Abraham Lincoln : Vampire Hunter

June 28, 2012


Abraham Lincoln : Vampire Hunter
"President by day. Hunter by night."
★★

"As a boy, Abraham Lincoln helplessly witnesses his mother's death at the hands of a vampire. When he becomes a man (Benjamin Walker), Abe contemplates his revenge. Then stranger Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper) offers to teach him how to fight and kill the evil creatures. In Springfield, Abe does his hunting at night, in between studying the law, working at a general store, and courting Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). He becomes interested in politics, which leads to his being elected president years later. But when vampires from the South begin to turn the Civil War into a bloody massacre, Abe must take up his old hunting ways once again."

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The title might sound catchy; Honest Abe killing the supranatural creature in an action-horror movie. It's like another twisted episode of Saturday Night Live. But the question is : will it be as serious as The Dark Knight or filled up with sarcasm and bitter jokes like Sherlock Holmes? Turns out, it really is a serious action-horror, but the way it is seems ridiculous. I always wonder how will Timur Bekmambetov make this bizarre-strange mix between political president and ancient supranatural creature based on Seth Grahame-Smith's work; the answer is a ridiculously impossible action like 300 mixed with the darkness of The Dark Knight, topped with Edward Scissorhand's fantasy. Does it work? No.

Henry Sturgess : "There is darkness EVERYWHERE! You are not the only one who has lost everything!"

Watching the president swinging axe around, fighting the well-dressed vampire, ended up with 3D black blood spurts somehow fun. But then, the flat script and derivative direction overcome the fun. The over-the-top battle between the aged and the unaged in a slow motion way similar to Matrix, ridiculous eye-popping appearance of the creatures (it's like "Well, HELLO THERE!! BOO!"), the transition of the slow motion into the fast motion that seems really disturbing, and the super impossible action performed by the president and his axe (the vampires are possible, as they're vampires). I don't know, but Abe's fight with the vampire he hated the most, jumping across horses somehow stupid; it's like watching Sherlock Holmes : A Game of Shadows with less sense and tense. Yes, this movie somehow seems deep, dark and tenseful, but then again, it isn't. It filled with holes everywhere; it somehow manages to make us sit still over the 105 minutes runtime, but still, it isn't satisfying.

Henry Sturgess : "If vengeance is all you seek, you will never be able to save mankind. Fight this war with me, not for one man but for the whole world... Mr President."

Too fast in the beginning, stable in the middle and too fast + over the top in the end. The plot goes just super fast and blank in the beginning, like "What was that again?", then goes with compelling progress of young Abe killing vampires and falling in love, but then it goes dull when he becomes an old boring president, fighting with strategies, all until it goes fast and thrilling again when he finally picks up his axe and fight with it once again. The climax, especially the battle of Gettysburg and the battle on top of speeding train are thrilling but just stupid; the twist somehow predictable and it was all easy winning. And the end, like "What the?"

Abraham Lincoln : "History prefers legends to men. It prefers nobility to brutality, soaring speeches to wild deeds. History remembers the battle, but forgets the blood. However history remembers me before I was a President, it shall only remember a fraction of the truth..."

I don't know how Benjamin Walker portrays the Honest Abe once again after playing the young one in Steven Spielberg's Kinsey help, because it simply doesn't, but he does look like young Liam Neeson. Walker does it in such boring way, not intimidating, almighty, moreover powerful. All the actors are boring. Dominic Cooper somehow manages to only show his charming face (that goes really well with Henry's fashionable feature) other than his persona as smart and revengeful vampire vegan and mentor of Abe. Anthony Mackie with his question mark and dots all over his face, all the time whenever he switches into Will's mode; not a bestfriend type, I would say. Mary Elizabeth Winstead manages to be as boring as ever, less emotional and less chemistry on portraying Mary Todd. Rufus Sewell seems like a big pain in the ass, with icy cold flat expression, and fears all over Adam's body; not working. Jimmi Simpson does quite well on portraying Speed; he's boring of course, but he has that juicy thing I can't explain, but the twisted betrayal is just stupid. Oh well ..

Henry Sturgess : "A man only drinks like that when he's planning to kiss a girl or kill a man. Which is it?"

Overall, Abraham Lincoln : Vampire Hunter can't be the worst movie ever, but it can be. You can't expect a serious and sane movie, with thrilling action and deep story overall, all you can do is just sit there and watch it with fun, because I can't lie, it is fun.


Abraham Lincoln : "I shall kill them all!"

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