Mankind has discovered Vampires and Lycans exist and have gone to war with them. After twelve years, the vampires have gone totally underground while the lycans are almost extinct.
Selene, having been captured by humans, awakens from a cryogenic sleep in the laboratories of Antigen and finds out experiments have been done on her as well as Michael, resulting in the creation of Eve, a vampire/lycan hybrid created from the DNS of Selene and Michael.
Selene and Eve manage to escape the laboratory and with the help of a vampire called Thomas they find refuge at a hidden vampire covenant. However, little later the covenant gets raided by lycans under the lead of a werewolf bigger than any werewolf Selene has ever seen. While the Lycans were presumed almost extinct, Selene is now convinced they’ve in fact been secretly growing their forces and Eve is crucial to their plans…
Sound and Vision:
Sony delivers a pretty good transfer for Awakening with as only minor drawback that some scenes look at bit too digital for their own good. Other than that, the only “negative” we found was that the level of detail is so high that Kate Beckinsale actually starts to look old. Or was that intentional to show that indeed twelve years have past since the last time?
We don’t get a 7.1 DTS-HD track as the US 3D version has, but the 5.1 version we’re supplied with does an excellent job as well. Dialogues are never overwhelmed by the action, positioning of effects is perfect, the level of detail in the track is high, the music is all around and the subwoofer may start off a bit on the light side, but as the movie progresses it becomes more and more apparent. Excellent stuff!
- Audio commentary
- Heavy Prey video clip
- Selene Rises
- Casting the Future of Underworld
- Resuming the Action
- Building a Better Lycan
- Awakening a Franchise
- Building a Brutal New World
- Cracking the Underworld: Picture-in-Picture
- Underworld: Endless War
The 5 behind the scenes features already are worth over an hour of extras, but the most interesting thing is that this disc also has the Endless War animated shorts which set the stage for this movie. Great!
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans was quite the disappointment so we were really hoping that Awakening would bring the Underworld series of movies back to the level from the first and second movie. And in some aspects, it has. The action is really cool and Beckinsale again wandering around in leather and kicking ass is a joy to watch. The humans coming into the picture as being more than just blood bags for vamps is also a fun change, but it doesn’t hide that the movie isn’t perfect.
The philosophical nature of the original story is far to be found and the baddies (including the big bad wolf) make little of an impression. In fact, other than Beckinsale, there aren’t any memorable characters present and that’s a shame actually as it makes one wonder what would be next for Underworld. Michael is still out there somewhere, and the humans are ready to kill off any remaining Lycans and werewolves, but other than plain action there’s actually very little to tell left.
Awakening is filled with action but lacks the gothic nature and story of the first two movies and moves more towards the Resident Evil type of movie (except the absence of zombies of course). As it is, it’s a fun rollercoaster ride but lacks a bit of depth, something that will surely need to be found if further Underworld movies want to have a shot at success.
Beckinsale holds this movie together still, but for a next sequel, we’ll need more to keep us interested.