Watched Jun 29, 2012
Kriss Tolliday’s review:
Apologise for this review being a week late but Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was the film we missed out a couple of weeks back so we saw this week as well as this week's choice of film. I'm going to start with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and tell you what I thought of the film with possibly the most intriguing title of a film for years. This must have been the easiest pitch ever to a studio as four words technically sold it. However I'm sure the concept sounded better when in the meeting room then the film I watched in the dark room.
The film does get off to a strong start. The first ten minutes I found quite interesting and exciting. What we see is a young Mr Lincoln who fails to act when his Mother is killed by his Father's boss. Years later he has finally built up the courage to gain revenge and when he pulls the trigger he realises that his Father's boss is in fact a vampire. He is saved from certain death by a vampire hunter who instantly trains Mr Lincoln to be one himself. This is instantly where the film dips completely. Up to this point I was interested but in a blink of an eye the movie lost me. For starters the training scenes are slightly ridiculous with Dominic Cooper needing very little persuasion to become Lincoln's trainer. It was all a bit forced and rushed in this scene. This however does happen in several other scenes where implausibility's are glossed over and something happens which feels rushed. This whole training sequence is exactly that and it is a poor follow on from a good start.
Another time this happens is with his relationship with Mary Todd. One point he tells her he likes her despite her fiancee and in the next breath he is proposing. Where the hell did her fiancee go? This was a prime example of a rushed love interest with all relationship development completely forgotten about. To me this is a major problem because I didn't care in the slightest about their relationship. Later we also see Anthony Mackie enter the fray, again with much of their relationship and character development totally glazed over. It made an unbelievable movie, due to the title and concept, even more unbelievable with the parts which should have been realistic. I was willing to suspend my belief for the vampire side of the story but I just couldn't see through the poor relationship development. It was like this film was simply about the effects and the unusual concept.
This moves me on to the special effects, which just look computer game-ish throughout. One sequence with a fight whilst walking across horseback could be an exciting idea but it is pulled off as if I was playing a game on the Playstation 3: another problem which took my interest away from the film. There was also too much slow motion shots. So much that they possibly added a good few minutes to the running time because of this. The director here is the same as Wanted and the effects are very similar, so if the effects in Wanted frustrated you then this will even more so.
I'm going to finish with the lead actor Benjamin Walker, the unknown cast as the historical figure. I will give him his dues, he isn't bad in the role the problem is he just doesn't look the part. When he swings axes round in his hands, and is labelled 'crazy' it just doesn't look right. He is actually better when he plays the older Lincoln, meaning he is wearing prosthetic make-up. Then again I also hear that Tom Hardy was offered the role first, which would have possibly been a worse casting choice. I also haven't mentioned the main baddie of the film, played by Rufus Sewell. I have probably mentioned him as much here as he is seen in the film because it really isn't much and he really isn't that good. The villain is completely underwritten and is a pointless addition to the film. Basically what I'm trying to say is this is a poor film. Nothing is ever any better than average and is really a great title for a poor movie.