|Far from a Chernobyl.||2 out of 2 users found this review helpful.|
“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” reveals the consuming vengeance for his mother’s death at the hands of a vampire as Lincoln’s drive. This catalyst leads him to pursue the office of the presidency and fight the bloodiest war in American history, and while the cost was great and the challenge seemingly impossible, his quest -- the complete eradication of the Southern vampire gentry -- would result in a nation united.
Or so the behind-the-scenes historical epic “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” would have people believe. An adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2010 book of the same name, the film reveals Lincoln’s discarded history as an ambitious vampire slayer as the fictional underpinnings to the life of America’s most beloved President.
The idea sounds ridiculous, but that did not deter director Timur Bekmambetov and producer Tim Burton from crafting a decidedly purposeful and lovingly macabre adventure that treats its source material -- and history -- with justice.
A sort of justice, in fact, that comes from the central story’s brisk tweaking of true events. Benjamin Walker portrays a very confident and agile Abraham Lincoln who, after witnessing a sniveling slave trader poison his mother, plans to return the favor. His naivete nearly costs him his life until Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper), a mysterious vampire, steps in to save him. Seeing great potential in the ungainly man, Sturges trains Lincoln in the ways of hunting via montage.
Vowing never to hunt for personal vendetta, Lincoln takes a job as a shopkeeper in Illinois by day, while slowing picking off vampires by night. Bekmambetov transitions between these segments with ease, depicting Lincoln as an honest working man smitten with a cheerful Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth-Winstead) and in contrast, wielding a silver-tipped axe through bloody slow-motion duels in the dead of night, his tall frame enshrouded in heavy fog.
Bekmambetov never lets the thrill ride let up, even during an endearing picnic between Lincoln and Todd, and the film mainly succeeds when he pulls off this theatrical juggling act.
In equal measure, Burton’s gothic-tinged production values fare well with the film’s ante-bellum America. He perfectly envisions a New Orleans harbor riddled with steamboats, a Victorian plantation house shrouded in willow trees, haunting stills of Lincoln burying corpses amidst a pale moon, and a charged train ride to Gettysburg, the engine chugging in rhythm with the film’s ornate score.
Although the rich visuals also enhance the swift action, including a breathtaking sepia-toned chase sequence that involves horses storming towards a cliff, “Vampire Hunter” can get excessively indulgent in its quest to display blood-splattered decapitation fests. Lincoln and his able-bodied sidekick William (Anthony Mackie) end up facing one two many fanged demons in each bout, dragging the final moments of the film on like a tedious lecture.
The film never lets Lincoln’s history take a backseat, though, and even features interesting twists and appropriately solemn performances from Walker and Elizabeth-Winstead that place his historical importance at the forefront of the film’s view and add a serious tone not fully derived from the vampiric fare.
But certain aspects of Lincoln’s life, such as his chronic depression, his inability to immediately woo his wife and his early failures in obtaining public office, were obviously tweaked to make Lincoln more appealing. This is a fictional retelling, but for as much as the film tries to keep history intact while fiddling the knobs underneath, stripping Lincoln of his undesired attributes makes him seem more of an undercover agent than a man of extraordinary circumstances.
The fact that vampires entrenched themselves in the South with slavery also seems too opportunistic. The point of fiction comes from the original source material, but it still takes an easy jab at a well-established seat of evil.
No one can wholeheartedly scoff at the thought of an American president slicing his way through diabolical creatures for the sake of the nation. With a cast confident enough to bring such an absurd tale to life, Bekmambetov’s encompassing direction and Burton’s visionary spin, “Vampire Hunter” supercedes its source material without a serious setback.
Lincoln never experienced the dark, hyper stylized, hack-and-slash adventure the movie portrays, but his true story surprisingly benefits from the manic backstory anyway.
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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