REVIEWED BY: Gemma
This movie had everything going for it. It was adapted from the best selling book by Seth Graham-Smith, who also wrote the screen-play, so no chance of someone butchering the book; the director of the film Wanted, staring Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy, was directing this and the Gothic God himself Tim Burton was the producer of it. So what could go wrong?
Frankly a lot and it’s a shame because it could have been an awesome film, yet for me it missed the mark.
Now this could be due to the fact that American History has never been an interest of mine. I can tell you the basics and I know enough about Abraham Lincoln to get me by. Maybe if I had known more about this period of American History I could appreciate it more. Or if I were an avid Lincoln fan who knew everything about his life, I would ‘get’ this film. Since I’m not, I found myself at times very bored.
The film starts off when Abe is but a boy. His father is working at timber mill and Abe is working with him. Abe intervenes when a slave is being struck by his master, which then sets of a chain of events that results in his mother being murdered by a vampire (who is also the mill master).
Years go by and Abe still wants revenge, so one night he has some Dutch courage and goes after the mill master with a gun. We know he is a vampire, but Abe still thinks he can take him out with a normal gun. He fails and almost dies, if it isn’t for the interference of Dominic Coopers character, Henry.
From here on in the movie is about how both Henry and Abe join forces to stop Rufus Sewells character Adam from realising his dream of making America a nation run by vampires.
It all sounds very exciting and at times its very good action set pieces. The camera flips and swoops with dramatic flair, giving you a sense of how it is to fight these monsters.
The wirework when its one on one action, is superb and the stunts are at times breath-taking, especially when Walker is wielding his axe, disposing of the blood-suckers.
These are all trademarks of the director and you can see why they chose him to direct this film. I loved what he did with Wanted and knew I had to see this film.
And here comes the but….
The pacing is terrible. There are long lulls where the film just seems to trudge along. It is just filler for the next big fight scene. This wouldn’t be so bad if there were characters you wanted to invest your time in.
The big romance between Abe and Mary Todd is very limp. I know that at the time you wouldn’t expect the big epic declarations of love that you do now, but the love at first sight between the two characters is just flat. From one chance encounter in the store where Abe works, its decided that Abe must save her from the marriage to Stephen A Douglas, played by the vastly underused and incredibly funny Alan Tudyk.
This seems to be the main problem with the film. None of the characters are fleshed out to give you some one to root for or someone to see their comeuppance. Even the villain of the piece has no real purpose or real bite to him (pardon the pun).
Potential plotlines are left dangling in the wind and those that are picked up are quickly wrapped up.
Great actors such as Cooper, Sewell and Turdyk are not given their full potential with characters to fully showcase their talents. Sewell in particular has played excellent villains in the past, but to say that his character is one dimensional is even pushing it.
As for the actual photography of the film, it is at times brilliant in showcasing what 3D can do, but other times it looked like it was filmed for a TV movie. I had to stop myself from laughing due to how cheesy it looked. Then there is the CGI, which looks so bad, you would think that it was done on someones early 2000 PC at home.
In conclusion, this film is very average for a film that could have had so much going for it. If this was on the TV, along with the films Van Helsing or A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I would pick one of the others for they manage to showcase an alternative history much better. If it hadn’t been for my unlimited card, I would have asked for my money back.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, VAMPIRE HUNTER ONLINE