(Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy, Charles Dance, India Eisley, Stephen Rea, et al / DVD / R / 2012 / Screen Gems)
Overview: Ultimate Vampire Warrioress Selene (Kate Beckinsale) escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.
DVD Verdict: 'Underworld: Awakening' is, quite simply put a non-stop action flick that will keep you glued to your TV screens. From start to finish, trust me! A totally, completely engaging fourth edition to the whole Vampires and Lycans series, 'Awakening' not only brings Kate Beckinsale back to the collection (as she sidestepped 'Rise Of The Lycans') but the worst-kept-secret (as it was revealed in all the trailers!) is that she has a 12 year-old daughter too!
Anyway, Beckinsale (as Selene) does another wonderful black PVC-clad job here and is in her prime fighting form vs. the remaining Lycans. After a quick recap of the other movies a near-future is unveiled to us. One where the vampires and lycans have been discovered by humans. Hunted (cleansed) now and killed on the spot, these nonhumans are more than myth and more than unhealthy to the population. Selene has been captured and cryogenically frozen along with Michael (who doesn't really feature in this film). Indeed, this is where the background ends and the fourth story of her awakening begins.
In truth, and as much as I love every single one of these films in the series, the plot is quite weak, the CGI is cheesy, and the scenes of her daughter changing into her creature alter-ego is more Exorcist aka Linda Blair than anything 2012 scary! But luckily there are also huge, and I mean HUGE action sequences, lots upon lots of flesh-shredding (long finger nail) assaults, people being slammed across rooms (obviously whilst on wires due to their lightfootedness), and endless buckets of blood used as scene decorations!
Add in some uber creative acrobatics, a Hulk-like bad boy Lycan, and 'Underworld: Awakening' plays out in a very satisfying fan boy manner. Indeed, Selene really shows more of her heart in a wide range of emotions that really draw you in to understand what truly makes her the vampire she is. And come the end rooftop scene, it's obvious a fifth installment of the series HAS to be delivered to the masses soon! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of: