The pReview Re-viewing of..
by Jeff Finck
The premise: It's pretty straight forward: Vampires versus Lycans versus Humans. This is the future, however, and humans seem to be winning. Luckily for the Vamps, they have a wild card hibernating up their sleeve: Selene the Sexy Death Dealing Vampire.
Night moves in, wind rushes coldly throughout the earth, leather is the soup du jour, colors seem muted.. and then, without warning, someone puts a blue film on all of the lights on the set. Either Picasso is back with a vengeance, or..It must be another Underworld movie! This time, it means business. It'll have what she's having. It just revoked it. Well, no matter what's going down, Selene (STILL played by the STILL beautiful Kate Beckinsale), dangles upside down, sleeping in an ice chamber. In a flash, her eyes open, and we are shown.. the Lakeshore Entertainment logo. Well, right after that.. there is the thought on everyone's mind-tongue: What would Kate Beckinsale look like if John Connor sent her back in time to save himself. I mean, sent Kate Beckinsale forward in time to deal with blood sacks and a baby boom of teen-wolves. Fortunately for Selene, someone conveniently left her outfit from the first movie laying all chillsy right next to her sleep chamber. She can't be bothered with trying to figure technology out, so for the 2nd time in 5 seconds, she breaks glass. I'm all for that, though, because.. you know.. have you ever broken glass? That's the effing best!
After all the glass breaking and naked-ity, Selene then Reservoir Dogses it down a flickering hallway in some facility somewheres, letting us know via voice over (my all time favorite movie device, BTW), that she was actually being held captive for the past 12 years. Which makes her next actions completely justified. She then murders the balls out of a bunch of piddly ass human guards in classic Selene style replete with stabbing, blade tossing, gun shooting (and thieving.. GUN theft auto?) and running really, really, really fast while slitting the throats of her prey. Well, clearly she's still GOT it. Yeah! The Great Escape (minus what could have been an excellent motorcycle chase) ends with her finding a trench coat and indicating that it appears to be a "new war".. presumably because the fight between Lycans and Vampires has now taken a backburner to the aforementioned Human poaching of Fango-Sapiens and the Follicly Non-Challenged.
At this point, I'm wondering if this movie is going to employ the always wonderful 3d effect of slow motion walk... oh, there it is! Selene is slo-mo walking away from what I am assuming is a hydro.. something.. cra.. facili..something.
A little bit of back story for the audience just joining us: in the past 12 years (I guess), the Death Dealers have become a myth (right).. they disappeared like every hero in every GOOD action movie, riding off into the sun set.. wait.. poor choice, I mean MOON set.. never to return again. And also apparently, the world has changed soooooo much in 12 years, that Selene is completely taken aback and doesn't even recognize it! I don't know who was in charge of progress, but well done sir or madam. Well done. So, what's a girl to do when she hasn't been around for 12 years and is calmly walking around town without a thing to do? You guessed it, rip someone's throat out and find the nearest coven. This, of course, leads the humans right to it and her, and there will hopefully be a sweet battle involving machine guns, light bullets, leather kicks, gum shoeing, face slashing, arm ripping, ACL tearing, ankle biting, palomino riding, trident throwing.. and all manner of other stuff! Apparently the guy who was all worried about her bringing humans to his coven, was just crying Human, because.. uh oh.. LYCANS!!!! Not to worry, Selene pulls a Rey Mysterio and twirls around the Lycan baddie with all the grace of a luchador and makes him look silly by putting a silver bullet in his dome. Silly Lycan.
The bullet is the catalyst for this trailer to start picking up.. music swells, fire blazes, and Selene's hair starts going feral! She leaps into action. In one scene, literally. She flies feet first towards the audience and over a rail (in what will, no doubt, be exhilarating in 3d), and uses gravity (the fickle mistress) to snap the neck of some foo'. Amidst all the action and Beckinsale, "A New World" sees something else escaping: Lycanthropis Superior (patent pending). We get to see this manimal in action, leaping from a car to a van. What skill! Then to let us know that this supernatural thrill ride is coming this January, a bladed whip is thrown directly at the camera! (and "January" is hanging onto it with all its Januarian might!) There is a nice cut to some realllllly fake fire exploding down an alley in which Selene is attempting the worst game of hide and seek ever. Everyone knows that fire cheats and always skips like half the numbers and peeks.. I hate playing with fire. (ahthankyew) She does seem to fare better in the next quick cut, as bullets can't seem to tag her while she leaps in a straight line through the air.
The bluntness of Selene comes through when she tells everyone that the new enemy (Lycanthropis Superior.. I'm telling you.. it's gonna be a thing) is more powerful than any of them.. alone. This is totally going to be the part where they all sing "We Are Family" and learn the power of togetherness and teamwork being dream-work, so they can take down the bad guy as a unit. I may be wrong, because right after that, the words on the screen pretty much shoot that idea in the throat and let it bleed out. "She's Taking It Back" As she, being Selene, clings (solo, I might add) to the back of a truck and rides off all willy nilly. There is a glimmer at assistance when a young gentleman with a shotgun is showcased for a total of .8 seconds.. but then right back to 3D cheese, and Selene sliding under a table, machine pistols a-blazing. More quick cuts show off several non-Beckinsalean characters.. a guy in a suit on a roof shooting, and some official looking chaps in a room with a fella dangling a scientist/doctor by her throat. Then back to the Selene-centric action, as she does her patented "jump-down from great heights" float thing. Quick cut to someone taking their anger and menace out on a mirror with a chair, then cut to a pre-turned werewolf guy screaming in a hallway, then to Selene running, then to Selene manhandling a van, then to a flamethrower guy, then to Selene manhandling a man (appropos), and finally the resolution of the flamethrower scene as Selene corkscrews over the flamethrower guy's flames (and then probably shoves the flame thrower up his ass and pulls the trigger til it goes, "click"). She ends up screaming, "Where is Michael?!" As in Michael Corvin, formerly played by Scott Speedman. This hints at an appearance of Michael, Selene's best of both worlds bestial lover, or even a possible sequel incorporating him back in.. but as Speedman is nowhere in the cast list (also, apparently, in an interview, he simply said "No."), this is doubtful.
The last shot of the preview is a kind of a quiet respite from the last minute of action, showing Selene alarmed at the coming, low grumbling terror, but they'll probably cut before giving away too much. Maybe we will get to walk away with a sense of mystery as to what.. Oh God! Oh no! That wolf-man is gonna get me! Oh no! Aaaaaargghh!!!!! ..oh.. wait.. whew.. that was just the terrible 3d effects being thrown up into our faces at the end of the trailer. We're all safe, now.
A moment of reflection. Does anyone remember what a great idea it was to keep the Resident Evil series going "meh" after the 3rd movie? ..and then slapping 3d on it and hoping for gold? Anyone?? This seems a lot like that. I actually really enjoyed the Underworld series up to this point.. and because of that, I'm going to dress in my pleather onesy and head off to the theater for this.. just not in 3d.. ugh.. no one wants to see that. (I'll let you decide which I'm referring to)
Release Date: 1/20/12