Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Time Out says
Dir: Timur Bekmambetov (2012, 105 min). Cast: Benjamin Walker, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell
Based on the American president’s secret journals, as imagined by scriptwriter Seth Grahame-Smith (adapting his own novel), this cod-historical horror movie from ‘Nightwatch’ director Timur Bekmambetov is long on speculation, emancipation and decapitation, but in the end is essentially a lot of balls. A skilled rail-splitter, axe-wielding ‘Honest Abe’ moonlights as a slayer of bloodsuckers, one of whom, at the behest of loathsome slave-trader Jack Barts (Marton Csokas), killed his beloved mother. He still finds time to court Mary Todd, campaign against slavery and carve out a political career, but faces disaster during the Civil War, when the vampires are drafted into service by the Confederate South.
The storyline is faithful to neither fiction nor reality. Two new characters have been introduced, bored leader of the undead Adam (Rufus Sewell) and Abe’s (ahem) black best friend from boyhood, Will (Anthony Mackie). And two CGI-tastic action scenes have been added, a chase through a stampede of horses and a runaway train headed for a burning bridge. Worst of all, the inspiring biopic and the bloody 3D spectacle seem to occupy parallel historical time zones. Nigel Floyd