really tense moment and I forgot to take a breath I was so on edge!
I was disappointed the the character Dr. Jacob Lane and I thought the writers could have given this character a little bit more and more often than not he is just stood around. This character is played by Rea who normally gives exceptional performances. One of the best characters is Thomas played by Charles Dance. This is a relatively small part but he is utterly convincing as the old vampire in charge of one of the last vampire covens. He is really brilliant and the film would have benefited from more scenes with him.
As far as the plot goes, it is quite predicatable and the trailer gave the whole thing away before the film came out. There is a couple of twists to the plot but these can be guessed quite easily. The series has been left open for another film too which is also quite interesting but I am left wondering whether the series should be left now and put on the shelf.
The disappointing thing about the film for me was the special effects. I saw the film in 3D which was disappointing really. The blood splatters and the bombs go off very dramatically and when all the lycans show up in numbers it does get exceptionally bloody. I'm not a big lover of blood and guts and would never go see a slasher movie. I feel that the directors have used cheap special effects and all the gore to try and progress the series. There was no need to make a 3D film and I much prefer it without. I think the story should have been developed more as it is a really good plot, but instead of progressing the characters and allowing the audience to build a relationship with them they just filled the film with action shot after action shot. Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing shots and even at the beginning when Selene takes out five guards I was no the edge of my seat. I will look forward to the next film and hopefully they will try and make it better than this one.
The DVD can be bought for £9.99 and includes the film maker's commentary. There are as few extras on the blu ray but it really is not worth it and even the one of the DVD is a pointless addition.
*Film only review*
Mankind discover the existence of both vampires and lycans, declaring war on both species. Vampire Selene (Kate Beckinsale) wakes from a coma to find out she has been part of a medical experiment. She tries to reunite with hybrid Michael Corvin to escape the human threat.
Directed by Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein (Shelter); written by Len Wiseman and John Hlavin (Underworld).
Awakening serves as the fourth movie in the Underworld franchise; after missing the prequel third instalment, Kate Beckinsale (Total Recall) is back topping the bill as Selene. However, the rest of the cast is new and there are new directors as well making this a very different Underworld movie.
The plot is really secondary to the action in this movie. The other 3 films in the series were linked well to one another with plot points running through the films and the history of the films meant something (if you could understand it). Awakening however seems like a more standalone movie, this may be in part to do with the fact Beckinsale is the only returning actor. The character of Michael Corvin, such a big part of the first 2 films, essentially has a cameo in this film and nothing more (albeit clearly set up for his return in Underworld 5).
The writing has never been that great in the Underworld films but it did feel at times as if little effort had been put into the script and that they were only interested in getting to the next shooting scene. A little more emotion was injected into this movie which I don't think was a bad thing, but again, the writing was a little clunky in moving between emotion and massacre. There are a few twists and turns put into the script, none of them will surprise you to be honest as all are telegraphed.
The film is really short, less than an hour and a half, it could have gone on longer but the writers are clearly holding stuff back for another sequel. I'm not sure how many they are planning on making but I wouldn't be surprised to see Beckinsale playing this character in her fifties at this rate!
The use of CGI has mixed results in Awakening, in certain parts I think they tried to do too much with a relatively small budget ($70m) so it comes off looking a little cheap/rubbish. The action scenes do seem very similar to the earlier movies which can get a little old. Maybe the writers shouldn't devote 90% of the movie to action if they can't think of anything new to do.
As I mentioned earlier in the review, the cast is pretty much all new for Awakening, sadly they aren't that memorable. It's a good job Kate Beckinsale agreed to come back as the support cast don't have much presence or charisma between them. Theo James (The Inbetweeners Movie) is brought in to replace Scott Speedman as the leading man. James plays vampire David who vows to help Selene in the fight against the humans. The character is even less interesting than Speedman's Michael Corvin, which has a lot to do with the writing.
The only other character that was really given much to do is Detective Sebastian, portrayed by Michael Ealy (2 Fast 2 Furious). My problem with this character is that he is the only human that the audience is properly introduced to, humans are supposed to hate vampires and lycans (for obvious reasons) yet this guy totally trusts Selene and is willing to do anything to help her. It might have had something to do with the outfit, I don't know, but it would have given the storyline about the humans wiping out vamps and lycans more weight if we had got to see a bit more hate towards them. Faceless soldiers don't connect with an audience, so I never really felt anything about this supposed war.
