Underworld: Awakening

Directed By: Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Sandrine Holt, Theo James, Michael Ealy, and India Eisley

What ever happened to the good old fashioned movies with vampires and werewolves beating the holy hell out of each other?  Those were the good old days.  Then, Twilight arrived and forever tainted the vampire and werewolf genre.  That series threw romance into the picture and created insanely popular crap.  Before Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner arrived on the scene though, we had Kate Beckinsale and the Underworld movies.  She gave us action-packed B movies where vampires and werewolves actually get physical.  Well, I can proudly say she's back, and she's just as badass as ever.

After killing the elder vampires, Selene (Beckinsale) and Michael have finally found peace and can start their life together.  This calm period in their lives is short-lived however as the humans discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans.  Hell bent on eliminating these perceived threats, the humans declare war on the two immortal species and purge the world of them as best they can.  Selene and Michael try to flee to safety but are captured in the process.  Twelve years later, Selene wakes up in a lab to find out that she was cryogenically frozen and that she doesn't recognize the world today.  She escapes with the help of a detained hybrid who may be the key to ending the war.

As Kate Farraday in Contraband last week, Beckinsale acted like a stupid teen girl in a horror movie.  She did some really dumb stuff.  As Selene in this latest installment of Underworld though, she's a badass.  Thank God because I couldn't take another ditzy performance from her.  She really sucked in Contraband.  In Underworld, she gives us the action star we've missed for the last six years, and I loved every minute of it.

Underworld: Awakening is certainly a film that takes vampires and werewolves back to where they should be — the battlefield.  I haven't seen this much gore in a non-horror film in ages.  Normally, I would say that the director has overdone it when blood and guts are flying everywhere just for the sake of it.  However, I can overlook this for an Underworld flick.  The vampires and Lycans get down and dirty in this one, and I don't mind.  The film is fast-paced and action-packed.  It's also got a surprisingly decent plot with very few holes.  It's a fairly enjoyable movie.

I know that vampire and werewolf flicks don't appeal to everyone.  For those of us who have a certain appreciation for the genre though, this is exactly what we've been missing.  Kate Beckinsale's return to the Underworld series ushers in a slick, enjoyable installment for the franchise that gives moviegoers some good old mindless entertainment.  While the vampires are drinking blood, you should be sipping on a beer because Underworld: Awakening gets a 0.06% rating.  The Twilight cast needs to be taking notes during this film because this is how it's done.