Sunday, June 24, 2012

Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a movie based around a single joke: Isn't it funny there's a movie called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter out? Yes it's a single joke, stretched out to movie length, which was previously attempted with the ill-fated Snakes on a Plane. But unlike Snakes, this movie is directed by a director who's actually good (Timur Bekmambetov, previously of the awesome Nightwatch everyone missed out on) and is also entirely unwilling to admit to being anything other than entirely serious. And while it remains a feature length joke, it's good at being that if nothing else.

The story is exactly what you expected when you read the title, with a couple of added wrinkles. In it, Lincoln is trained to be a vampire hunter after his mother is killed by a vampire and then winds up being a secret vampire hunter throughout all of his famous moments. There's also the fun bonus that the vampires are concentrated in the South, and are using slavery as a way of getting a steady food supply, which I imagine is gonna play poorly among the 'lost cause' types.

There's not a whole lot to say on this one. The script itself is not particularly good, but never enough that it becomes a deal breaker. The story is actually pretty engaging, at least for what it is. The characters are okay, nothing great but okay. The acting is actually pretty good, particularly Dominic Cooper in the requisite mentor role. And there's the fun meta-casting of Benjamin Walker as Lincoln, as he had previously played another reimagined President... He was Andrew Jackson in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson? Anyone? I'm so alone.

The main draw is the fight scenes and I can tell you assuredly that they are all kinds of awesome. The last one in particularly has a lot inventiveness about it, especially when two characters start tossing the main weapon back and forth. Bekmambetov is still a fantastic action director and it never stops being kinda funny that one of the most famous Presidents in history is kung-fu fighting vampires. It's also a lot bloodier than I expected, with limbs, heads and gore flying everywhere. And it must be said, the design on the vampires themselves is extremely cool.

The movie has issues. It's got a weak script as I said above, much of the dialogue is kinda bad, there's a long stretch towards the end where nothing happens and several people start to pick up inexplicable kung-fu skills. But at the end of the day, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is just too much fun to be argued with. Will I remember it at all beyond it's amusing title a month from now when The Dark Knight Rises comes out? Probably not, but if you're in the market for a new action-heavy movie, this is the one for you. See you next time.

Elessar is a 22 year old Alaskan born cinephile and this is the first movie since Toy Story 3 that I saw in 3D.

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