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I can’t believe I am going to say this, but there’s a part of me that liked “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”
At least what I saw of it when I wasn’t hiding my eyes from the bloodbath. Seriously, I’m not sure people actually have that much blood in them to splatter when struck with an ax.
Don’t get me wrong, this film is totally moronic in premise and in what you view on film, but seeing one of the greatest presidents of all time welding an ax is kind of cool in a weird way.
What’s neat about this ghastly tale is how it intertwines the actual events of Lincoln’s life to this fictional vampire story. Hopefully audiences are well versed enough in history to know our 16th president wasn’t an ax-welding vampire slayer, but the story does follow his historical progression toward the presidency. Only it adds vampires.
Abe’s vampire hatred begins at a young age when a vampire kills his mother. All grown up, and trained by an expert vampire killer, he sets out to get revenge. His chosen weapon? An ax. His political career and even the Civil War end up as strategies to combat the undead. See? Moronic.
Some scenes rely way too much on computer effects that distract from the story. This kind of outlandish story needs to be told in a subtle manner. Films that want an audience to believe a crazy scenario usually play better without all the bells and whistles and with a hint of authenticity.
The final action sequence of this film was a little too much and needed some more grounding.
Plot points also are very predictable. There were very few surprises in the progression of the film.
Despite all that, this is the kind of film a niche audience is going to really like.
Relative newcomer Benjamin Walker plays a believable rendition of Lincoln and the final transformation into the presidential Lincoln is striking. When he walks in silhouette through a doorway, putting on his iconic hat, it is almost superhero-like.
Rufus Sewell (Masterpiece Mystery’s “Zen”) plays the evil vampire with chilling wickedness.
Supporting characters played by Dominic Cooper (“Captain America”), Anthony Mackie (“Man on a Ledge”), Marton Csokas (“Lord of the Rings”), Jimmi Simpson (“Date Night”), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) and Alan Tudyk (“Firefly”) help to make this unbelievable story somewhat believable.
The film had more focus than producer Tim Burton’s films have had of late, so he must have left most of the filmmaking to director Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted”).
I can’t say this is a great film, but I also can’t say there isn’t a part of me that enjoyed it . It has too much bloody violence for my taste, but maybe Abe can take his vampire-fighting abilities up against those “Twilight” punks.
Who knows what we’ll see next? Maybe George Washington will take on some zombies or Teddy Roosevelt will fend off an alien invasion.
The historical Abraham Lincoln always has been one of my heroes because the real one didn’t need an ax to be cool. He just was.