Skip to content

Underworld: Awakening (2012) Review

The American movie Underworld: Awakening (2012) is a action packed, thriller that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. The movie stars Kate Beckinsale as Selene, a vampire who is on the run from the vampire-hunting organization, The Lycans. When Selene is captured and taken to a secret underground facility, she must use her vampire powers to escape and save her daughter from the hands of the evil vampires.

Ahh, another Underworld (this being number 4 by my count) ya gotta love a movie series that has vampires and werewolves going at it full bore and this one is no different. Things have changed slightly with the introduction of a ruthless human authority hell bent on annihilating both species but generally speaking most of the trademarks of this series have returned. Things are more the same than they are different.

It still has the gothic atmosphere, even though it’s all set in what appears to be the near future. It’s a visually dark movie, unremittingly so, though it never gets so dark you can’t make out what’s going on (unlike some other movies) so kudos to the lighting crew/direction. The one thing about this movie that’s worth mentioning is that it does seem to be more action oriented than one’s that have gone before and the action is indeed spectacular in parts.

Kate Beckinsale returns as the lush looking Selene her character is loaded with righteous fury at the oppressive hand of the human authorities. Kate’s performance is solid, nothing awesome, just… Solid. If you’ve seen any other Underworld movie you’ll know what to expect. Charles Dance makes an appearance as the one of the main character’s father and vampire elder Thomas. Quality actor, quality perfomance, nuff said.

The movie’s production quality is stellar, impeccable in fact, movie visuals don’t get much better than this in the current day. The gore that’s present is pretty visceral, just a shame there wasn’t more of it but then the Underworld movies just aren’t those kinda flicks.

To surmise, if you’ve seen any other entry in the Underworld franchise you’ll have a good idea of what to expect. Underworld Awakening doesn’t deviate too much from the tried and tested formula and it’s probably a good thing. As it stands this movie is definitely recommended for lovers of the Underworld series or indeed lovers of vampire movies in general. For those sitting on the fence grab a rental first.

The movie is full of non-stop action, and the special effects are top-notch. The acting is also very good, particularly from Kate Beckinsale. If you are a fan of action movies, then you will definitely enjoy Underworld: Awakening.


The movie opens with a voice-over narration by Selene (Kate Beckinsale), who says that the world has changed since the last time she was awake. It is now the year 2023, and humans have discovered the existence of vampires and lycans (werewolves). A worldwide war between the two species has begun, with Selene and her fellow vampires fighting against the lycans.

The film then cuts to a scene set in 2012, where Selene is being held captive by the lycans. She is about to be experimented on by a mad scientist named Antigen, but she is rescued by a group of vampires led by Marcus Corvinus (Tony Curran). Marcus is the first vampire, and he is also the father of Selene’s lover, Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman).

Selene and Marcus return to the vampire headquarters, where Selene is reunited with Michael. However, the peace is short-lived as the lycans launch an attack on the vampires. During the battle, Selene is mortally wounded and her blood is used to create a new breed of lycans that are immune to sunlight.

With Selene’s blood, the lycans now have the upper hand in the war. The vampires are forced to retreat underground, and Selene is put into a coma. Michael, Marcus, and the other vampires plan to use Selene’s blood to create their own army of lycans, but they are betrayed by Marcus’ son, Alexander Corvinus (Steven Mackintosh). Alexander releases the lycans from their cages and leads them into the vampire headquarters, where they slaughter everyone.

Michael and Marcus are the only vampires to survive the massacre, and they both vow to get revenge on Alexander. The film then jumps ahead to the year 2023, where the vampires and lycans are still at war. Selene has finally awakened from her coma, and she joins forces with Michael and Marcus to take down Alexander and his army of lycans.

The film ends with Selene and Michael finally killing Alexander. With the lycans defeated, Selene and Michael share a passionate kiss as the sun rises.

Movie Details

Director: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein
Writer: Len Wiseman, John Hlavin, Anders Nyström
Actors: Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James
Release Year: 2012