think I'm starting to get to the point where I don't like movies based on books that I enjoy. There seems to be a trend that no matter how good they are, they don't satisfy fully. Take The Hunger Games
for instance; now that was a well-done film. But the passion, excitement and emotion that the book had seemed stripped away from the film. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
never had any emotion or passion, but what it lacked in those departments it made up with in cleverness and ass-kickery. The film seems to be void of most of that.
Director Timur Bekmambetov has given American audiences that shocking delight that was Wanted
, but more impressively was the Russian award-winning vampire/zombie films of Night Watch
and Day Watch
. Make no mistake that he's a talented filmmaker and Abraham Lincoln
is no exception. He does a decent job of crafting a 19th Century America considering his Russian heritage. His keen eye for action is very fun to witness. I think the problem was that he was given a crap script and a weak cast.
Relatively unknow Benjamin Walker (Flags of Our Fathers
) dons the trademarked top hat and swings the axe as the titular character. For all the flaws in the film, he does a fine job. He gives the impression that he committed to the role and all the ridiculousness that went along with it. He has a certain level of charm but can also throw a punch as well as any other action star. I'm anxious to see what we have coming from him in the future.
The rest of the cast though shuffles through the film as if they're the undead. The absolutely gorgeous Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Thing
) is at her worst taking a page from Kristen Stewart's book on acting. She's lifeless, uninspired and seems unsure about being in every frame of this film. That type of performance is what you can expect from everyone else as well. A real shame considering it's the type of silly story that a great cast would have had a ball performing.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
is not a total bust. If the title makes you laugh and fills you with enough curiousity that you're willing to shell out the ten bucks to check it out; I assure you that you won't be dissapointed. Don't go into expecting character development, unrushed storytelling or quality performances; but if you want to see our 16th President slice and dice his way through some vampires and expect nothing less than that hilarious premise without being funny...sink your teeth in.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: C-