Watching Pearl Harbor back in 2001, I fell hard for Kate Beckinsale and swore I’d follow her anywhere, even to the underworld. Maybe I should have added the word “franchise.” The recent Underworld: Awakening is the fourth in the series that pits vampire against wolf morphing lycan (sound familiar, Twilight fans?) Beckinsale stars as the vampire avenger Selene. She spends most of the 88 minutes shooting and slashing her way through a lycan infested Metropolis all the while looking fabulous in a leather catsuit (by costume designer Monique Prudhomme).
As usual, the cast draws from the top tier of British and Irish actors, including Stephen Rea [The Crying Game (1992)] and Charles Dance [Game of Thrones, The Jewel in the Crown]. The first two entries in the series featured an ill-fated romance between Selene and the lycan shape shifter Lucian, played by Michael Sheen from the Twilight Saga. Awakening starts out as an uninspiring action movie that’s difficult to follow without previous knowledge of the mythology. It’s only when Selene flees underground that it rekindles some of the old fire. It’s there too that the visual and special effects are the most spectacular.