Underworld: Awakening

This slipshod re-boot miserably fails to resurrect a vampire series which was already too long in the tooth. Defrosted after 12 years in cryogenic suspension, Kate Beckinsale's slinky Lycan-slayer, Selene, awakes to a world where both Vampires and Lycans have been hunted to virtual extinction by genocidal humans. She also discovers that she has a daughter, Subject 2 (India Eisley), who is being used as a guinea pig by ruthless bio-tech scientist Dr Jacob Lane (Stephen Rea). With the help of a sympathetic cop, detective Sebastian (Michael Ealy) and a handsome male vampire, David (Theo James), Selene infiltrates Antigen’s fortified lab, hoping to rescue her hybrid off-spring. But she hasn’t reckoned with a hulking, genetically-enhanced über-Lycan capable of casually tossing cars and punching holes in walls.

Swedish joint-directors Måns Marlind and Björn Stein, who previously made the preposterous supernatural thriller ‘Shelter’, make a wolf’s breakfast of everything. Not only do they fail to explain or expand the series’ overarching mythology, they completely fail to capitalise on the potential of the new story elements. By way of compensation, they offer surprisingly nasty 3D violence and messily choreographed fight scenes featuring more wire-work than a computer factory. Beckinsale looks as fetching as ever in her skin-tight latex outfit, but not even her much-anticipated return can enliven the proceedings. One feels sorry, too, for striking 19-year-old actress Eisley, whose portrayal of Selene’s daughter is every bit as blank as her character’s naiveté leads one to expect. By the same token, Rea’s hopelessly underdeveloped villain barely registers. Crude, cheap and pointless, this surely drives a stake through the heart of the ‘Underworld’ franchise.

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein
Screenwriter: J Michael Straczynski
Cast: Kate Beckinsale
Michael Ealy
India Eisley
Scott Speedman
Charles Dance
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