“Underworld” disappoints

Similar to the last “Resident Evil” movie and countless other fourth installments to a franchise, “Underworld: Awakening” owes fans an apology. A big one.

Selene (Kate Beckinsale, “Contraband”) awakens from a 12 year cryogenic sleep in a science lab, and after locating her butt-kicking boots and standard fetish wear outfit (conveniently preserved behind glass in the same room), she busts out. Humans, having discovered the existence of vampires and lycans (werewolves), decided to go on a killing spree, which is how invincible warrior Selene and her hybrid lover Michael were captured in the first place. Unable to locate Michael, Selene sets out to track him down.

On the way, she hangs out with a group of vampires, and has to protect a hybrid girl, Eve (India Eisley, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”), from the humans. This “protect the unique and/or powerful child” device is used in countless television shows like “Heroes” and “Dark Floors.” It’s even used in previous “Resident Evil” movies like “Ultraviolet” and “Serenity.”

It’s cliché and borderline insulting to moviegoers at this point. We get it; Hollywood and major television networks are out of ideas.

To make matters worse, the overall concept of “Awakening” is empty and predictable. Selene searches for Michael, protects Eve, kills humans and completely obliterates new lycans on steroids for the entire movie in hopes that it will be enough to save her race (and just in case it wasn’t mentioned before, she tries to find Michael). There is nothing new; she’s always protecting someone (usually Michael), always at odds with humans and always fighting some variation of lycan.

Then, in another disturbing Hollywood trend even more unforgivable than unoriginality, “Awakening” was filmed in 3D. This isn’t the quality 3D of “Avatar,” or “Legend of the Guardians” either. This is the cheap stuff. From brains splattering in your face (in slow motion, of course), to bullets, sharp projectiles and snarling monsters, objects come at the viewers unconvincingly instead of immersing them into the world of the movie. With such better technology available, this cheap shot shouldn’t be used unless it’s going to be used well. Don’t waste your money on it if you can help it.

“Underworld: Awakening” is a cheap movie with empty characters and a predictable plot. Avoid it in theaters, but go ahead and see it on DVD if you simply must find out what happens next in the story.