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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter



Directed By: Timur Bekmambetov

Starring: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Released 20th June 2012

Certificate: 15

Reviewed By: Lewis Filer

It’s a fact that when a book that gets so much hype and praise for it’s originality and brilliance, the inevitable movie cash in will follow. Seth Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is the most recent to follow suit. The story tells the life of USA president Abraham Lincoln before and during his rise in politics while cleverly weaving in an alternate version of history where the president is also a vampire hunter. The book was a success and the idea of a movie depicting those events would no doubt be a blood soaked feast for the eyes.
Alas, this is one movie tie in that fails to impress on so many levels, but I’ll get to that later.

Directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, 9) and produced by Tim Burton (Sleepy Hollow, Dark Shadows) the film follows a young Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) on his quest to seek revenge on the vampire who killed his mother, Jack Barts (Marton Csokas). Along the way he meets vampire hunter Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper) who becomes mentor to Abraham and teaches him how to rid the world of vampires. Abraham is set assignments by Henry which involve him traveling to different towns to destroy known vampires.
On arrival at Springfield for a hit, Abe takes a job working in a store and falls for the beautiful Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) but with Henry’s rules of a hunter not living with hate and having no family or friends, Abe must learn what’s more important, his feelings for Mary, his score to settle with Barts, or the fate of the world, while unaware of the evil that is soon to rise.

The problems with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter are as follows. It seems very rushed and quite messy. Within what seemed like the first ten minutes, we’d seen the back story of his hatred towards Barts, his discovery of vampires, the meeting of Henry and becoming a fully trained vampire hunter. There didn’t seem to be any character development at all, like Bekmambetov and Burton just wanted to get straight to the gore and by-pass any chance of us developing any feelings for Abraham.
The acting is way below the standard expected for such a big film specially from lead Walker. Cooper and Winstead just about carry the film along with main villain Adam played by Rufus Sewell. The cgi and special effects were diabolical, very cartoony, extremely blatent cgi and for anyone else who has seen it, need i mention the horse riding scene?
On a positive note, the action scenes were top notch, especially when the axe is involved but that’s about it. There is just too much wrong with this film to outweigh anything that was right about it.

If you haven’t read the book, you may enjoy this film for what it is but then that’s still pushing it. If you have read the book, i urge you to avoid at all costs.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is quite frankly, a bit of a disaster and proves that even the big names in directing get it wrong sometimes. What should have been a fantastic blood soaked guilty pleasure, is actually a forgettable mess that doesn’t have even the slightest of bite.

Fan of ‘Mary Elizabeth Winstead’? MM review for ‘Scott Pilgrim Vs The World’

25 year old film fanatic who loves rock music, Xbox and cat videos on Youtube. I also tweet @lewisvstheworld

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