Friday, June 22, 2012


I went to this movie very begrudgingly, however there was a kernel, no let me rephrase that, a speck of optimism that a best selling book couldn't be totally in bad taste.  I had other good omens that this might be a passable movie such as Early Bird parking in Chicago for $14 for the entire day!  Then there was the fact that I got MY seat in the theater.  You know, the center seat with the railing for my feet is labeled as Pam Powell's seat.  Additionally, there were actually many other people in the theater at 10 am!  Shocker!  I was much more open-minded to this movie now.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was based on Seth Grahame-Smith's novel and starred Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper (from An Education and My Week with Marilyn), and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.  The movie began by taking us back in time to Abraham's childhood experiences and the real reason his mother died at a young age.  This was the beginning of my re-education of history.  Apparently, all I had known or remembered from my high school history classes was only part of the truth. (Sorry, Mr. Johnson!) It's all based on Abe Lincoln fighting vampires from taking over the USA.  Yes, it's true.  The Civil War was really a war between humans and vampires.  But an ax wielding soon-to-be lawyer and then president would fight to his death to save America and avenge his mother's untimely death.

Let me first start by saying I am no history buff nor am I a purist of history which is in part due to the fact that I am no history buff!  However, I spent many a weekend, while pregnant with my son, traipsing through battlefields named Manassas, Antietam, Harper's Ferry, and Ball's Bluff in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.  I'm sure I hit Pennsylvania too, but I might have been passed out due to exhaustion!  While I watched this movie, I felt that it was giving off a certain air of mockery of Lincoln and an important part of American history.  People died for other's freedom.  Twisting this around into a horror flick about vampires imparted disrespect for that memory.

I'm getting off my soapbox now and looking at the movie as just that...a movie.  Besides being preposterous, which it was, it was repetitious.  I saw Lincoln receive orders or "hits" from his master trainer and best friend, Henry Sturgess.  Hit after hit after hit.  Yes, Lincoln was a serial vampire slayer, not just a hunter.  He was pretty handy with that ax!  It was a retro version of the Matrix!  They then tried to weave some aspect of history in with vampires then stitching in little love stories ending with broken hearts seemed pathetic.  I hesitate when judging an actors abilities as I realize that the director and editing have a lot to do with how things end up looking.  I'm afraid I must break my rule and judge the lead's ability to at least look the part of either Lincoln or a vampire hunter/slayer.  Benjamin Walker just didn't cut it.  His facial expressions were bland and his conviction as the person he was supposed to be was absurd.  He was a large mouse of a man who acted impulsively and completely lacked confidence.  The interactions between him and his friends were stilted and unconvincing.  Compound that exponentially when you assess the believability of Mary Todd's relationship with Lincoln.

The movie was mostly explanatory drudgery or high impact action with deftly performed choreographed fights.  It felt rather "Guy Ritchie" in the style as they slowed down the battles and the explosions of either blood or dirt being blown sky high.  I'm afraid that is the only positive comment I can make.  This movie was embarrassingly comical in a very unintentional way.

I'm going to give this 1 Reel just for the imitation of Guy Ritchie effects.  (I just checked imdb to make sure he didn't have anything to do with this film.  Guy, you're clear!)

1 Reel

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