In "Underworld: Awakening", Death Dealer Selene is awoken from an icy 12-year cryo-nap and finds a world where vampires and Lycans are not only exposed but hunted. Oh, and she has a daughter.
First off, I'm an Underworld fan. The vampires put Robert Pattinson to shame and the Lycans make Taylor Lautner look like a poodle. It's truly a great story they had going on, and I thought they had wrapped it up quite nicely with 2009's "Rise of the Lycans" prequel. But in the case of "Awakening", directed by series newcomers Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein, well...I'm very disappointed. Now of course, "Underworld: Evolution" left an opening for Selene's story to continue, but I just don't feel that "Awakening" was the best choice of story. The plot was too low-budget Syfy (meaning that it could have been made as a Syfy channel original movie) and there was no depth to many of the characters.
Aside from Beckinsale, who always inhabits Selene as a character, the only other performance that stood out to me was India Eisley as Eve, Selene's daughter. The first hybrid-born child, she admires her mother's warrior skills and proves to be quite the little fighter as well. You can see a real bond between Eisley and Beckinsale when they have scenes together. Michael Ealy has always been good in my book but his character simply didn't fit in this film. Charles Dance's Thomas seemed to be more of a throwback to Bill Nighy and Viktor, but again, it seems like he was just thrown in for credibility, although he gives a good performance. Theo James is...well actually he was pretty cool, I'll admit.
Now as you know, werewolves are kind of my thing. And I've always liked "Underworld"'s portrayal of the Lycans, from Lucian to Raze to William (big white wolf in "Underworld: Evolution"). "Rise of the Lycans" is my favorite "Underworld" movie in the series. And I was supremely pissed at how the Lycans came across in "Awakening". They're just cartoony. They have no leader (Stephen Rea's Dr. Lang may be an exception but he just annoyed me) and they were...just awful. IF (and that's a big one) they make another film, here's hoping they do it right next time.
I saw the film in 3D and, while it had its moments, I'm just not a fan of it and would probably have liked the movie better if I had watched it the old fashioned way.
Overall, it was pretty "meh" for a movie and a downright facepalm for an Underworld movie. It's not unwatchable, but in the Underworld universe, they should have left well enough alone.
(image copyright Screen Gems and Sketch Films)