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Visual Hollywood

UNDERWORLD AWAKENING (2012)
 
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Release Date: January 20, 2012 (3D/2D)
Studio: Screen Gems (Sony)
Director: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein
Screenwriter: Len Wiseman, John Hlavin, Allison Burnett, J. Michael Straczynski
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James, India Eisley, Charles Dance
Genre: Action, Horror
MPAA Rating: R (for strong violence and gore, and for some language)
Official Website: EntertheUnderworld.com

STUDIO SYNOPSIS: "Underworld Awakening" brings a stunning new dimension to the epic battle between Vampires and Lycans, as the first film in the franchise to shoot in 3D. Kate Beckinsale, star of the first two films, returns in her lead role as the vampire warrioress Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.
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VISUAL REVIEW


The millennia-old battle between Vampires and Lycans rages on in 3D in Underworld Awakening, the fourth and most spectacular installment in the franchise. Taking the celebrated saga's signature action and mayhem to a new level, Underworld Awakening pits the legendary Vampire warrioress Selene (Kate Beckinsale) against her most powerful adversary yet, just as she discovers a secret that will change everything she has ever fought for.



(iPad/iPhone here) Fifteen years have passed since Selene and her human-Lycan hybrid lover Michael vanquished the Vampire Elder Marcus in Underworld Evolution. In the intervening years, mankind has discovered the existence of both the Vampire and Lycan clans, and launched an all-out war to eradicate both species. Selene, captured during the genocide, awakens after more than a decade to find herself captive in a sealed laboratory at Antigen, a powerful biotech corporation dedicated to developing a vaccine against the viruses that have created the Vampires and Lycans.


Selene is heartbroken to discover that Michael is dead, but her grief is soon overshadowed by the shock of her discovery that, while in a cryogenically frozen state, she has given birth to his daughter, Eve (India Eisley). As she seeks asylum for herself and her child, Selene finds herself in a world in which her once proud people have been hunted nearly to extinction and the few survivors hide underground.


As a directorial team Mans Mårlind and Bjorn Stein, co-directed the feature thriller Shelter, starring Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. They also co-directed and edited the Swedish action thriller Storm, which garnered many awards.


KATE BECKINSALE (Selene) English actress Kate Beckinsale has revealed herself to be one of films' most versatile and charismatic actresses


INDIA EISLEY (Eve) stars in the ABC Family drama "The Secret Life of an American Teenager." Since the show's premiere in July of 2008, "Secret Life has been nominated for numerous Teen Choice Awards as well as a People's Choice award. Eisley takes on her first major film role in Underworld Awakening.


MICHAEL EALY (Detective Sebastian) had his his breakout role in Barbershop and Barbershop 2. Among other films Ealy starred in Seven Pounds opposite Will Smith.


Newcomer India Eisley plays the now teenaged Eve, whose life has been lived as a test subject for the biotech conglomerate that imprisoned her mother. Once she gets out into the real world, it's a complete shock.



(iPad/iPhone here) Beckinsale is back and badder than ever.


INDIA EISLEY: “Eve is a bundle of contradictions. Eve is both really tough and vulnerable. Like most teenage girls, she has extremes of emotion, but it's enhanced. She has these conflicting impulses within her that she can't control, so it goes from being very restrained to being completely animalistic."



(iPad/iPhone here) Question authority. Always!


The changes have opened up the movie and brought it out of the Underworld, according to Beckinsale. "There are some really great new characters played by some really great actors."



(iPad/iPhone here) The most significant development is the an all new and massive uber-Lycan. It stands twelve feet tall and weighs 1,200 pounds. It has a bigger torso and longer arms and slightly shorter hind legs, more like a gorilla than the previous Lycans. There's only one of them so far and it always seems to be angry. It's throwing cars, it's smashing holes in walls, and it's not especially fond of Selene.


Producer RICHARD WRIGHT: This is the most wirework I've ever done on any film. You'll see Selene jumping over fences and making impossible leaps. The bar has been raised so high and I think we have elevated the game.



(iPad/iPhone here) The child opens up Selene to a host of new possibilities and allows her some emotional moments unlike anything in the previous films. For the first time, there is a certain amount of vulnerability in Selene. She has an interplay with Eve that is very un-Selene like. Selene is very cold and nothing gets under her skin. She loves no one, she's a killing machine-and then she has a daughter.



The damp, overcast streets of Vancouver provided the dark, wet mood the filmmakers sought for their dystopian future.


Giving the actress added panache is her oversized death dealer coat. Costume designer Monique Prudhomme: "It's a leather coat that is elaborately embroidered on the shoulders, in the front and on the sleeves. That coat gives her a big 'swoosh' of movement, and also brings the Vampire tradition to her look"


Director Mårlind: "We wanted the Vampire world to be old and sensual and round. It has a feeling of the womb to it, because that is a theme in the film for Selene."

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