Friday, 3 August 2012

Film Review: "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" (2012)

"History prefers legends to men. It prefers nobility to brutality, soaring speeches to quiet deeds. History remembers the battle, but forgets the blood. Whatever history remembers me, if it remembers anything at all, it shall only remember a fraction of the truth. For whatever else I am, a husband, a lawyer... a president... I shall always think of myself first and foremost... as a hunter." This is the premise of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. This action fantasy horror film based on the 2010 mashup novel of the same name and adapted by Seth Grahame-Smith. The film was directed by Timur Bekmambetov. The real-life figure Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States (1861–1865), discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States. He makes it his mission to eliminate them.

The film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was first announced in March 2010 when Tim Burton and Bekmambetov paired to purchase film rights and to finance its development themselves. The book's author, Seth Grahame-Smith, was hired to write the script. Fox beat other studios in a bidding war for rights to the film the following October. In January 2011, with Bekmambetov attached as director, Walker was cast as Abraham Lincoln. He beat Adrien Brody, Josh Lucas, James D'Arcy, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen for the role. Additional actors were cast in the following February. Filming began in March 2011 in Louisiana.

The film stars Benjamin Walker stars as the title character, with Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell, Anthony Mackie and Alan Tudyk. The performances in this film were absolutely not promising at all. Benjamin Walker was a towering actor who looks like a young Liam Neeson and never stoops to caricature. This film could have brought him a promising career if the performance was taken a little more seriously. It was nice to see Dominic Cooper, but unfortunately his performance was just plain disappointing. Same for Mary Elizabeth Winstead whose performance wasnot evening convincing. As for Rufus Sewell, his performance was nothing special as he played a villain in The Legend of Zorro (2007). So there was no major shift other than the fact that in this film he is a vampire. Also Alan Tudyk, who I last saw in I, Robot (2004), sadly gave a disappointing performance. On top of that, his role was rather insignificant compared to his fellow cast members.

Abraham Lincoln: The Vampire Hunter is a movie so shamelessly derivative of so many other vampire and action movies that it ought to have a work-cited page at the start of the closing credits. It is nothing more than a version of The Matrix (1999) that didn't bother to construct a thoughtful mythology for its universe, totally ignoring history and just made absolutely no sense with its ridiculous and silly premise. To conclude, Bekmambetov's movie is sucked dry of its own blood pretty quickly after it's bitten.

Simon says Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter receives:

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