Monday, January 30, 2012

Movie Review - Underworld: Awakening

So yeah, went to see this Saturday night. I have no prior experience with the Underworld franchise, so admittedly I was slightly confused, but the movie still had a bunch of problems. One thing more than most:

(c) Randall Munroe of XKCD (
So imagine it says "Kate Beckinsale" instead of River Tam. Same thing. It was ALL action, generally very ridiculous action. The action was good, yes, but I gotta say that I would've appreciated maybe ten minutes without a fight scene at any given point. If a scene was mostly talking, it became a fight scene within 5 minutes. It featured a character we already know, someone generally considered hot enough to never tire of watching, with a pretty giant budget, a good choreographer, and, well, the directors are kinda unknown to me but they did a good enough job at what they did I think.

Millions of logical inconsistencies in that movie though. Some good ideas too. The beginning was of special interest to me: It started with a Previously On: though it didn't use those words. Come on. Movies don't DO that. It then gives us a ridiculously cool bit about the Purge, done in a style that I can only call Dead Space + District 9. If the whole movie was in that style about the Purge, I would watch it. But then it goes into standard fare. The whole movie is in black, blue, and white pretty much, which DOES make for a neat look but ends up quite dark. The black guy cop that helps her was well acted and well written and such (and is the source of the majority of the talking scenes, so I thank him for that) but he seemed almost unnecessary to the plot really. All the moves that the "heroes" take confused me, such as deciding to stand and fight when running is CLEARLY the right choice, and Kate's moment early on where she pretty much takes a guy who let her go from the facility and did nothing personally to her, dangles him out a window, interrogates him, GETS the info she needed, and then still decides to drop him four stories; I just kinda sat and thought, "Wait, this is the PROtagonist?"

But I do need to credit its action, its acting, and its music, as well as the creative vision and concept, fast-forwarding the timeline to add in humans. Actually, I'm remarkably reminded of the Metal Gear Solid series: Starter piece, sequel piece that moves a logical amount forward in time, prequel piece that goes way back, super-future piece that goes even further into the future than 2 and there's crazy tech around. But while MGS4's problem is too much ridiculous story around a kernel of an action game, Awakening is ridiculous action around a kernel of a cool concept. I suppose time will tell if they can make something out of their concept, what with the blatant sequel hook at the end.

Watch this movie if you like: Turning your brain off to mindless action, gruesome but cool effects.
Don't watch this movie if you're expecting: More words than would fit in a tweet.

Also, the remix of Made of Stone (by Evanescence) they play at the beginning of the credits is rad as all hell. Link:

End Recording,

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