I love the Underworld film franchise SO much! The preview for the new installment Awakenings gave me goosebumps. Kate Beckinsale is back in her black leather ready to kick some more lycan butt? Where do I sign up?
I think the better question is did the writers sign on to write the whole movie? Because I think there is about 20 minutes missing.
The movie begins as vampires and lycans are falling victim to "The Purge," a period when humans have discovered their existence and now hunt them as they once hunted each other. Selene, in her typical bad-ass crouching position, recounts the events of the first movie (because, you know, the plots were too involved for you to catch up as we go along) and shares that she and Michael are fleeing this dark time... tonight!
Fleeing where? Don't know. How? Don't know. What kicked off the purge? Don't know. How much danger are they in? Don't know. Because the Purge, which is one of the more interesting components of the story to me, is covered in a 30 second news-reel montage so we can hurry up and get to Selene crouching.
After some seriously good fighting that earns the movie an A+ on fight choreography, Selene makes it to the rendezvous point with Michael (why weren't they together already? Don't know), but they are tragically taken captive.
Twelve years later, Selene emerges from a cryogenic sleep to find the world a very, very different place, with the once mighty vampires now living underground. (Why didn't the masses of the undead use their super-human strength and stealth powers to fight back? Don't know).
If it sounds interesting, it was. The third/fourth movie retains that dark but visceral tone of its predecessors, but unlike the previous movies it does not maintain a good balance between plot and action. The scale is most definitely tilted towards the ladder as Selene pretty much single handedly goes around breaking things all Matrix style.
Ultimately, since we see Michael for about 15 seconds in the film, I sort of left it feeling like the script was written, and then right before filming Scott Speedman backed out and they did a quick patch-job and tried to make the original script work instead of writing another one. As a result, when the credits rolled my boyfriend and I both looked at each other in astonishment and said "that was it?"
Worth watching? Probably... but I would rent it and maybe play some games on your iPhone while its on so you aren't dedicating too much of your life to it.