Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
- Director: Timur Bekmambetov
- Genre: Action, Fantasy, Horror
- Cert: 15
- Details: US/105 mins
First things first: it's hard to review a film you can barely see. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a 3D production that darkens considerably (at least in the cinema that I saw it in) when the glasses are put on. Directed by Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov (who was behind the fun Wanted) it's a similar level of crazy to his last directorial outing, but unfortunately nowhere near as entertaining.
Plot-wise, the title is (unsurprisingly) self-explanatory. America's most celebrated president basically hides a secret: he used to slap vampires silly before he ruled the collective roost. After meeting a broody vampire hunter (are there any other kind?) - played by Dominic Cooper - he ultimately wants to avenge the untimely demise of his mother, who perished at the fangs of a bloodsucker. Although crap with a gun, he's pretty handy with an axe, which becomes his weapon of choice.
As with similarly outlandish titles like Cowboys and Aliens, buying the high concept from the outset should be a given for anyone contemplating purchasing a ticket for this film. Generally speaking, Bekmambetov is the perfect type of director for such a wacky plot. He excels at stories with this kind of 'heightened reality', but the aforementioned darkening when viewed in 3D mutes the spectacle somewhat. It's a constant pain attempting to squint through the glasses to fully enjoy the batshit-crazy action sequences, and one that certainly detracts from the finished product.
That's not to say that the plot actually works that well, though. The film jumps forward far too soon, and Cooper's constant re-emerging every once in a while to give proceedings a violent shove along - like a bouncer long after last orders has been called - is irritating. On the plus side, Walker's portrayal of the titular president is suitably noble and impressively wiry; It isn't easy playing one of the most famous men ever to don chin-whiskers, especially when he's slapping the crap out of a very modern-looking monster. Anthony Mackie is still a strong on-screen presence, while Winstead is better than her wafer-thin character should really have allowed. Sewell is also crippled with an awful villain; ditto Cooper, for the anti-hero who is the catalyst for all these slaying shenanigans.
If you can see it in 2D, do - then let us know whether it made much of a difference. As it stands, this is a momentarily fun blockbuster hamstrung by the process. Then again, it wasn't that great to begin with.
Review by Mike Sheridan | 13:10 | Friday 22nd June 2012 | Movie Review
Daft film that never really works. Benjamin Walker (who?) was as stiff as a plank as Honest Abe. What's with the vampires walking around in the sunshine? This isn't Twilight... As with every film that's released in 3D these days, I opted for the old-fashioned 2D version. It looked fine in 2D and I could certainly make out what was going on during the climactic train sequence.Posted 23:25 | Wed 20th Jun 2012
A ridiculous premise for a movie. Avoid.Posted 15:32 | Fri 22nd Jun 2012
Just saw 3D version in iSense, the picture quality and lighting was grand. I found the movie itself wonderfully ridiculous. Filmbuff your comment made me chuckle cos 'real vampires' would never walk in the sunshine, right?Posted 00:09 | Sat 23rd Jun 2012
Yeah, real vampires would burn up in seconds after being subjected to sunlight e.g. Fright Night (original), Interview With The Vampire, Near Dark and Buffy The Vampire Slayer (though Spike was partial to bringing a protective blanket with him during the daytime). Seeing vampires walking around in the sunshine is just plain silly. I blame Twilight for the change in perception. Folklore may show that there are many varieties of vampire, but one thing they can't stand is the sunlight. Unless they have one helluva sunblock agent, like in Blade ;)Posted 08:50 | Sat 23rd Jun 2012
i actually liked this film i had to drag my sister as she was not to keen but even she liked it i like the fact it was not about big names also reading some of the reviews i take it most did not take to it saying vampires in sunlight could not happen they would burn up vampires are fiction and because they are fiction maybe some can walk in daylight take Twilight for example ok so its not the best vampire movie ive seen as i yet have to find one that will be better then interview with the vampire well for me but it is watchable and if your not hung up on vampires in daylight then ya might even enjoy itPosted 13:30 | Thu 5th Jul 2012
Greta - have you seen Near Dark or the original Fright Night? They''re among the best vampire films.Posted 19:41 | Thu 5th Jul 2012
Some vampires can walk around in daylight in The Vampire Diaries too, but only by wearing a magic ring.Posted 13:02 | Thu 12th Jul 2012
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a fun film that delivers on exactly what it promises. Abraham Lincoln kicking vampire ass! If I had any complaints it would be that I did feel like the film dragged a bit in the middle.Posted 02:12 | Tue 24th Jul 2012
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