Movie Review: Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter / Cert: 15 / Director: Timur Bekmambetov / Screenplay: Seth Grahame-Smith / Starring: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell, Rufus Sewell / Release Date: Out Now
Based on the book of the same title by Seth Grahame-Smith which pits the 16th President of the USA against fanged foes who wish to take over the country this film was never going to be anything other than silly. The trailer paints a darker film than is on offer though and it does have a lightness of comedy, one-liners and a romantic element to it that interlude with the action. Director Timur Bakmambetov brought both the excellent Night Watch and Day Watch to the big screen and though they feature bloodsuckers this has more in common with Wanted where the visuals, fight scenes and set pieces are the focus.
When Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) is a young boy his mother is murdered by a vampire and thus he swears to avenge her death. Fast forward to Lincoln as a young man on the night he chooses to take revenge on this monster and this is where he meets Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper) a vampire hunter who teaches him the trade and prepares him for battle. The backdrop of the civil war is mostly wasted and the slavery trade isn’t really dealt with, instead Lincoln’s relationships with the characters he meets on the way to the top are relied on to move the story along.
The kills are quick and brutal with the vampires’ features similar to that in the Fright Night remake and the fight scenes are Matrix style madness. Face burning, jaw breaking and new rules about the living only being able to kill the dead are introduced, which add to the ever increasing Vampire laws. There are a few montage scenes involving much axe twirling by Lincoln which will make you cringe, but it is all in fitting with the ludicrous nature of the film. Sage advice from elders, curse words and long speeches dominate the dialogue and a certain amount of unintentional comedy comes out of this.
There are also some exceptionally odd moments including Lincoln walking home his soon to be wife Mary after a romantic picnic and pretending the basket is yapping at her. A horse throwing fight scene and a Lost Boys moment where someone (not grandpa) drives a horse drawn carriage through the front of a house to save the day. Sometimes you will be staring at the screen in disbelief as to what is going on but most of the time you should be laughing at the insanity of it all. An enjoyable guilty pleasure where the nonsensical meets some stylish visuals. The 3D is pointless though.
Expected Rating: 6 out of 10