Underworld: Awakening (2012)

underworld awakening poster 2012 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 5/10

Story twist

Weak plot, drawn out, no Michael

Movie Info

Movie Name: Underworld:  Awakening

Studio: Lakeshore Entertainment

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure/Horror

Release Date(s): January 20, 2012

MPAA Rating: R

underworld awakening selene guns kate beckinsale

I wonder how much Selene spends on ammunition a year…

War has come for the vampires and the lycans…humans have learned about the monsters living amongst them in the darkness and now both vampire and lycan are prey.  Selene (Kate Beckinsale) wakes up after being captured to find that the war is over, and humans have put lycan and vampires on the run.  Searching for Michael (Scott Speedman) with the help of a vampire named David (Theo James) and a detective named Sebastian (Michael Ealy), Selene is plagued with visions and seeing through the eyes of another…only to discover the horrible truth of what happened in the twelve years she lost.

Directed by Måns Mårlind and Bjorn Stein, Underworld:  Awakening is a gothic horror action-adventure film.  The fourth film in the Underworld franchise, the film follows the events of the 2003 second film Underworld:  Evolution but comes after 2009’s Underworld:  Rise of the Lycans which was a prequel to the first Underworld.  Released in 3D, the film received poor reviews but still continued to be a big grosser at the box office.

underworld awakenings selene vs giant werewolf lycan

Finally…a werewolf that looks halfway decent

The first Underworld was so-so, the second Underworld had a more streamlined story but was still jarring, and the third film showed a slight improvement but also derailed the momentum of the series.  This Underworld was quite dull and much like the second Underworld, it seems to just keep going.

I will give the movie this; it does change up the plot for this movie.  The first movies were all about the hierarchy of the werewolves and the vampires and the love story.  Here, the vampires and werewolves are back to hiding, running, and gunning after the “Purge” which killed most of their numbers.  It feels like the series was building to humanity learning about the werewolves and vampires, but despite this format change, the movie is dull and just seems like a repeat of the first films when it comes to the action (though I do like the giant uber-werewolf).

underworld awakening india eisley eve werewolf vampire hybrid

Like mother like daughter

Kate Beckinsale returns in this film after being virtually gone in the last film (largely serving as narrator).  Scott Speedman who portrayed Michael in the first films left the franchise after Underworld:  Evolution, but due to the important nature of his character, the actor is superimposed over another actor for a few scenes to round out the story.  In Speedman’s place, Theo James is introduced as the new vampire costar and I do kind of like the addition of Michael Ealy as a human with a need to even the tables in the battle between lycan, vampires, and humans.  India Eisley as Eve is like every kid in these type films from The Ring to Silent Hill.  Stephen Rea is generally fun, but even he is hindered by a bad script.

underworld awakening giant werewolf lycan

We might be giant uber werewolves…but we can still go out like chumps

The visuals of the movie continue to be dominated by a washed out blues which looks cool in limited quantities (but after four movies is getting pretty old).  The werewolves continue to look half-assed, but when super werewolves begin to appear at least you get something different from the first films.  The film was also a 3D release, so there are plenty of things unnecessarily flying at the camera.

Underworld:  Awakening is a pretty weak film in a weak film series.  Underworld has pretty much been tapped out and this is proof of it.  The movie isn’t the end of Underworld.  Much like Resident Evil, the series just seems to go on and on.  Underworld:  Awakening was followed by Underworld:  Blood Wars in 2016.

Related Links:

Underworld (2003)

Underworld:  Evolution (2006)

Underworld:  Rise of the Lycans (2009)

Underworld:  Blood Wars (2016)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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