June 22, 2012
On paper, the premise of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is silly. The “Great Emancipator” Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, is a vampire slayer. In practice… well, it’s also pretty silly. There are parts of this movie that are absolutely ridiculous and make you palm your face. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean it won’t be an entertaining experience. In fact, it probably adds to the fun of watching the movie, whether it’s intentional or not. There’s also the great action and visuals to help it along the way.
First, let’s get the obvious out of the way: the script isn’t that great. They try to fit a lot into an hour and forty-five minutes, because we are dealing with the life of a great man. Yes, it’s embellished with a thick layer of fantasy, but there is actual history to this man that they are “portraying.” Since they have a lot to cover, parts of the script felt very rushed. It tries to strike some emotional tones, but never gives the scenes enough time to really hit that chord. This sadly results in parts that try to have an impact, but ultimately fall flat and come off kind of cheesy. However, I did appreciate how actual events of Abraham’s life had vampire hunting lore weaved into it. There’s also a clever plot device toward the end that work well.
All that being said, if you’re going to watch Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for a compelling story, you’re going for the wrong reason. This movies knows that the appeal comes from the action, and it does a fine job of delivering it. It’s directed by Timur Bekmambetov who also directed Night Watch and Day Watch. If you’ve seen either of those movies than you know the visuals are something to look forward to. I absolutely loved the blood effects, and there are some fantastic and beautiful action sequences that appealed to the imagination and had me cheering and laughing even if they seemed outlandish.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is far from perfect, and it knew it was going to be. The story was lacking, but the movie found its strength in the action and knew how to play off it. If you’re looking for some shallow fun, this movie is where it’s at. You may not want to pay full admission for it, but it’s worth a matinee screening or a viewing at a dollar theater.
Rating: 2.5 Out Of 4
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