Underworld: Awakening Reviews
July 18th 2014
January 25th 2017
At this point in the franchise, you pretty much know what you're going to get. Selene leads the war against anyone who opposes their kind. This time, however, it's humans who are on the opposite end of the stick. This premise felt a lot like when the old Planet of the Apes franchise ran out of ideas so they made a time jump and brought the humans in as the antagonists. In fact, it touches on a lot of the same social issues that 'Escape from the Planet of the Apes' did, experimentation on creatures for one. The problem is, it's only touched upon. Just like the new relationship Selene has with a young girl named Eve isn't totally the focus either.
I mean, I guess we can give 'Awakening' a little credit for not continuing the bland romance between Michael & Selene, and giving her someone new to care about. But there's a way to write characters into the story without overwhelming each scene with blood and guts. Heck, it's also pretty hard to root for Selene considering she slaughters every human in sight. This film absolutely doubles down on the series' heavy genre aspects, instead of trying to usher in a broader audience.
Theo James & Charles Dance are brought in to essentially replace roles taken by Bill Nighy and Scott Speedman. Both actors give more grounded turns than the others did, but even they can't turn awful dialogue into something worth caring about. I'm not so sure Daniel Day-Lewis could even do it. Although the dialogue is still horrendous, the characters are still shallow, and the plot continues to get more ridiculously contrived, these films can be entertaining. The action is better choreographed than any of the other films and at least the run-time is short, right?
+Action is amped up
+Performances are more grounded
-More blood & guts doesn't always mean the quality rises
-Characters are still hollow