Ten thoughts: Underworld Awakening

8 02 2012

by AngryPanda

Yes, the posters can be used in any order for three of these movies. The third one is different. It has swords instead of guns...

I would prefer to talk about the first three Underworld movies before getting to this one but somehow that never happened and if I put this of now it will just be four that I missed. So here’s the short version: I liked them. Except for one. If you can’t guess which one that was please assume the party escort submission position. A party associate will arrive shortly to collect you for your party. These movies are as straightforward as you can get. Two are essentialy Romeo & Juliet with more bats and rodents  but the real message here is that yes gun/sword fights on rooftops in the dark and a war between vampires and werewolves absolutely is reason and content enough to make movies about.

The Underworld movies don’t promise to have a deeper meaning or story to tell, they sell a theme and they sell it well. If you like the theme you’ll like the movies. If you don’t there’s still the chance you have a fetish for rubber catsuits in which case  these things will be the best porn you ever saw. In all other cases you should just go watch go watch panda babies on youtube or something. I’d recommend seeing another movie but seriously, only go to those if you really want to see one since Hollywood uses that cash you give them to buy the justice system.

Anyway, here’s ten thoughts about Underworld Awakening, quite possibly 5 more than even the producers had about this movie.

 

1. It started. We’re 2 minutes in. I have a tingling sensation in my cheeks. It is getting worse. At 4 minutes I might be smiling. Am I having fun? Holy crap yes, I didn’t  expect that. Their pattern so far was  Rome & Juliet/Shit/Romeo & Juliet. Since this one isn’t R&J I suspected the worst. But this thing starts pretty much like they knew what was cool about the first movie and did lots and lots more of it.

2. Okay, seriously is Kate Beckinsale a real vampire? I swear she hasn’t aged a day since the first movie and that was 8 years ago.  During Underworld 3 I was glad they realized they can make more of these things by just casting someone else but here I’m just as glad she decided to get back to the role. It just works.

3. Even I’m amazed at just how fetishized every shot of Selene spinning, landing and generally doing absolutely anything is. This thing might just as well be a music video. Not everyone’s style but defiantly mine. It is like they designed the whole series after that one shot that could have been on Deviantart as “Vampire Chic Concept”

4. I’m positively impressed at what they did to their setting. The second movie pretty much ruined it but by moving it all ten years in the future (which doesn’t matter since there was never a real timeline for the first one) they have reestablished their whole covens and packs setting. They keep some things from the first movie like Selene’s increased powers but don’t dwell on anything else that happened there. And while she’s still a fucking daywalker they don’t dwell on it or let her stare longing into the sun. She just uses it for a surprise attack while no one expects her. Apart from simply going the Highlander way of completely ignoring the second movie this is the best way they could have handled that mess.

5. For two movies you had to wonder how humanity can not notice this war going on with assault rifles filled with silver bullets and even more fancy stuff and it made a strange lot of sense to see this one starting with exactly that happening. It’s an interesting attempt and also introduces a third-party (or rather lots and lots of goons for Selene to kill) to equation. At least for the first third of the movie. After that they are all back vampres vs werewolfes, with humanity once again only serving as food source. I love how this series sticks to its thing. Honestly I’m not sure what all the poor “victim” vampires in the intro are about though. For 3 movies they have been nothing but monsters that see humans as food. Even Selene was only different because she fell in love. So far these movies gave us no reason to think that not every vampire is an armed-to-the-fangs-super-goth but the ones killed here suddenly seem like “normal” people with a terrible condition. Sorry not buying the victim thing. Thankfully it doesn’t matter.

I swear he didn't even change his clothes. This guy just walked from the set of Lost Girl to Underworld. "What? I'm still a werewolf, fuck you!"

6. The villains are pretty good but once again just can’t live up to Victor and Lucian who are the real stars of two of the previous three movies. Still it was a good try and I loved how it was once again the lycans who are trying their hand at creating a super soldier. Because being a giant wolfman just was never advantage enough? Obviously it isn’t because they make an even bigger woflman! Good stuff. The funny part is that this one is played by Kristen Holden-Ried who is also Dyson the werewolf in Lost Girl. I kept thinking he’d start something with Selene. You can’t exactly blame me for that considering they both have a history of doing this sort of thing. Sadly he doesn’t get to show off much, I know he’s a way better actor than he appears to be in this movie but he just doesn’t get the lines to show it off. On the other hand that means more giant wolf time so I’m not complaining.

7. Speaking of werewolves poor Michal Corvin really doesn’t get any screen time in this one. Remember him? Last descendant of Corvinus, the original immortal? First vampire/werewolf hybrid and practically unstoppable killing machine? Guy so nice he made even Selene stop just murdering everyone for a few minutes? The Romeo of this series? He’s always played second fiddle in this series but I genuinely like him. And while I’m the last person to complain that the main star of the series is Selene it would have been nice to give Micheal at least a token moment of glory. I kept expecting him to show up and tear Dyson’s head of but even if they didn’t want him to have to save Selene in the end they could have at least given him a much better last stand at the start of the movie. He should not have gone down so easily.

8. In the previous movies we usually had two sides of bad guys, the vampires and the lycans with our respective Romeos & Juliet trapped right between both sides. Strangely in this one they one more go back to the theme of the first half of the first movie. Selene is clearly on the side of the surviving vampires and while they are either cowards or twats they don’t seem to be completely against her. In fact the “cowardly” vampire elder does seem to have a point. His son can talk about them being traitors and cowards all day but considering that the humans hunt them with attack helicopters, napalm bombs and all sorts of other military hardware they are a bunch of goths hiding a cave. Hardly a position to wage war from. Thankfully the lycans murder most of them before humanity even finds out about that coven. So.. yay?

9. I didn’t mind the plot but did it have to be a daughter? Can’t we just once have a female action hero who doesn’t have to be a mom? On the other hand it is the 4th movie and it is technically just a clone. Who’s also a hybrid and rips out throats (of werewolves!) I’m not happy with the idea but mostly on principle it worked in the movie.

10. It was interesting to see the character of Selene having to act like a person a few times. Let’s face it so far she has been pretty much a blank slate. Angel of vengeance, Juliet in love, the final girl on the run from the giant bat. Selene has always been too busy being a cliché to be a person. In fact it is almost part of her origin story. Whoever she once was there isn’t much left of her. But now she did have to act on her own motivation and deal with this strange clone/daughter. I think they’ve hit it right, making her show some emotion but not letting her break down and cry or change her behavior with one of those emotional 180° they like so much. She’s been a cold-blooded murderer for hundreds of years. In fact in this movie she kills dozens of humans which doesn’t seem out of character for her but isn’t something we have seen before. It clearly shows that she is not some vampire with a soul or other crap like that. She’s one of the elite squad of killers the vampires had and there’s nothing “nice” about it. She doesn’t just fall down and cry just so the critics won’t take the movie apart. And they will. The cunts.

 

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3 responses

9 02 2012
In other news 3D still sucks « This would be more awesome with lasers

[…] a waste 3D is.  Strange enough I didn’t have space for any of that in the entry I did for Underworld Awakening. Now now Selene, take it easy. I couldn't have guessed that I could use more than ten comments […]

20 04 2012
Ten thoughts: Battleship « This would be more awesome with lasers

[…] I’ve just told a friend, hot chicks fighting are better than explosions. Thus the movie last discussed was better than this one. Still I think Battleship is worth its own […]

5 11 2012
The battles I don’t fight « This would be more awesome with lasers

[…] that’s all for today. Oh wait the Underworld picture is a flimsy excuse to link to my entry about that. You’re […]

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