Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell
Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
Who would have thought the 16th President of the United States was actually an axe-wielding, butt-kicking, vampire hunter? It makes me wonder: could all previous presidents be undercover vampire hunters? That would probably mean Obama is in actual fact Blade...
Based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s best-selling novel, Director Timur Bekmambetov and producer Tim Burton have come together to bring this brilliant piece of work to motion pictures.
Set during the 1800s, a young Abe Lincoln (Walker), sets out on a revenge scheme to hunt down the vampire responsible for killing his mother. While engaged with his revenge plot he is saved from a vampire attack by Henry Sturgess (Cooper), a vampire himself. Sturgess teaches Abe about vampires and makes him his protégée, training him in the art of vampire slaying. From there Abe travels to Springfield, Illinois, where his romantic, political and vampire hunting journey begins.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter delivers well in action and suspense. There are a quite a few scenes where tension builds up as it gets really quiet, and then out of nowhere: BANG! - vampire. The darkness of the cinematography works well to give you that claustrophobic feel, while the surround sound helps send that shock right through you.
For a vampire movie with Tim Burton on board, I found it quite odd that there were a lot of daytime scenes and scenes with a lot of light. This worked against the feel of a vampire movie. Usually with vampire movies and Tim Burton productions, the majority of the movie is usually shot in the dark. That kind of approach would really have suited the film's vampire environment.
Another thing that was unconvincing was that the movie didn’t follow the rules of the vampire legends. In this movie vampires can walk in the sunlight - with the help of sunscreen, sure, but it still shouldn’t work. They could also walk on hallowed ground, which is not possible - everyone knows that. Silver and mirrors still have their effect, however, but it still just didn’t seem right that the sun and hallowed ground weren't able to harm them.
There were also scenes that made the movie feel fake. Abe is able to hop from horse to horse in the middle of a stampede, even though he has no powers. He can also catch a horse that’s thrown at him by a vampire and flip it back on its legs and ride it. And then there's his ability to slice a tree down with the power of truth. I mean - what is the power of truth and how can it make you able to take out a tree with a single blow?
The movie's pacing was also off. The action, suspense and interest seemed to fail about half way through the film. The vampire hunting aspect of the movie stalls when Abe leaves vampire hunting and takes up his political calling, which leads him to become President. This was really disappointing. It left the action along for a while, leaving you wondering, "When's he going to wield the axe again and split some vampires in half?"
One minute you’re engaged in the entire vampire hunting routine, and the next minute he's the President. With movies like this you want the adventure and action to continue beat from beginning to end.
The title, storyline and trailer of this movie really had me thinking it was going to be grand, but with only half the movie offering action and suspense, and vampires able to tolerate the sun and hallowed ground, I'm unconvinced that this was even a good vampire hunter movie.
2.5 out of 5.
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