"Underworld: Awakening" has grabbed the top spot at the box-office over the weekend, grossing more than $25 million domestically since opening on Jan. 20.
Kate Beckinsale returns as Selene, a vampire caught in the middle of a mass extermination of her kind and the Lycan werewolf clan, as humans have since discovered their existence.
When Selene and her sweetheart Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman), a werewolf-vampire hybrid, are captured, they are placed in frozen containment for 12 years at a facility called Antigen.
As scientists attempt to create an antidote, Selene breaks free from her container and fights her way out the facility. Vowing to reconnect with Michael, Selene instead comes across a young girl named Eve (India Eisley), a hybrid breed that is revealed to be her daughter.
In the midst of war, Selene finds the help of the vampire David (Theo James) and Detective Sebastian (Michael Ealy), a human holding a grudge against his race after his vampire wife was killed in front of him.
The group returns to the lab to recover Michael, but soon discover the scientists are actually Lycans, who have been using Michael and Eve's blood to create a new, more powerful breed of werewolf. Selene and her crew must fight off the Lycans in an attempt to ensure the future well-being of the vampire clan while restoring her family.
The film offers an abundance of eye-candy, with the best acrobatics, gunplay, and fight scenes that the series has yet offered. That said, it appears that eye-candy alone is good enough to pull $25 million in an opening weekend.
The problem with "Underworld: Awakening" comes with character development, or lack thereof. The film revolves so much around Selene's daughter, Eve, that it would appear the audience is supposed to suddenly care about a character whose introduction is far too abrupt, and with who there is no history in the previous films. While the action scenes are fulfilling, they are too often interrupted by the building relationship between Selene and her daughter, as if the filmmaker is attempting to make up for lost time.
As a whole, all of the relationships in the film feel contrived and coincidental. With Michael in containment for nearly the entire movie, the one relationship that filmgoers have grown to care about is lost, and in the end, all the film has going for it is gore, spandex, and a sweet pair of shiny, automatic pistols.
Then again, who am I kidding? That's what this series is all about. Spend the ten dollars. Just don't expect to leave feeling moved.