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Just let the undead die

Underworld: Awakening

POSTED: March 2, 2012 4:14 p.m.

Kate Beckinsale reprises her role as the vampire Selene in "Underworld: Awakening," the fourth film in the "Underworld" series.

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"Underworld: Awakening" is the fourth installment in the "Underworld" series and brings back Kate Beckinsale as Selene, the Death Dealer - a vampire out to rid the world of the Lycans (werewolves). In the film, Selene breaks out of a laboratory after being held captive in a catatonic state for over a decade. Once she awakens, she discovers that the existence of vampires and Lycans alike have been exposed and are being sought out and destroyed. Selene has other problems, too; her lover, Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman), is thought to be dead, and her daughter, who was also held captive, has escaped as well and is being hunted by both vampires and Lycans.
Vampires have been run into the ground since the "Twilight" saga came out, which changed not only the appearance of vampires but also the nature of what the undead have always stood for. The "Underworld" series does have a few things going for it, though. Besides the thought of Kate Beckinsale in skintight leather, the consistent style of the films has always been a draw to fans, which has played a key role in the franchise. Unfortunately, this isn't true in the latest installment. It seems that the writers and directors went for a more quick-and-easy approach this time around, and the story and plot suffer for it.
There should be a rule in Hollywood that bans franchise films from ever taking the timeline of a story in a film so far that there is no going back. My first thought after watching this movie was that this franchise is turning into the likes of "Resident Evil" - and we all know what a pile of trash that franchise has become. The problem with reaching the point of no return is that the only thing left to do with the story is to either make a reboot or a prequel, and "Underworld" has already gone down the prequel path with "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans."
The story arch in the film was also bland and boring. I mean, Selene doesn't really fight any new foes or face any new tasks, but she has to fight a giant Lycan. Seriously, Hollywood? A giant Lycan? Is that the best you can do? There aren't any cool villains in the story, and the plot just seems to forget some characters altogether, but hey, here's giant Lycan for you to enjoy. Pure garbage.
The only other plot device that the writers seemed to come up with was giving Selene a daughter. I can't tell you how much I hate it when films about the undead allow them to procreate. The idea is stupid and usually entails a lack of skill in writing a decent plot or a cohesive story. But all that aside, don't you think that someone would know if they had a child? I mean, I understand the willful suspension of disbelief, but come on!
From start to finish, "Underworld: Awakening" is a train wreck. Its boring, uninspired writing makes the film something only a diehard fan, or freak, of Kate Beckinsale should see. It has made too many cardinal mistakes. Top all of this off with 3-D and you have yourself a full-fledged Hollywood money-grabber that will leave you feeling like you just got robbed of not only your money and time but your dignity, too.

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