Kate Beckinsale is back as Selene, the death trader. Seated atop a high-rise, Selene recounts the events of the previous films in the series, very helpful for the Underworld virgins who may have missed their chance to catch Beckinsale in a shiny, black leather bodysuit. This time around, Selene escapes captivity to discover that she has visions of mysterious kinds. Her captors let her loose in the hope that she will lead them to the one who helped her escape in the first place.
As she fights off cops and bad guys, Selene runs into a helpful vampire David (James), who helps her rescue scared little teenager Eve. Eve’s identity, Selene’s visions that lead her to Eve and the link between the two is what the movie is all about. The story, which, if not for the underworld setting, would qualify for a masala Bollywood flick, unravels in between combat, war and a little bit of preaching. Selene, faces the blazing guns, Lykans (powerful werewolves) and anyone who comes in her way, with two guns and occasionally a trenchcoat. At one point she pulls on the trenchcoat, a la Rajnikanth. Detective Sebastian (Ealy) who is intrigued by the cleansing directed towards the vampires, joins Selene on a mission to rescue Eve from the evil Dr Lane (Rea).
The film’s plot which attempts to surprise you at certain junctures, is completely unaided by the cheesy dialogue. The story wavers between avenging the wrong done upon vampires by both humans and Lykans, to being a story of a mother who goes out on her limb (literally) to save a daughter she never knew she had. The plot seems unoriginal at best and many things remain unexplained. The dialogue induces a few chuckles and has me wondering if I ended up in a mutated version of the Twilight series.
With stuff like “My heart isn’t cold, its broken,” and “You came back for me!” “I said I would” the film fails to hold its own or explore the dark twisted undertones that the genre demands. One can’t help but wonder if the directorial pair decided to focus on the action and special effects instead of creating a gripping, lucidly shot tale.
There are some ardent followers of the Underworld franchise who assured me. So I managed to watch the 2003 film just before penning this review. And that made me dislike the latest film even more and Underworld: Awakening loses extra points for failing to keep up with the pace of the original film. If it weren’t for the film’s 3D action, I would have been the one needing an awakening at the end of the film!
Watch the film if you’ve been a fan of the franchise, but be prepared for a lot of ho-hum moments between the actions sequences. And if slashing, biting and stabbing floats your boat, you might just end up enjoying this one. Sadly, my boat is still struggling to stay afloat.