I won't go into detail about other cast members as I would end up giving away spoilers as the twists are so transparent. The rest of the cast is alright but nothing special. Other characters are there to move the plot along but they aren't very well developed or very interesting. Underworld: Awakening is all about Selene kicking ass basically, the rest of the cast might as well not be there.
I know deep down I shouldn't like the Underworld series, in particular this entry which is arguably the most brainless of them all, but I can't help but enjoy them. As bad as they are, they're bad in a good way. If you watch this film wanting a serious, high quality action film then you will be disappointed. If you go in to it wanting a load of nonsense with tons of bullets and Kate Beckinsale in PVC then you should enjoy it. This isn't a classic but I'm ok with that. 2.5/5 from me, rounded up to a 3.
"Heavy Prey" music video
Kate Beckinsale - Selene
Stephen Rea - Dr. Jacob Lane
Michael Ealy - Detective Sebastian
Theo James - David
India Eisley - Eve
Sandrine Holt - Lida
Charles Dance - Thomas
Kris Holden-Ried - Quint
Runtime: 88 minutes
Also posted on ciao under the username shabbating.
Just like the "Resident Evil" series, the "Underworld" series of films has reached its fourth instalment. The third in the series was the prequel film "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans", which took a turn away from the series with the main actress not appearing. However, we're back on slightly more familiar ground with "Underworld: Awakening" and the return of Kate Beckinsale as Selene.
Since the events of the second film, "Underworld: Evolution", humans have become aware of the existence of both the vampires and the werewolves and have set about eradicating both species. After attempting to save Michael, her werewolf lover, Selene wakes up in a cryogenic chamber in a laboratory. Upon escaping she discovers that she has not only been frozen for a dozen years, but also has a daughter; a vampire/werewolf hybrid, Eve.
Trying to find out why Eve doesn't heal as she does, Selene is betrayed by Thomas and his coven who hands Eve back to the Antigen Corporation who were experimenting on her and Selene. Now missing both her daughter and her lover, Selene sets about finding both with the assistance of a detective who has his suspicions about the Antigen Corporation.
For a fast paced action thriller, this isn't half a dull film. No-one is going to go into a film like this expecting Oscar winning performances or a ground-breaking cinematic experience, but films of this type are usually good for a little meaningless entertainment, but "Underworld: Awakening" couldn't even provide that effectively. Perhaps it's simply the feeling that I've seen this all before, or maybe it really isn't that good a film.
For one thing, the storyline is far too simple to be of much value. Even then, it could have been turned into something half decent, but all the aspects are flashed past way too quickly for anything to register. It seems that, as with many films of this type, the story is there to hold the action scenes together and it barely manages to do that in any decent way. The whole feel of the film is a chaotic jumble of vaguely interconnected events that are gone before you've had chance to comes to terms with them.
The acting is very much as you'd expect from a film of this type, being largely by the numbers and with no real effort or emotion involved. Admittedly, Kate Beckinsale has played the role of Selene twice before and so knows what she's doing, but even so her performance feels very flat, with the running and shooting accomplished well, but the scenes which are supposed to be played for dramatic effect hold no thrall at all and don't evoke any kind of response in this viewer.
For the rest of the cast, much the same can be said. Considering all he has done, seeing Charles Dance put in such an ineffective performance as Thomas in which his lines are delivered with some force but little feeling is disappointing. Still, it seems to run in the family as Theo James as his son, David, makes the same mistake as many action thriller actors and mistakes a change of volume for a change of emotion in his performance. Stephen Rea as Dr. Jacob Lane is another who, much like Charles Dance, can only have blotted out memories of a previously excellent career with this performance.
Also underwhelming were the special effects here. Yes, the fights were quite impressive and some of the wire work used for the stunts looked very impressive, but that was about where what I liked about the film began and ended. The werewolves were nothing new and the supposed visions Selene had when she sought something were just shaky shots disguised by graphics. The vampires were simply paler versions of the original actors and the most annoying aspect for me was the awful sound effect that accompanied every transformation between human and werewolf which was, I suppose, intended to give the impression of bones and skin changing shape and density but instead sounded horribly cheap, as if something was being crumpled up.
It's not as if the film makers can claim to have neglected one aspect of the film for the benefit of others. Perhaps in order to accentuate the underworld nature of the film, the lighting was generally dark and dingy which may have been intended to create atmosphere but felt to me as if even the lights couldn't be bothered with the film. The script is certainly nothing impressive, with every chance to make something of the film with a little more explanation or drama missed and the music is all strings and clichés, although it was at least spared the indignity of having to tone down the swelling orchestration on the emotional parts, as there weren't any, so the loud driving orchestral pieces which seem to characterise films of this type were all there was.
