Oh yes. A couple days ago the fourth Underworld film opened. Joy!
Yeah. Before I begin, let me briefly touch on the first three films.
Underworld and Underworld: Evolution are slickly made and fairly entertaining, but for the most part lack heart. I just don't really care about Selene and Michael - they're blandly played and blandly written. As it happens, the side characters are far more interesting and have better motivations... Lucian in the first film, for example, has legitimate reasons to want revenge and is essentially trying to save his people.
Compare that to Selene, who wants revenge against the wrong people, then finds out she's wrong and still kills the wrong people. Whatever. Or Michael, who is completely bland and lacks ANY motivations at all. Ok, his motivation is to live, but he doesn't seem to care much.
The second film is much like the first film. Bland leads, a couple interesting side characters.
That brings us to the third film, which is a prequel and in which going in you'll know EVERYTHING that will happen (it might be good to watch it first, though . That's kind of a problem. But, on the other hand, Lucian is the lead character and as I said before, he has clear motivations and is fairly likable. Oh yeah, and the vampires are clearly the villains now, instead of just being the villains of the story if you think about it (like in the original film). That's enough to make the film enjoyable enough, even though it's more crudely made then the others. Characters to root for, who knew that'd help things?
Now we come to the new one. Which, for some reason, conveniently forgets aspects of the previous films. I'll get into that below but it will require spoilers.
Anyway, Underworld: Awakening is a fairly bland but watchable film. It cribs aspects of a few films (Selene does a takedown that's a pretty blatant rip of what the Black Widow does in Iron Man 2, and she does some slides and weapon throws ripped out of the most recent Resident Evil film of all things!). Selene remains unlikable. The action scenes are OK. The film IS gory, so that's good.
In some ways though, it combines the worst aspects of the first two films with the worst aspects of the third film. It's not quite as sloppily made as the third film, but it's not as slick as the first either. And it has the unlikable bland leads of the first two films. The acting is OK. Just OK.
The effects work is solid. It's competently shot. But I just really didn't care much. Just OK. Blah. Now to get to what annoyed me about the film, and SPOILERS!!
Ok, so as I said in reality the vampires are basically the bad guys in Underworld 1 and 3. Now, in this one, they try to frame it as if the lycans are the eternal bad guys of this universe, and try to make it so we should root for the vampires. Why, exactly, should we knowing the back story? The lycans were a subjugated mistreated slave race who broke free and killed their masters. What about this screams "villain" to the scriptwriter here? From the trailers, you'd think humans were the main villains - which might have been interesting, except that the supernatural characters are so much more powerful you run into serious problems there. That's another related issue - Selene is so ridiculously powerful, she's never believably in danger here.
Further, there's a few plotholes and stupid decisions throughout. For example - lycans and vampires are being wiped out by humans. There's a sequence where the lycans raid a vampire home to retrieve something. Something that they will use to fight humans. But, afterwards, we find out the leader of the vampire clan handed over what they wanted as soon as asked. So... Why didn't the lycans just knock on the door, and say, "Hey, we want this thing. Give it to us so we can use it to fight our common enemy!"
Whatever. I'm probably thinking too hard here. From what we see in the film, the lycans have no interest in killing vampires either. Oh yeah, and they want to vivisect a hybrid character for cloning purposes. Um, why? You don't need to kill someone to get DNA. Also, they raised this character and NEED her to make their super weapon thing, but they treated her like crap so she escaped. Why not just treat her nicely? Then she wouldn't have tried to run. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Anyway, it's watchable, but a pretty bad film. If you like gory action horror stuff like I do, it's worth a watch, all others steer clear.