DIR: Len Wiseman • WRI: Danny McBride • PRO: Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg, Richard S. Wright • DOP: Tony Pierce-Roberts • ED: Martin Hunter • DES: Bruton Jones • Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy Scott Speedman, Shane Brolly

The entire Underworld series should have been a slam dunk, since it’s essentially a Vampires VS Werewolves smackdown, featuring Kate Beckinsale in body hugging PVC outfits. But for some reason, it just never took off. After sitting out the prequel, Beckinsale has returned for this outing, but Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, Scott Speedman and original director Len Wiseman have all jumped ship, which is never a good sign.

After 12 years in a cryogenic freezer, Beckinsale’s twin gun-toting vampire Selene awakens to discover that humans have all but exterminated every last vampire, her lover (previously played by Speedman) is missing, that they have a super-powered daughter that everyone is on the hunt for, and that the werewolves have got a new super-werewolf on their team. That’s a lot of information to wake up, and Selene reacts the way Selene always reacts; by slashing at throats. This time in 3D.

Co-directors Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein (previously of the god-awful Shelter) add a healthy dose of violence but very little else to this ran-out-of-steam-two-films-ago franchise, and new cast additions Stephen Rea and Charles Dance don’t make much of an impression. Also, yes, it’s only January, but between this and The Darkest Hour 3D, the added dimension in 2012 is becoming less of a gimmick and more the sole tool of bad films to make a little bit more money.

But despite all that, the only reason people came to see these movies in the first place was to see Beckinsale in those body hugging PVC outfits. This time in 3D.

Rory Cashin

Rated 18 (see IFCO website for details)
Underworld: Awakening is released on 20th January 2012


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