I was fortunate to watching this advanced screening & the following 3 words are the way to describe it – SELENE IS BACK!!
I was really blown away by the first movie. It introduced me to a concept of how the werewolves & vampires can be related. Underworld has been imprinted in my head as ‘The story of Vampires & Werewolves IN the Matrix with Kate Beckinsale” J
The first Underworld really had a very edgy story line with back stories & uber cool action sequences. Lycans as guardians of the vampires, death dealers, UV Rounds, Silver Nitrate rounds, The Hybrid… all pretty captivating for the year 2003. Oh & NOT to forget Kate Beckinsale in a cat suit “flipping & killin” baddies. She literally IS the whole franchise!
The sequel Underworld: Evolution was fair with more Double-Auto-Pistol action & brutal demise of baddies. By this point there is a whole new meaning to the popular movie phrase “Say hello to my (two) friends” when you see an Underworld movie poster. In my opinion she has now topped Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft for MOST BAD-ASS Hot-Chick to wield the double-pistols!! The pair of auto Beretta 92FS Inox with extended magazines or her Walter P99 is now synonymous with Selene / Underworld /Death Dealer / Kate Beckinsale, take your pick!
The third installment was a prequel, Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans. I thought it was a very interesting idea to make a prequel after the sequel. Another daring note would be to NOT have their STAR, Selene, in the line up. It was a back ground story well told & illustrated. It’s contents was pretty solid because we all knew how it was going to end, but we did not really know how it came to that point. On a good note we see more of Viktor & also Lucian where both actors (Bill Nighy & Michael Sheen) go head to head with former Tomb Raider Model, Rhona Mitra, on the sidelines… who does draw a remarkable resemblance to the Selene.
FIRST LOOK – I thought that marked the end of the series but now comes Underworld Awakening!! And guess what? SELENE IS BACK!! Double-Auto-Pistol action!! Brutal disposing of baddies!! Uber cool action sequences!! Kate Beckinsale in a cat suit & trench coat “flippin & killin”… yes yes… I’ve mentioned it before but this time it returns IN IMAX 3D… oh yea!! What a way to make a return. Of course the other versions also available – standard film, 2D Digital & 3D Digital (Active & Passive). Like I said in the beginning, I was fortunate to catch this movie in the new IMAX 3D cinema hall in TGV Sunway Pyramid! It was very impressive.
CAST – The cast of Underworld 4 is not stellar but they do deliver what’s required of them. The storyline to carry on the movie series was decent though I did think it borrowed too much from “a video-game cum movie releasing its 5th chapter this year staring Milla Jovovich” haha (NOT a spoiler). This might be a 2nd boost to the movie series to extend the franchise even further & I think it will do just fine though I do hope for a cast upgrade.
SOUNDTRACK – What was really stood out in this movie, aside from Kate Beckinsale STILL kicking ass, was the soundtrack. It was a very good compliment to the action & also to the mood / setting of the movie. It was like futuristic industrial, if I were to categorize it. Paul Haslinger is the man behind the score of the previous Underworld 1 + 2 and known for movies like Shoot ‘em Up, Crank and video games like Rainbow Six: Vegas 1 & 2.
Haslinger’s techie / future score did mix well with the movies setting & the style of Swedish Directors Mans Marlind & Bjorn Stein. This made the movie did have a European flavour much like Night Watch, Day Watch, Bourne Identity etc.
THE VERDICT: a solid 8.5 /10
It would be 8 stars but since SELENE is back!! I’m giving it 8.5 Stars out of 10.
Underworld: Awakening opens in Malaysian cinemas nationwide, 3 days ahead of America on 17th January 2012.
Soon after, it will arrive at the IMAX 3D screen in TGV Sunway Pyramid.