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Underworld: Awakening

If the ‘Twilight’ movies have shown a romantic side to vampires and werewolves the ‘Underworld’ series has seen them at their most blood-thirsty.  A high octane action franchise, its fourth entry sees the battle between the supernatural beasts kick up a notch.  A celebration of noise and spectacle than acting, it does the job in ensuring fans obtain the most out of its heavily CGI-led monster mash.

 

Captured by humans and kept in prison for twelve years, vampire warrior Selene (Kate Beckinsale) escapes.  Re-entering a world where the existence of vampires and werewolves are known, she discovers humanity wanting to kill both species.  On the run from shadowy scientist Dr. Jacob (Stephen Rea) she is also joined by the mysterious Eve (India Eisley).  Cutting a swathe through a beastly army, Selena attempts to find an end to a seemingly unstoppable war.

 

Having already travelled the prequel route with its last outing, ‘Underworld: Awakening’ valiantly tries to further its mythology.  Only partly succeeding due to a wafer think plot, it makes the most of its cavalcade of action.  There are lots on display as Selene whizzes her way through a litany of Matrix-style fighting and dazzling pyrotechnics.  It’s a bit unfortunate the cheap looking special effects aren’t terribly ‘special’ although director Mans Marlind’s flair for comic book-style cinematography is a plus.

 

The actors give it their all and attempt to emote while partaking in various over the top stunts.  They aren’t serviced too well by an uninvolving story offering few surprises.  While it has its moments, events don’t really go anywhere as relies on the old ‘mad scientist taking over the world’ standby.  Although lumbered with this story cliché – which often makes it resemble the ‘Resident Evil’ franchise – it generally slots in well with previous instalments if you don’t think too hard about things.

 

One is appreciative watching a film where vampires don’t sparkle or provide love-lorn looks.  Not quite the best in the series, ‘Underworld: Awakening’ provides a reminder of the blood-thirsty origins from which vampire lore derived.

 

Rating out of 10:  5

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