I don't have the best relationship with the Underworld franchise. I liked the first one, cannot remember if I saw the second and have no desire to see the third. But something about Awakening intrigued me enough to rent it.
Awakening changes the movies to more of a Resident Evil format minus the zombies of course. It's the future and humans have turned on vampires and Lycans wiping them out and sending the rest into hiding. Selene having been frozen for the last twelve years escapes and goes on a search for Michael who has gone missing.
Kate Beckinsale returns to the franchise and she is simply awesome. She is also surrounded by a strong confident supporting cast consisting of Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, and India Eisley. Eisley best known for her work on Secret Life is a gem. This is her first big budget movie role and she knocks it right out of the park. Scott Speedman doesn't reprise his role as Michael so archive footage was used for his brief scenes.
Without Michael the movie is allowed to focus more on action and story lines instead of tragic romance. The special effects are well done and there are some great kills. Introducing humans as the new threat gave the movie a fresh new feel and better story line options. How long could they have really milked the whole Lycan/vampire feud before it got old?
I recommend this movie to horror fans, even the ones who are lukewarm about sequels.