The plus points to this film were very few and far between, but to give it credit, there were a couple of decent moves in the fighting, largely involving grenades. But my favourite part of the film came after only 75 minutes, when the credits started rolling. Indeed, it was at this point that the film gave me the only aspect of it worth considering, as I struggled to recall a single scene that would have justified the film's 18 rating. Or any single scene at all, for that matter.
All in all, this really isn't a film worth bothering with, especially as its recent release date means it's still hard to find cheaply. Prices for a new copy start from £9.99 on Amazon or at Sainsbury's and even used copies are expensive at £9.00 including postage at the Amazon Marketplace. But regardless of the price, this is a film with virtually no merits and should be avoided.
Underworld: Awakening is the fourth movie in the Underworld series about the vampire Selene and her werewolf lover Michael (although Michael appears only very briefly in this outing). It also sees original star Kate Beckinsdale reprise her star making role of Selene after bowing out of the franchise after the second movie handing over the role to Rhona Mitra. I can only assume that her pay packet was increased and you can see in the film that the budget has been increased after the dire Underworld: Rise of the lycans which was actually a prequel.
***** Plot *****
The plot of Underworld: Awakening sees humans discovering the existence of vampires and werewolf's and becoming intent on destroying both species. The film flashes forward a few years where the majority of vampires and Werewolf's have been killed and we find that Selene has spent the last few years in a cryogenic sleep being tested upon by scientists. It turns out that when she was asleep scientists have somehow managed to impregnate her and she has a 12 year old daughter Eve who is also being tested upon.
The rest of the film sees Selene trying to find out what has happened to her Werewolf lover Michael and save her new daughter from the clutches of the evil Antigen corporation.
***** My thoughts *****
This outing for the franchise is a much better one that the terrible Underworld: Rise of the lycans. It's good to see Kate Beckinsdale back in the role that made her a star but there is something missing with her performance here and at times it is almost as if she doesn't want to be there which is a shame as she will never be Kate Winsett so should really be grateful she has a money making franchise to fall upon as her previous thespian attempts thus far have been lacklustre. Although not a great actress by any means she does have a lot of star power when on screen and you can't help but to watch her especially in this role which is strong and sexy.
Kate's husband Len Wiseman is credited as coming up with the story for Underworld: Awakening after having directed the first two instalments and taking the reins of directing this time are Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein a relatively unknown Swedish duo. Parts of the film look fantastic but there are parts that are missing some emotional bite. It has a real Noir look to it and the action sequences look superb. The film is actually 3D though I have only actually seen it in 2D. I personally am sick to death of every movie being 3D now as I think most films don't warrant it and this is one where I think the 3D was only used to give it another selling point and so that the filmmakers could charge more money for entrance.
I think the biggest problem with the film is that it lacks any real sense of scope in its storyline unlike the first two which were much bigger and more cinematic. This one feels a little bit like a straight to DVD sequel or the pilot episode of a TV show introducing the chaacters and setting up the plot for further episodes.
It's not a terrible film by any means but if filmmakers had spent a little more time on the script improving and refining it then it might have matched the excellent special effects. The dialogue is slightly clunky in places and it just feels as though there is something missing from it and I personally didn't think it matched up to the first two in the series which I thought were actually quite good for this genre of movie.
The writing is so bad with this that there is precious little in the way of plot or character development and it basically goes from one action sequence to another with not a lot in between. To give them there due as I have mentioned the action and fight sequences are pretty impressive to look at but they soon wear thin after a while and I found myself getting bored waiting for something interesting to happen.
The film ends wide open for another sequel but I found myself not caring in the slightest about this "twist" and to be honest I found this one to be so underwhelming and between this and the prequel it has tainted whatever fond feelings I had for the characters and the general Underworld universe so much so that I doubt I will bother seeing and subsequent sequels. As this instalment of the film made more money than its predecessors then a sequel is probably likely.
For me personally I wouldn't recommend this movie as although it is watchable and isn't the worst movie I have seen this year it is just so pedestrian and boring which for a film about vampires and Werewolf's is just unforgiveable and to be honest I would rather it had been awful if at least the filmmakers had put some more effort into it.
Underworld: Awakening is available in 2D, 3D and Bluray.
Selene: Kate Beckinsdale
Sebastian: Michael Ealy
Dr Lane: Stephen Rea
Eve: India Eisley
Runtime: 89 minutes.