' ' Cinema Romantico: Underworld Awakening (3D)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Underworld Awakening (3D)

Kate Beckinsale (Selene) has just jumped from a high up window ledge, crash landed on a semi truck and then had the semi truck driver stop short so she is thrown to the cement. This begs the question: why does she need the semi truck to cushion the leap when later in the film we see her leaping from higher places and landing cleanly on her impeccable high-heel lookalicious boots? I don't know, reader, and I don't care, and neither should you because, for the love of God, she's playing a vampiric "death dealer". Anyway, where was I? Right. Thrown to the cement. So the semi truck driver gets out because he's employed by the film's endless supply of bad guys and blasts a bullet straight into Kate's forehead. But Kate, non-plussed, stands, grabs the semi truck driver and bites into his neck, drinking his blood, while the aforementioned bullet simultaneously drops right outta her forehead and the wound closes up.


For the next five or so minutes I tuned out the film's various swirling plot points and incessant machine gun fire to wonder if I was placed in a situation as the last human on earth and Kate Beckinsale was the vampire tasked with switching me over to their side, if I would cave into her requests simply so my last few seconds as a human would double as seconds spent having Kate Beckinsale bite my neck and drink my blood. Sigh.

I digress.

The government, you see, has learned about the existence of vampires and Lycans - who, to clarify, are like much more CGI-enhanced werewolves and have long held a grudge against the vampires - and after rounding up Kate Beckinsale during "the purge" she has broken out, as she must, from her cryogenic chamber allowing for the obligatory shot of a clothes-less Kate Beckinsale in which specific body parts which shall go nameless are cleverly shrouded "Austin Powers"-like by steam that emanates from the film's special effects department lingering just off camera. She quickly slides herself back into her standard form-enhancing spandex, re-acquires her precious guns and for reasons I'm fairly certain I missed when I briefly nodded off (no, really), she strikes out to rescue and keep safe Eve (India Eisley), a "hybrid" vampire/Lycan, recalling a sci-fi "Exorcist" Linda Blair, and......wait for it......Kate Beckinsale's daughter. Gasp!


But the Lycans want Eve for themselves so they can......uh.......kill her? No. Not kill her. Perform scientific experiments on her, I think. She was strapped down to a "Franksenstein"-esque table at one point so I'm assuming it was a scientific experiment to harness her plethora of powers. I'd consult my notes taken during the film but there aren't many aside from "LOVE the shot where Kate Beckinsale's Bahamian blue right eye peeks out between two of her dangling, hella regal bangs." There was more after that but it wound up smudged out on account of my drool.

Where was I? I don't remember. Damn it, why did I pay $12.50 to see this movie? That's right! $12.50! Do you know why?! Because it's in 3D! And this use of 3D in this movie is so absurdly pointless if James Cameron had attended my sparsely populated screening he would have hurled profanities at the screen while using his own bare hands to tear that same screen down before going and de-friending co-directors Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein on Facebook. This movie did not need 3D. It's not visually inventive in any capacity. It's just dark. Like, really, really dark. I suppose darkness is necessary when taking into consideration its main character is a vampire but, heck, even the police precinct of the detective (played by some guy who appears to have been hired after the real Chiwetel Ejiofor read the script and said, "Hell no, I won't play that part!") is shrouded in an ultra-plush darkness that makes it look more like a club on Rush Street in Chicago. This ceaseless darkness is helpful because it covers up the lameness of just about everything going on.

Except, of course, for the strutting and ass-kicking of Kate Beckinsale, when we're allowed to see it. There is one magnificent moment when Kate is hollering at someone about this Lycan that's bigger than any Lycan ever, or something, and she steps forward into the synthetic light and although Handel's "Hallelujah" doesn't play it should and then Kate goes over to this fellow vampire who's dead and cuts open his chest and reaches inside him and literally re-starts his heart and brings him back to life and then we cut to an exterior shot of Kate throwing on her chic trench coat as she strides in slow motion in front of a rollicking waterfall. The meaning is implicit. Even if Brad Pitt plays Dracula, no other vampire will have ever have this much style.

6 comments:

Rory Larry said...

"There is one magnificent moment when Kate is hollering at someone about this Lycan that's bigger than any Lycan ever, or something, and she steps forward into the synthetic light and although Handel's "Hallelujah" doesn't play it should and then Kate goes over to this fellow vampire who's dead and cuts open his chest and reaches inside him and literally re-starts his heart and brings him back to life and then we cut to an exterior shot of Kate throwing on her chic trench coat as she strides in slow motion in front of a rollicking waterfall." Whether you intended it or not that one: you wrote this convoluted sentence and two: followed it immediately with "the meaning is implicit" is awesome.

Nick Prigge said...

I'm pretty sure I didn't mean it, even if I'd like to say I did.

I'll be honest, I wrote this in a fun-filled 15 minute burst and then decided not to edit it aside from spelling. I like torrent-of-consciousness reviews (as you well know).

Vancetastic said...

If I may defend Nick here, I think a run-on sentence is great when you are making the point that what you're seeing is the equivalent of a narrative traffic jam and you can barely catch your breath because everything happening on screen is so ridiculous and so in your face that you can barely process the last thing you saw before you are forced to process something new, all of which you will forget if you don't write it down immediately with a certain breathlessness in your own writing.

Nick Prigge said...

Yes! Amen!

We not only often write but encourage and support run-on sentences at Cinema Romantico!

In fact, a goal of mine is to one day write a film review that is JUST a single run-on sentence. I haven't seen the proper movie yet, though this one was close.

Rory Larry said...

I feel I am being unfairly characterized and attacked here. I both praised the first sentence and the fact that it was in juxtaposition with the more succinct sentence. Admittedly, one could construe the word convoluted as tendentious but I meant it hear in its strict sense. And again, I would like to point out that I thought the two were awesome.

Nick Prigge said...

No, no, no! No one was attacking! Just declaring love of run-on sentences!

On a related note, I'm undeniably happy that a review of Underworld-freaking-Awakening has yielded this comment thread.