Selene is unfrozen, but man is she cold

Kate Beckinsale as the thawed-out Selene, ready to deal death and destruction in "Underworld: Awakening."
Kate Beckinsale as the thawed-out Selene, ready to deal death and destruction in "Underworld: Awakening." (JOE LEDERER)
Posted: January 21, 2012

The original death-dealer is back. After taking a break from the third Underworld film, Kate Beckinsale zips into the full-body black leather sheath once again to play Selene, the trigger-happy supernatural sheriff who targets werewolves, humans, and even her own kind, vampires.

You want a herd thinned, Selene's your girl.

As this sequel begins, Selene has been cryogenically frozen for 12 years, as humans have been systematically purging the world of the spookier species who have lived among them for centuries.

The cold temperatures did nothing for her disposition. She thaws right into a ruthless killing frenzy.

Awakening is a departure for the Underworld franchise, moving it from the horror genre to grind fantasy. The action sequences vault from special effects to cartoonish, Selene's physical abilities go from enhanced to impossible.

And not to give away the plot (are Underworld fans even aware these films have plots?), but nothing has happened that would explain why Selene has become such a remorseless reaper.

She may be the most lethal undead woman alive, but with those piercing ice-blue eyes, choppy Princess Valiant hair, and button nose, she's always going to have admirers.

In this case it's a police detective (Michael Ealy) and a coven heir (Theo James) who follow Selene around like puppies, risking certain death for just one of her crawl-hither looks.

Awakening climaxes with a Matrix-like assault on a medical facility overseen by the duplicitous Dr. Lane (Stephen Rea). The last 10 minutes have more splatter than a finger-painting contest among giant babies.

There's not much to this movie beyond a slick procession of dark, gleaming violence. But Selene lovers would pay good 3D money to see her fight a parking ticket.


Underworld: Awakening **1/2 (out of four stars)

Directed by Mans Marlind and Björn Stein. With Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy, Stephen Rea, and Theo James. Distributed by Screen Gems.

Running time: 1 hour, 28 mins.

Parent's guide: R (intense violence, gore, profanity)

Playing at: area theaters


Contact television writer David Hiltbrand at 215-854-4552, dhiltbrand@phillynews.com, or @daveondemand_tv on Twitter. Read his blog, "Dave on Demand," at www.philly.com/dod.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|