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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

New Underworld movie pits heroine against audience, CGI

Kate Beckinsale stars in the fourth installment of the Underworld series. Beckinsale plays a vampire in a future where the human race hunts vampires instead of the other way around. 
Photo courtesy Screen Gems
Kate Beckinsale stars in the fourth installment of the Underworld series. Beckinsale plays a vampire in a future where the human race hunts vampires instead of the other way around. Photo courtesy Screen Gems

By Joshua Knopp/managing editor

How many more dead franchises will rise to profit from 3-D?

Underworld: Awakening starts by going over everything that happened previously in the series, including the focus on — there’s really no way to say this and still sound like an adult — “a secret war between vampires and [werewolves].”

Kate Beckinsale stars in the fourth installment of the Underworld series. Beckinsale plays a vampire in a future where the human race hunts vampires instead of the other way around.
Photo courtesy Screen Gems

Twelve years prior, humanity discovered the races and united to cleanse them. Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is captured, frozen and allowed to carry her child (India Eisley) to term. Presently, Selene and her child escape and attempt to rally their species in a new war with humanity.

This movie asks the audience not just to suspend disbelief but also to suspend species identity.

Selene says the discovery and extermination of vampires and lycans caused humans to stop fighting each other and focus all efforts on developing weapons to fight them and (unsuccessfully) developing an antidote. She goes so far as to say, “We were the enemy humanity needed.” In what way is this a bad thing for the viewer?

The questionable story is told in a questionable way. The action literally does not stop.

Nothing makes any sense through the first portion of the movie — it’s just Selene killing indiscriminately in a constant barrage of deliberately confusing visuals. Following this is a small dialogue scene and then a lot more action.

In total, only about two sequences in the movie aren’t based in confusing and overzealous violence.

There is no hint of the original Underworld in Underworld: Awakening. All traces of the suave, stylized Romeo and Juliet are gone, having been replaced with an aggressively-paced, confusing film that doesn’t satisfy any standards of action or drama. Convincing animatronics and makeup have traded places with CGI, a lazy method that is both greater in cost and lesser in quality.

The budgets attest to this. Underworld’s $22 million made a longer, better, more profitable movie than Underworld: Awakening’s $70 million. Heads should roll for this kind of waste.

There is no telling why Screen Gems went through with this movie. It’s just bad.

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