Posted by Matt Rosenberg on June 22, 2012 at 1:50 am
Seth Grahame-Smith’s historical/horror novel to which he also converted into a screenplay is upon us. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a bizarre take on America’s 16th President and fairly ripe for the horror porn period to which we all live in. Lincoln tries to save America from a vampire takeover while abolishing that little thing we call slavery as a side note. Vampires and zombies are clearly in! Yet, let’s hope they are on the decline after this.
Broadway actor Benjamin Walker stars as Mr. Lincoln and does a proud job of rocking the giant brown beard but that’s about where the positive of this movie ends. Unfortunately, Timor Bekmambetov (Wanted) is at the helm of this messy mashup of nonsense that somehow made it to the big screen.
We meet young Abe as a man of principle witnessing the death of his mother and a clear opponent to the institution of slavery itself. To sum it up quickly, that sets the stage for his ascent to vampire killer and future American president. Historically, the people who view the Civil War as the war of northern aggression might be taken back here by the Confederacy’s alliance with vampires. The film flows through bits of voice-overs and back to reality as the club wielding President lets us into his thoughts, a style that Bekmambetov utilized with his film WANTED. Yet, here it feels more of trying-to-hard than kick-ass cool.
The film itself feels disconnected to modern day cinema and it took me a while to figure out exactly what that meant. The best I could come up with is that Timor has given us a film that is more of a made-for-TV movie than a motion picture fit for the big screen. TBS, no call to Fox on this? The sets feel cheap, cinematography bland, and setting more of something out of TNT’s The Librarian. And, I liked The Librarian, but TNT is where that film was meant for.
Yes, Abe Lincoln is full of action scenes set in slow motion to focus on every bit of spilt blood and some of it was cool. Mostly, the stuff that Rufus Sewell is in. Man, can that guy deliver a worthy villain. If you enjoyed the zoom-in shots from Wanted than you will be pleased for about 10 minutes of this 100 minute nightmare. In all fairness, a climatic train explosion scene and a crazy horse stampede helped divert some attention away from dwelling on my heavy disappointment.
Anthony Mackie and Dominic Cooper also co-star, but Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a film gone wrong. I guess sometimes the stars align, and sometimes they just don’t. This is one of those times.