2012 Running time: 85 Certificate: 18 Not yet rated

Synopsis

Kate Beckinsale returns as the va-va-voom vampire Selene in the fourth instalment of the bloodsuckers and werewolves saga. This time, both vampire and lycan clans are forced to bite the silver bullet when humans discover their existence and plan to wipe them all out. The stakes are high and the action's as ferocious as ever as the three tribes go to war.

Directors

  • Måns Mårlind

  • Björn Stein

Cast

  • Kate Beckinsale

  • Stephen Rea

  • Charles Dance

  • Theo James

  • India Eisley

Review

Bodice-ripping bloodsucker Selene, played once more by Kate Beckinsale, is back to take on all-comers as the centuries-old conflict between lycans and vampires continues to rage.

Only this time the humans have found out about it and set about eradicating both species for their own protection.

Just as Selene is about to escape the 'purge' with her human-turned-hybrid beau Michael, she is captured and put in cryogenic suspension for 12 years.

Once she awakes however, she escapes to find a futuristic world which looks suspiciously like our own. There she has to rescue the daughter she never knew she had and shoot lots of stuff in order to save the day from an evil bio-chemical company.

In truth none of it really matters. At the end of the day Underworld: Awakening does away with those messy distractions like plot, characterisation and dialogue and instead simply staggers between action sequences on a wafer thin premise that's basically a re-iteration of the previous three films only with the addition of characters that we don't know, and don't particularly care about.

Indeed the most interesting ideas here are done away with in a short montage at the start of the film; a combination of grainy footage and faux news reports that covers the 'purge' which no doubt would have made an altogether more engaging premise.

There's no doubt this is likely to appeal to the adolescent audience that it's aimed at, as well as those cinemagoers who are looking to give their higher functions the night off. But it's hard to get over the feeling that fans are being cheated with a film designed to extract the admission fee from their wallets whilst offering very little in return.

In short, it's big, loud and not especially clever. But Underworld's saving grace is that it doesn't pretend to be anything else. And at a breezy 88 minutes long it doesn't outstay it's welcome...just.

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