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Movie review: Underworld: Awakening

Shanee Edwards is a screenwriter who earned her master's degree at UCLA Film School. She recently won the Next MacGyver television writing competition to create a TV show about a female engineer. Her TV pilot, Ada and the Machine, is cur...

Kate still hot in fangs

With her daughter's life on the line, there's no stopping Underworld: Awakening's vampire fatale

Kate still hot in fangs
Underworld: Awakening
is a darkly sleek, fantastic romp of a movie, especially if seen in glorious 3-D. Kate Beckinsale returns as badass vampire Selene, the sexiest fanged heroine on film. Only now, after humans have discovered the existence of Vampires and Lycans and tried to purge them from society, Selene finds the stakes couldn't be higher.

When she awakens from a 12-year coma she discovers she has a daughter named Eve, a Lycan-Vampire hybrid, who's being sought after by both humans and Lycans. Nothing makes a mother vampire more hostile than when her little girl is being hunted down. Precocious India Eisley plays Eve, the first of a new species (and certainly the star of the next sequel). Adorned in white, Eisley cautiously tows the line between child and woman, Vampire and Lycan, monster and human.

The action sequences in the film are nonstop fun and visually thrilling. The battling is graphic, if not gruesome, but what is a vampire film without lots and lots of blood? British hottie Theo James (whose credits include an episode of Downton Abbey) plays David, a vampire working undercover in law enforcement, determined to protect his kind. Swedish directing duo Mårlind and Stein delightfully push the boundaries of the action genre when Selene reaches inside David's chest cavity to manually get his heart pumping again. The scene is a playful wink to the audience, suggesting we don't take any of this too seriously.

Music supervisor Eric Craig (whom I remember from the atmospheric 2011 film Drive) adds just the right texture to the action. Playing over the closing credits is the song "Made of Stone" by Evanescence (which I know because I was inspired to quickly Shazam it in the movie theater).

Heavy on action and rudimentary on plot, Underworld: Awakening is meant to twinkle as 3-D bling. This franchise continues to deliver a clever and enticing action experience.

Bottom line: If sexy vampires and stunning fight sequences are your thing, you'll love Underworld: Awakening.

Photo credit: Sony Pictures
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