|A little to serious||2 out of 4 users found this review helpful.|
Vampire hunters have been a popular profession for characters in film and TV. The Wolverine was one. A teenager battling high school issues was one. So why not a President of the United States?
Abraham Lincoln was the United States 16th President, and according to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter he was also a hunter of the night. Taking a well known historical figure like Lincoln making him a vampire hunter, reframing the cause of the Civil War is a novel, possibly entertaining concept. Vampire Hunter takes its story seriously something, I didn’t expect from such an absurd concept. In its seriousness the film does lose out on humor but it wasn’t trying to be humorous. Any of its attempts at drama fail, coming off as corny, ironically humorous.
The Lincolns family was surprisingly liberal for a poor family in Indiana. After getting into a fight with some slavers, they are fired and forced to pay back their debts, they refuse. Their creditor Jack Barts (Marton Csokas) (who also looks pretty anachronistic for the time) turns out to be a vampire and collects what is owed by killing Abrahams mother. This would forever change the boy.
As a quasi-biography we jump forward in time to an older, angrier, Lincoln raring for revenge. He is an awkward man and bungles his way through his assassination attempt, still unaware that Barts is really a vampire. Lucky for him he is saved Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper) who takes him in and begins teaching him in the ways of vampire hunting. From there Lincoln becomes a hunter while trying to balance having an actual life, eventually jumping into politics, becoming the 16th President.
The Presidential years are rather mundane. Despite the start of the Civil War all we are shown is fly over shots of “battles”. Abraham has put down the axe and is fighting the vampires with his words. Benjamin Walker does change things up. No longer a bumbling clerc he becomes a tired older man trying to save his country. This would of been a great chance to broaden the scope of the movie. It doesn’t. All we get is Lincoln looking sad as the North is losing the war thanks to the vampires after getting involved in the fight leading up to the film's climatic train sequence. The pacing of Vampire Hunter comes off more like a series of slightly tied together vignettes than as one cohesive story.
That train sequence is a great example of the poorly done action in this film. Timur Bekmambetov fills his set pieces with dull CGI that just muddy and confuse the viewer. Plenty of slow motion shots of guns being shot and vampires looking monstrous but none of it looks like it was shot together. At one point Lincoln is battling a vampire while running across rampaging horses. The fight scene between Lincoln and Adam (Rufus Sewell) at his plantation was the best one. The slow motion was there but the lighting wasn’t low,the CGI wasn’t overused,you could follow it. It is in these set pieces that Lincoln earns its R rating. Other than a fleeting shot of flesh the R comes from the dismemberment and extreme blood splatter. The dismemberment is entertaining, seeing whole bodies are obliterated by a single ax blow.
The overall look of the movie is odd. At times it seems like they put everything through a sepia filter. In other parts of it colors are relatively bright and normal looking. Style points are deserved but the sepia toned first half isn’t all that interesting to look at, everything is brown.
All of these things are not played for laughs, even the character of Lincoln easily accepts the absurdity of vampires, not a bad thing. Only it didn't earn any sort of rapport with the audience. Despite a watchable enjoyable performance by Benjamin Walker, other actors are cold and inconsequential, they are there to say lines and shoot vampires. Dominic Cooper dose breathe some life into it as Sturges but the twist with his character but feels like a missed opportunity in the end. Rufus Sewell managed to get me interested in his character despite the sparsity of his character.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter isn't terrible but it isn't great either. It wouldn't be surprising if this were a cult movie in a couple of years. This is going to be a very person to person type of movie. If you have an interest in it and have nothing better to do well what’s the worst that could happen? Seeing the rise of Lincoln as a hunter was watchable enough but its lack of self awareness or scale hurt the latter half of the movie. Some of the setpieces are enjoyable from a concept standpoint but come off as lifeless and with little sense of danger.
Trailer: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
The Washington Monument wasn't completed until the 1880s. Apart from that, this film appears to be 100% historically accurate.
|blog||TheLawnWrangler's Favorite Films of 2012 - PART 5||TheLawnWrangler|
|review||A "B" movie with an "A" budget (3 out of 5)||etragedy|
|review||Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (A-) (4 out of 5)||VioletEyedDragon|
|review||Far from a Chernobyl. (4 out of 5)||femiboy34|
|news||BOX OFFICE: It's All About Brave||staceywi|
|review||A little to serious (2 out of 5)||MrMazz|
|review||Surprisingly Refreshing (4 out of 5)||MasterPr0phet|
|news||In Theaters: June 22nd||staceywi|
|Name||Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter|
|US Release||June 22, 2012|
|UK Release||Aug. 2, 2012|
|AUS Release||June 21, 2012|
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