“Awakening” is the action-fantasy series’ fourth part. It’s still a very mechanical enterprise; the action and stunts are top-notch, but like the other parts that starred Beckinsale, you don’t really get invested or deeply affected. The characters are almost impervious, and its typical hunt-fight-regroup structure doesn’t offer anything new, different stakes notwithstanding. The third film, “Rise of the Lycans,” at least had the forbidden love angle and hidden history that made sense of the movies’ mythology.
Still, some sequences impress. The stylish opening credits illustrate a changed world; vampires and werewolves are outed, uniting humans in flushing out and destroying the “infected.” Selene is separated from her hybrid lover Michael (Scott Speedman), and is cryogenically imprisoned for 12 years.
She escapes, of course, only to be stalked by an underwear model—well, not really, but fellow vampire David (Theo James) sure looks like one. They run into some sickly Lycans and save a girl (India Eisley), who happens to be Selene’s… yes, you probably guessed it the first time.
If anything, “Awakening’s” 3D effects do enhance the elaborate fight scenes; flying pieces of windshield and other debris and projectiles translate quite nicely.
The film isn’t even an hour and 20 minutes long, but there really isn’t much story to tell anyway. Video game-y fisticuffs, gore, repetitive monster mayhem—yes, it’s another “Underworld,” with some confused parent-child dynamic added to the recycled mix.