We’ve been waiting for this one for a while now, especially since Underworld 3 (Rise of the Lycans) was a prelude to the events of the first film. It highlighted the beginning of the feud between the Lycan and Vampire clans.
Underworld Awakening is set six months after the events of Underworld Evolution (the second film). By this time, the humans are now aware of the existence of these two clans and launch a global military crusade to wipe them out, calling them ‘the Infected’. Along the way, a mysterious girl emerges, and seems to be the centre of attention among the humans, surviving vampires and Lycans. Apparently, she’s the key to something great, depending on who gets to her first of course.
For starters, it’s a relief that I got to watch a proper vampire-werewolf movie. We had been treated to watered down versions in movies and series that will remain unnamed, for now. Oh, and it was nice to see Kate Beckinsale return in her role as Selene, the protagonist, in leather!
Underworld Awakening is one of those movies that go by so fast, and hardly require effort to figure out the plot. Well, you don’t have to. It’s filled with bloody, well placed action. I found the fight choreography a little lacking. Ok, that’s an understatement. I did not really enjoy most of the fights, as they did not properly highlight Selene’s strengths as a ‘modified’ vampire. But to make up for that, Selene has a more than formidable foe!
Oh, you don’t know she’s a modified vampire? Did you or did you not watch Underworld Evolution? OK, let me help you out if you didn’t (or even if you did but still not following). In Evolution, Selene is already an accomplished and impressive warrior, besting both Vampire and Lycan foes with relative ease. Towards the end of that movie, she meets a guy called Alexander Corvinus (an immortal, and father of the two clans, essentially). As he’s dying, after his vampire son attacks him (tut tut), he invites her to drink some of his ‘immortal’ blood, stating that if she does, she’ll become ‘the future.’ Apparently, not only did this increase her physical abilities, it also gave her immunity against sunlight and silver. This is the modification I talked about.
Back to the point, in Awakening, while she’s significantly improved in physical prowess, most of what we see is immunity to sunlight and silver, not much superiority in combat as she has some trouble dispatching foes. She also seems to tire quickly. I think that might have been a production glitch.