Sunday, June 24, 2012

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter Movie Review

What is with the skull in the moon?
Ugh...Ugh, ugh, ugh, fucking ugh. I want to say this, Seth Grahame Smith is a terrific author. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter(the book) is one of my favorite. It is a dramatic retelling of a great man with a supernatural twist. Unholy Night is an epic re-imagining of the three wise men and How To Survive a Horror Movie is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I have not read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, so I can't attest to it. But it seems that he is not a very good screen writer, because he wrote the screenplay to the film adaptation of Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter. I have not seen Tim Burton's last film, Dark Shadows which he wrote also. What I have heard isn't good though. This movie is badly written. It really hurts me to say that. Grahame Smith is probably one of my favorite authors, but this movie isn't good. Almost every great line and scene in the book has been taken out. Even if you try to judge it alone without the source material; it's still bad. The more I think about it, the more I dislike it.

Timur Bekmambetov must have a clause in his contract that says every adaptation he makes must be drastically different then the source material. Fans of the Wanted comic books will know what I mean. That said, I really enjoyed Wanted. Okay, I want to stop comparing the movie to the book. To help me with this I am going to list all the things that were added to the film, and were not in the book. I am only going to list the things that bothered me, because there is too much for the rest. Okay here we go. (Breathes in real deep). Abe's super strength, the vampire's super strength, Abe's karate skills, Abe hurling the axe like a katana, he turns the axe into a fucking gun!, the vampires weakness to silver, the vampires ability to turn fucking invisible, ridiculous over-the-top action scenes, the vampire's biblical roots, and a complete disregard for historical accuracy. Meaning the book is very accurate(if you take out the vampire stuff, you still have a pretty decent tale of Lincoln's life). Okay, for the rest of his review I will not mention the book.

You know the gist. Abe Lincoln's mom was killed by a vampire, so he dedicates his life to killing them.  Along the way he meets a man named Henry who helps him, becomes president of the United States, and wins the Civil War. The acting in the movie is very good. Benjamin Walker plays Honest Abe pretty well. The extremely underrated Dominic Cooper is great as Abe's vampire hunting teacher, Henry Sturges. The equally underrated Rufus Sewell and Anthony Mackie play the main antagonist and Abe's best friend. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is also great as Mary Todd Lincoln.There is also a cameo by my buddy Alan Tudyk. Yes, he is my buddy! We fly around space having adventures, play games in my basement, and sing a special song he likes to call "Please let me go, I want to see my family!". I just smile, laugh, and say "Oh Wash, you're such a kidder. He then cries tears of joy, and we go back to watching Firefly. Wait, where was I?

The pacing in the film is terrible. Some scenes are paced well, but some feel extremely boring. Abe's childhood scenes are glanced over. They are basically ignored. The movie does not even try to be historically accurate. You don't even get to see Lincoln's assassination! One of the most important parts of a damn Lincoln biography, and the movie doesn't even show it.

The most annoying thing about the movie is the action scenes. There is really only one good action scene which takes place in a mansion. Even that is plagued by the most annoying gimmick in the movie. SLOW FUCKING MOTION! There is more slow motion is this movie than there is regular motion. It even does that Zach Snyder shit where it slows down and then speeds up. This makes all the movements look very unnatural, and it makes it hard to get immersed in the movie. Also CGI. The movie is very stylish. To a fault actually. There are many huge set pieces that are entirely computer generated. Wide shots of DC and Gettysburg that just look fake. This also affects the climax where CGI fog make it so you cannot see anything. The whole movie is also shot through a grainy filter that makes it look like a History Channel reenactment. Huh, maybe that was the point.

Anyway, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is disappointing. Especially since it was written by the same guy as the terrific book and had a very good director. This should have been better. If you really want to see it, I recommend renting it later. Do not waste your money at the theater. Instead use that money to go to your local book store and buy the book. You will not be disappointed.

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