Underworld: Awakening (Blu-ray / DVD)
Directed by Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein
Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
The Underworld franchise is a weird animal, as its films seemed to get better as the series went along. I'd even go so far as to call it an anomaly. I mean, that never happens. There's an old saying - all good things must come to an end, and the lucky streak of the vampires vs. werewolves saga comes to a screeching halt with Underworld: Awakening.
Usually this would be the part of the review in which I summarize the movie's plot. Say what you want about the first three films, they were rich in mythos. True, it was a mythos that nobody really cared about, but over the course of several sequels the makers of these flicks laid groundwork, set up the series' parameters, and delivered at least somewhat on an actual plot as contrived as it may have been.
For Underworld: Awakening just about everything that has come before it has been thrown out of the window in favor of cheap thrills and the thinnest of plot threads imaginable. Selene, the dead vampire chick, awakens to find that she's been pregnant and has delivered a daughter into this world that the werewolves intend to use for some nefarious plotting of their own. From there Selene dons tight clothing, is able to raise her fellow dead vampires which found themselves dead for a second time, and then at the end fight a giant sized werewolf and the rest of the generic bad guys with the help of her terror tot, blah blah blah.
In its unrelenting desire to string together action sequences on the way to the climax somewhere along the way an entire second act feels as if it's missing. But at least we get plenty of shots of Selene landing. And landing. And landing. And landing. And landing. And landing. This is a film experience akin to dating the hottest person in high school only to find out that they're as dumb as a bag of hammers.
If you simply must own this because you're curious or want to complete your Underworld collection, it's available to you via instant view VOD, 3D Blu-ray, regular Blu-ray, and of course DVD. Pick your poison. No matter how pretty looking or sounding the film is in HD (and it does look and sound amazing), it cannot detract from the fact that this flick sucks. But hey! At least you can see how much it sucks in all three dimensions should you have the tech.
Th package is rife with special features that are way more interesting and coherent than the film itself, but it's doubtful you'll wanna know much more about the movie by the time all is said and done. For the record you get a commentary featuring producers Richard Wright and Gary Lucchesi, directors Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein, and executive producer and visual effects supervisor James McQuaide, five featurettes running from about ten to twenty minutes each, a music video and a blooper reel. Nothing special but certainly nothing bad either.
Underworld: Awakening is an empty-headed and convoluted mess of a movie made for the same teenage crowd who'll text each other while in the same theatre to talk about the flick while it's happening and offering such incredible insights as "WTF? ROTFL! OMG! LMAO!" The saddest part? That's about as much discussion as this misfire merits.
2 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5