Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

“History prefers legends to men.”

This was something that I had wanted to go and see in theatre but never got around to, and I am thinking it might have been for the best. Last night, after studying, I figured it would be nice to chill out and watch something. I am always on this mission after I see an awesome movie (my last being The Amazing Spider-Man), like the quest to see another great one is highly tangible. Very seldom, however, do you find that next elusive one.

So it began. It did not look like a particularly low or a high budget movie, but it was watchable. I found the acting to be particularly stiff. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who played Mary Todd Lincoln, for instance, should have stuck to multicoloured hair and a blasé attitude. The role was very unbecoming for her, and her acting abilities certainly did not escalate in my eyes. It frustrated me that there was no real character growth, and the story was a little bit scattered, and the plot was just ridiculous. Nothing one could not follow, just not something you would like to. The amount of CGI in the movie was also insane.

The thing that got under my skin the most? The way all vampire lore and mythology was completely desecrated, but at least not yet to the point of glitz, glam and sparklies. I guess if you are not particularly clued up on it, it will be fine to watch. But it all got to me. Daywalkers, sunglasses and sunscreen, the inability to kill one another… oh my, the worst is how they are turned! No blood exchanged, nothing as intricate as that!

I felt that this could seriously have been executed better. I have yet to read Seth Grahame-Smith’s book (I decided to only read it after the movie, I wanted to see this as a first time viewer). The concept was interesting (to me, anyhow). I liked the idea of an excellent president by day, advocating for freedom, fighting war, yet turning into the slayer of evil by night. That they didn’t quite get to gel properly. They did, however, get Benjamin Walker to look quite Abe-like as he aged. I understand that this was supposed to be slightly comedic, but I missed that mostly due to other disastrous elements.

I loved how the action scenes were done, particularly the fight sequences. I thought it was excellent how they took Abraham Lincoln into battle, and captured the essence of the cloak billowing fiercely and axe shining and moving as though an extension of him. That was selectively done and it was done well. In those scenes you can distinctly see the input of Timur Bekmambetov (who directed Wanted). For instance, the fight scene between Lincoln and the undead when he went to save his oldest school friend, Will, was an impressive one to watch, although I would love to know how you do handbrake turns in a carriage!

I would score Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 4.5/10. The movie was a bit of a let down, considering the poster’s speak of greatness, the artwork was well done, and the previews looked decent. The story was dreadful, the acting atrocious, there was no real chemistry between any of them… I don’t know, it just didn’t impress me, and was really not worth checking out at all. I really could have utilized this movie’s time on something far more productive.

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