Underworld: Awakening


Unknown to the vast majority of the blissfully ignorant, somnolent population, a dark and shadowy conspiracy has long been going on right under our noses: Screen Gems keeps making and distributing Underworld movies. The latest, number 4, has Kate Beckinsale reprising her role as bondage-doll warrior vampiress Selene, who’s awakened from suspended animation to discover a future where Brutalist architecture has made a huge comeback and where her kind and their archfoe, “lycans” (werewolves), have been hunted to near extinction in a mass purge as a sinister corporation seemingly plots to finish the job. Selene also discovers that she has begat a daughter, and an awakened maternal protectiveness spurs her to many a trench coat-flapping, guns-blazing promenade, set to the strains of those chugga-chugga tuff-sounding guitars, which dependably get the blood pumping for a segment of the population. The action is defined by whirligig balletics and ample gushes of violence; the dialogue is stuff handed down through action movies ever since the first man walked away from a fireball in slo-mo. The entire production is single-mindedly, earnestly devoted to serving up feats of BADASS, and it succeeds in this devotion to the exclusion of everything else. Allegedly in 3-D, though I didn’t notice at the time.