ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER (18)
Genre: Action/Adventure/Horror/Fantasy/Science Fiction
Release Date: 21 June 2012
Running Time: 105 minutes
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Screenplay: Seth Grahame-Smith
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell
Plot: Visionary filmmakers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov reinvent the time-honored genre and present the terrifying creatures of the night as they were meant to be experienced -- as fierce, visceral, intense and bloodthristy. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter brings to the screen the secret life of our nation's favorite president...as history's greatest hunter of the undead. REVIEWS AFTER THE JUMP
Review: The novel written by Seth Grahame-Smith rocked the world up with sensational jive two years ago when he decided to don the 16th president of the United States with an axe in his secret mission to hunt down the most formidable army of vampire, threatening the federation existence. Depending on the perspective, mashing up the historic factual figure with fiction tale looks pretty silly but nevertheless remains a decent concept to conceive with. Now, comes in two visionary filmmakers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov who help to turn the novel into a silver screen version. But based on their recent track records, should we put so much faith on this one? The answer is no.
The movie begins with a 9 year old Abraham Lincoln growing up in a plantation area in Indiana who witnesses his mother being murdered by a vampire, Jack Barts following some argument between his family and the latter about debts. For the next ten years, Abe (Benjamin Walker) lives in a shadow of revenging the death of his mom but ultimately failed to kill Bart all by himself. Eventually, he formed an unofficial alliance with Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper) who taught him everything he needed to fight the vampires. Abe relocates to a small town of Springfield in Illinois, gets a job as a store-keeper while studying for his law. At night, Abe dons an axe and goes hunting vampires as dictated by Henry.
In the first paragraph, I mentioned that I do not put much faith on this one at all and that pays well when it comes to the kind of expectation I am looking for. Of course, true to its title “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, it is an effective movie that shows how chessy, ridiculous and over-the-top action styles could still win something during this summer spree. But trust me when I say that Timur and Tim are no longer the names that can sell and it can be evidently seen on how sparingly it made on the box office. Though, the dynamic combo still able to craft something beyond ridiculous and makes it a fun-to-watch but nothing-to-gain sort of movie is still a valid statement.
Instead of getting a wow-factor, all we get is the lacks in some clever twist which may be proven to be a benefiting addition somewhat on its elements and layers. The plot of the movie is not entirely built-up from the novel itself because Grahame-Smith decided to go for the unfaithful approach instead for the sake of trimming down to fit a two-hour movie. It is annoying because not only it does not go along well with the novel which many loved and familiar for. Besides that, all we get is a lazy script that goes a little too desperate and little too predictable. Also noticeable, an improper marriage between the vampiric elements and the accurate historical facts seems paltry and not cohesively made.
While the movie is far from perfect, it still possesses that mighty weapon – the chessy feels that are so over-whelming that it drives “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” to a ridiculous and gory horror action that is equally grasping as it flaws. It’s partly entertaining, partly a poor man’s attempt to visualize the translation from the novel to the big screen. Either way, it ends up been on the good and on the bad side.
Benjamin Walker’s performance as the titular character is an okay one. There are moments when he feels burdened to step on the shoe of the most popular president of the United States but there are also moment he is virtually great. Richard Roeper even compares him with the young version of Liam Neeson – barely cracking a smile with a head full of revenge. Now, that should earn him some credible merit as he is certainly bound on ground by some poor script writing. The biggest hindrances in the acting departments are dialogues and elements they are carrying; but most characters like Adam the vampire leader (Rufus Sewell), Will Johnson (Anthony Mackie) and Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) are commendable.
The 3D is not a worthy addition since the movie is gorgeously epic to go by, although I do not see the significance of going to one. Special effects are cool enough to muster and accompany the action scenes throughout.
In the end, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” fails to live up to its own premise of been what-so-ever coolness it should have propelled but the end product is only giving out a poor plot direction and scripts; but also saved by its over-the-top vampire slashing gore, ridiculous yet entertaining concept and chessiness to avoid it from been ultimately failure.
"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is now showing in cinemas nationwide; including 2D and 3D versions as well.