Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Review
Director: Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted)
Screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith (the author of the novel)
Executive Produced by Tim Burton
Cast: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (who also played Romona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim)
What’s special about it: It’s a very unique storyline about one of our great presidents.
Check it out if you liked: Read the book. Skip the movie altogether.
Hush Comics gives it:
This movie hasn’t really gotten a lot of buzz, with Brave also coming out last weekend… but that might not be a bad thing. While there are some promising moments throughout the film, it falls flat of anything close to what the novel promised. There are also a lot of WTF moments in the film, making it unsettling for both fans of the novel and those who have not read it. For those of you who have not read the book yet, I strongly suggest it.
When a friend of mine recommended I read the book over a year ago, I laughed it off, thinking it would be another goofy story by another goofy author. However, when I heard word that Tim Burton would be involved in a film adaptation of the book, I figured I would be worth a read. I am not a very avid reader, but when I find a book I love, I read it dedicatedly. It was about 400 pages and took me about two days to read it. It was the best read since the Hunger Games, with a reading level that never made it too drab, but was still a constant reminder that Abe Lincoln was a smarter man than I. Now, I hate to come across as a book snob, but it’s really just because the book is that dang good.
The premise of the film and book is just as ridiculous as it sounds; our nation’s beloved president, Abraham Lincoln, had his mother murdered by a vampire and swore to avenge her by ridding the world of vampires. Oddly enough, this is not really addressed at all in the movie. He spends the first half of the movie tracking down his mother’s killer. This is a key element in Abe’s development and changes the air about the movie from the beginning.
Benjamin Walker does a convincing job as Abe, certainly carrying the physical stature; unfortunately, his character often comes across as juvenile and whiny, not the unwavering anchor that the novel and other books have described him as. Aside from that, the movie really gives us nothing to cling onto in terms of character development or attachment.
Flaws aside, this movie was not a waste of time. There were still plenty of impressive action sequences, and the vampires looked legitimately frightening. They also managed to explain a few things that I felt the book was light on. However, it all felt forced and laughable by the end of it.
As a huge fan of the book, it would suffice to say that the film did not fail by itself, but rather failed against the potential that it had. The strategies, the conspiracies, the death and pain that Abraham Lincoln had to go through, they all bled through the pages of this book. The author took a gimmicky-sounding concept and turned it into a brilliant fictional biopic. The movie failed to move past being a gimmick, and for the screenplay being done by the author, I would consider this movie one of the biggest bastardizations of a book to film transitions I’ve seen.
written by Sherif Elkhatib