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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Underworld Awakening (3D)


Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Sandrine Holt, Theo James, Michael Ealy, India Eisley, Stephen Rea and Charles Dance
Entertainment in Video
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 18
Available 14 May 2012

Kate Beckinsale, star of the first two films, returns in her lead role as the vampire warrioress Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all out war to eradicate both immortal species...

Underworld Awakening sees Kate Beckinsale return as Selene. She awakes, to a world she doesn't recognise - having been cryogenically frozen for over a decade. Mankind have discovered the existence of vampires and lycans and a worldwide purge has been implemented. Selene awakes in a laboratory, having been freed by another test subject.

On the run, Selene soon discovers that the person who helped her escape is a young girl, who is a vampire/lycan hybrid. While Selene has been out of action the lycans have steadily grown in numbers underground and are preparing to wipe out the remaining vampires before tackling mankind.

To stop them, Selene must win the trust of the vampires who wanted her dead and then hunt down and stop the lycan threat before it's too late.

Extras include Filmmakers Commentary (with the directors and producers). Under the Featurettes menu we have five shorts: Selene Rises (12 min, 15 sec look at Beckinsale's return to the franchise and the plot of the film); The Cast (12 min, 34 sec look at the main actors); Resuming the Action (8 min, 52 sec look at action sequences); Awakening a Franchise, Building a Brutal New World (18 min, 55 sec behind the scenes look at the use of 3D / sets / future design / Coven set); and Building a Better Lycan (10 min, 21 sec look at the werewolf costumes and animatronic heads).

Previsualization Sequences offers a handful of pre-viz scenes some with the option of playing in 2D/3D; Blooper Reel (3 min, 23 sec); and "Heavy Prey" Music Video (3 min, 26 sec music video, which for some odd reason seems to have very poor lip synching).

It's not a bad movie, just there's nothing here that really stands out as being that interesting. It's full of set pieces you've seen before on other movies and some of the visual effects just don't work very well. The scene where the lycans are chasing Selene and co as they flee in a van suffers from some pretty bad lighting effects on the CGI lycans. The result is that it's hard not to look at them as anything other than a poor digital effect.

Likewise, near the end of the movie there are a couple of sequences with the lycans that look like almost, but not quite, completed effects. However, on the the whole the CGI effects are pretty impressive.

If you have the ability to watch this in 3D then you'll be impressed by how imaginative the directors have been, but other than that the main story seems a little flat. Probably one for hardcore Underworld fans only.


Nick Smithson

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