Sunday, June 24, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Movie Name: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Year of Release: 2012
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Stars: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jimmi Simpson, Rufus Sewell, Martin Csokas, Erin Wasson, Joseph Mawle, Robin McLeavy, John Rothman, Alan Tudyk
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Horror
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5

Russian director Timur Bekmambetov experienced his biggest hit to date with "Wanted", which was an adaptation of a comic book by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones. "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is the adaptation of the novel from the same name by Seth Grahame-Smith (who also co-wrote the screenplay of Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows"). The film introduces the audience to young Abraham Lincoln, who loses his mother following an attack by a vampire. Young Abraham grows up and tries to avenge his mother's death, upon which he is tutored by Henry Sturgess, a vampire himself, in the art of killing the undead. Lincoln, becomes a resourceful vampire hunter, but also studies to become an attorney and gets involved in politics. As the years move on, Lincoln becomes president of the United States, and leads the movement to abolish slavery, something that the vampires want to stop at all costs.
"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is a film that holds an interesting premise - mixing an iconic historical character, with fictitious events that would allow to bring out an adventuresome angle to the whole story. However, the film ends up faltering precisely due to an unresolved screenplay. The director decides to create two major action set pieces within the story, both involving battles with vampires, but both cases are underwhelming. Abraham Lincoln, even as an adventurer never really comes alive, the same going for any of the other supporting characters - they are all uni dimensional (even the vampire villains are... bloodless). Where the film does come alive are in the fantastically staged action scenes, where the visuals are indeed superb. An interesting premise that deserved a better screenplay.