Underworld: Awakening... I Guess It Was A Long Night

By definition, the first movie I see of the year is always the best movie I've seen all year. 

Historically, it also ends up towards the bottom of the list by year's end, because January is not a great month for the sorts of films I really love. Epic fantasies, science-fiction adventures, and special-effects blockbusters tend to be release either during the summer or between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If they're released in January it's generally not a good sign.

Underworld: Awakening did a few things pretty well. Specifically, it crafted plenty of scenes so that Kate Beckinsale's character Selene could be iconically captured in slow-mo. Also, Selene runs wisely contrary to almost all action-movie heroines and wears as much clothing as she can. Sure, she starts off stark naked, awakening from a frozen sleep, but she immediately puts stuff on. Clever girl.

But that brings us to what the movie does poorly. The humans (who, as we learn in the first five minutes, have waged a very successful open war with the vampire and lycan clans) are stupid. Why were Selene's uber-cool boots stored in the same room where she was being held? And why aren't high-intensity UV bulbs installed everywhere? I bet those are cheaper than UV-emitting bullets, and before you shout "what about skin cancer!" let me suggest that perhaps the bulbs only switch on when somebody screams "vampire!"

Seriously, the first thing I thought when Selene broke out was "how long before they turn on all the UV interior lights in this building?" Answer: you'll be waiting forever, because they don't have 'em.

There were other plot-holes, but I was enjoying my popcorn.

If you love the Underworld franchise, there is a lot to like in this film. Especially the part where it feels kind of like a SyFy TV series that they could keep making more of as long as we keep spending money to see them.