Underworld: Awakening Brings Carnage to a Whole New Level

Article written by:
Jurmane Lallana
Author: Jurmane Lallana
Jurmane is a comic book geek, movie aficionado, feature writer and bathroom singer. He is often mistaken for a giant teddy bear roaming around the metro.

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In Underworld: Awakening, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) deals with a world where humanity has discovered the existence of vampires and lycans, and each day becomes a struggle for survival. Bones are broken and blood is splattered everywhere as she tries to find the answer to the question: “Where’s Michael?”

Kate Beckinsale’s filmography is quite long and diverse, and she has proven that she can handle just about every role thrown at her. However, she will most likely be remembered best as the hottest vampire who ever graced the big screen. We all know that nine years have lapsed since the first Underworld offering, but not much has changed in terms of how Selene looks like. With her intense blue eyes, flawless face and brutal skills, she sets the bar as far as fantasy female warriors are concerned. Actually, she could be the perfect heroine if not for her obvious lack of compassion. Selene is extremely merciless in this film. Without hesitation, she cuts down scientists, guards and Lycans in the most gruesome ways imaginable. She acts like a true Death Dealer—efficient, intelligent and ruthless. It seems Michael was her last attachment to being human. Due to his absence, Selene becomes a force of carnage. It is only when she meets Eve (India Eisley) that some kind of emotion is elicited from her.

When it comes to finding a franchise that is quite similar to how Underworld has panned out, it would have to be Resident Evil. The similarities are just so many. Both already have four movies and feature female killing machines tearing through hordes of enemies. They are both distributed by Screen Gems, have the leads’ husbands working as a director or producer (Paul Anderson for RE and Len Wiseman for Underworld) and have had generally the same box office results. However, they now differ in terms of how their respective stories progressed. Resident Evil: Afterlife is able to succeed in adding new things to the series while maintaining the core of what the franchise is about. On the other hand, Underworld: Awakening tries to shake things up by bringing in humanity’s awareness when it comes to supernatural beings but ends up being swallowed by the ambitious premise. A lot of things could have been done, but it feels like we get shortchanged in our theatrical experience. Although the film’s action is quite sufficient, it forgets that a major component that made the previous Underworld movies interesting was the focus on vampire and Lycan history and lore.

Still, if you look closely enough, you’ll notice that there are some scenes that remind us a lot about Underworld (2003). For example, both films feature a memorable jump from Selene at the start. In Underworld, full of confidence, Selene jumps from a tall building and lands feet first on the pavement. In Awakening, we see a change in her disposition. A frantic Selene leaps on a truck during her escape and hits it hard, indicating her panic and fatigue this time around. Whether these scenes were intended to be similar or not, they serve as a reminder that we are still watching an Underworld movie, and that’s always a good thing.

Saying Underworld: Awakening is a great film would be absurd. As I pointed out, it suffers from an underdeveloped plot and weak supporting characters. However, Kate Beckinsale as Selene and the gory action and fighting that ensue because of her are great incentives to watch this film. Awakening may not be my favorite Underworld movie, but it does its part in reminding me why Underworld is still my favorite vampire franchise.

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