The first trailer for the fourth entry in the Underworld film series, Underworld: Awakening, didn’t reveal much in the way of plot. It was mainly a softcore attempt to get fans of the vampire vs. werewolves series (and hopefully some newbs, too) re-interested by showing flashes of Kate Beckinsale’s naked and leather-clad flesh. After failing to appear in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans — which, being a prequel is fair enough, I suppose — Beckinsale’s return to Seline’s fetish gear certainly isn’t unwelcome. It may be a ludicrously obvious way to sell your action franchise with T&A, but it probably isn’t an ineffective marketing strategy.
The newest trailer is a lot more of the same, as evidenced by the header image. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as evidenced by the header image.) But it also contains more proof of a storyline, which is changing from vampire vs. werewolf to vampires vs. werewolves vs. humans, and adding not one but two more hybrid/hyper advanced species to the already explosive mix. (Get it, “explosive?”) The first is a tween-age girl who I’m guessing is Kate’s daughter with Scott Speedman, who is conspicuously absent despite being billed near the top of the cast on IMDB. And the second is some sort of lycanthropic super soldier, which just sounds like overkill considering that fight scene will probably only have a minute of screen time. But also kind of rad-fucking-ass.
And, yes, between shots of black leather and darkly lit shoot-em-ups, that was definitely Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) up there. Apparently, his character is so cool, he doesn’t even have a name, which is also conspicuously absent from the movie’s IMDB page. Seriously, take a look. I’ll wait.
Back? Okay. Well, this is going to be anti-climactic, but all I’ve got left is to remind you that Underworld: Awakening will arrive in theaters on January 20, 2012. So, you know it’s going to be good. Personally, I wish they’d put it up against the new Twilight, so we could retroactively call 2011 the Year of the Election Between Vampire vs. Werewolves vs. Hybrid Babies Film Franchises That Know How To Give Their Respective Fans Exactly What They Want. That fight, at least, would be somewhat less equally mind-numbing and mind-enraging than the current republican presidential campaign.
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force and tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar. He knows the Underworld movies aren’t supposed to be good, but they’re better than they have any right to be, and that’s exactly why he likes them.