Directors: Måns Mårlind & Björn Stein
Writers: Len Wiseman (screenplay/story/characters), John Hlavin (screenplay/story), J. Michael Straczynski (screenplay), Allison Burnett (screenplay), Kevin Grevioux (characters), Danny McBride (characters)
Running time: 85 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18
UK Release date: 20th January 2012
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 5th January 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I have seen the previous three films in this franchise and, I have to admit, the last one ‘Rise of the Lycans’ seemed to have lost the spark the previous two had. Maybe because the main lead, Kate Beckinsale, did not attend the party for that one. This time though she’s back and I hoped for a return to form for this beleaguered franchise. So what did I think? Well I’ll tell you after this very brief summary.
Humans have discovered that vampires and Lycans exist and they are pretty mad! Both species are hunted down and eradicated wherever they are found. Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is captured whilst trying to escape with the man she loves, the vampire/Lycan hybrid, Michael Corvin. She awakes in a cryogenic tube, having been released by ‘Subject 1’; in a facility run by one Dr. Jacob Lane (Stephen Rea). She escapes and begins to track down ‘Subject 1’, who she assumes to be Michael. When she discovers it’s a young girl, Eve (India Eisley); and that Eve is very special indeed, things really begin to hot up. They are helped by another vampire, David (Theo James), who takes them to his coven, led by his father, Thomas (Charles Dance). The coven is attacked by Lycans, some of which appear immune to silver, and Eve is taken by them. Vowing to get her back; Selene sets off back to the facility where she had been held. A cop, Detective Sebastian (Michael Ealy) helps her gain entry; but what awaits her inside?
The effects, the fight scenes and the stunt-work is all of a very high quality and I can’t fault the filmmakers for that. All the performances are very good, although the audience is left in no doubt who the star of the show is. I did find it hard to connect with any of the main characters though; I guess as what a vampire would consider food; I found it hard to have much sympathy with them being wiped out. Eventually though I did become enwrapped and found myself rooting for the ‘good guys’ towards the end. Even so, I can’t say it’s a particularly good film; much relies on the audience being familiar with the world in which the franchise exists and so I guess, unless you’re a fan it won’t make an awful lot of sense (spectacular CGI and fight scenes apart).
SteelMonster’s verdict: NOT RECOMMENDED
My score: 4.8/10.
IMDb Score: 6.3/10 (based on 65,977 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 39/100: (Based on 17 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 62/100 (based on 88,363 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Selene: The Vampire and Lycans clan have been at war for centuries before I was born, their endless conflict hidden from the human world. I was turned by a Vampire. And given the strength to avenge my family against the Lycans. And I was good at it. Then I found Michael Corvin, a human that was neither turned by Vampire nor Lycan, but a hybrid of the two. And everything changed. Allies turned enemies, and Vampire elders I had protected for now six centuries now wanted me dead. We retaliated, killed the elders, and for a brief moment of time, we were safe. But then a new darkness arose.
Eve: I dreamt of the day we would meet. Like a silly little girl. You're as cold as one already dead.
Selene: Yesterday, I was with your father. He was only a little further away from than you are now. I went to sleep. And when I awoke the next day, I learned that, overnight, 12 years had passed. And instead of the only man I ever loved, there stood a girl with his eyes. My heart is not cold. It's broken.
Dr. Jacob Lane: Your kind will never be as powerful as us. No matter how hard you fight, you won't win.
Selene: You don't know me very well.
(NOTE: All links were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/underworldawakening/