Underworld: Awakening review

Beckinsale bites back, bloodlessly

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If the previous three Underworlds weren’t to your Lycan, there’s little reason to seek out this fourth instalment, even if it does see Kate Beckinsale back in the leather corset-cum-career straitjacket as gun-toting bloodsucker Selene.

In a direct lift from Aliens , this year’s vampire-werewolf face-off sees her awake from a 12-year cryogenic freeze to find not only that her hairy nemeses have the genetic upper hand but also that she is now a mom to raven-haired cutie Eve (India Eisley). What to do? Why, launch a one-woman assault on wolf-man HQ of course, no doubt hoping we won’t notice Swedish co-directors Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein are now brazenly ripping off The Matrix .

With no Michael Sheen this time around and Charles Dance stepping in for an AWOL Bill Nighy, there’s a distinct sense of sloppy seconds to a film that’s humourless throughout and, thanks to murky 3D, visually dull to boot.

OK, so gore hounds may relish the constant throat-slashing, vein-slicing and one ingenious moment when Kate rips open a stomach for some DIY heart massage. For everyone else, though, the only point of interest will be the villain’s henchman’s uncanny resemblance to Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

Freelance Writer

Neil Smith is a freelance film critic who has written for several publications, including Total Film. His bylines can be found at the BBC, Film 4 Independent, Uncut Magazine, SFX Magazine, Heat Magazine, Popcorn, and more.