I wrote a post last week previewing the movie release of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, as soon as I heard the title of the movie I knew I’d go see it in the cinema.
I like things which are off-the-wall, fantastical, supernatural and just plain bonkers. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter certainly ticks all of those boxes, unfortunately though, there are a lot of boxes it doesn’t tick.
I’ll start off with the positives. The action sequences are pretty decent and there are a lot of them. Benjamin Walker (Lincoln) does a very good job of twirling his axe around and dispatching the vampires in a thoroughly brutal, but highly stylized manner.
Talking of style, director Timur Bekmambetov, has injected plenty of it; the movie is very nicely shot, the costumes look good, the sets are bang on and it all feels very atmospheric.
I was also glad to see that the vampires were portrayed as vile, bloodthirsty monsters rather than preening, angst ridden drama queens. But this is where I move on to the first of the negatives, and it’s a big one: none of the characters managed to draw me in. In the case of the vampires they were just a bit… meh. They had neither a wild, vicious fury nor a calculating, insidious core of evil. Don’t get me wrong, they do a lot of awful things over the course of the movie, they just do them rather mechanically. I like my vampires to revel in their misdeeds, this lot just came across as mean and hungry.
As for the rest of the supporting characters, well they didn’t show much personality either. For the most part they were empty plot vehicles. The relationships between them didn’t seem to carry much emotion or intensity. That made it pretty difficult to invest in them. As the movie starts by showing that Lincoln and his vampire hunting trainer Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper) both come out of the conflict unscathed, the only moments where we can really fear for characters involve the supporting cast. If there hasn’t been enough time spent on fleshing out their characters it can’t help but feel a little flat.
Another aspect where the movie was lacking was humour; you’d kind of expect a few chuckles from a movie with such a ridiculous title, you’d be disappointed though. Although, to be fair, in a movie with the abolition of slavery and the American Civil War as core plot points, injecting some mirth may have felt a little wrong.
If you’re in the mood for switching your brain off, relaxing and soaking up some stylized action Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter might just fit the bill. If you’re looking for a chuckle or to feel more emotionally invested in the characters then I’d give it a miss.
Have you seen the movie? What did you think? Let us know in the comments box below.