Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
- Starring: Benjamin Walker (Flags of Our Fathers), Rufus Sewell (Dark City), and Dominic Cooper (The Devil’s Double).
- Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted)
- Synopsis: “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter explores the secret life of our greatest President, and the untold story that shaped our nation. Visionary filmmakers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov (director of Wanted) bring a fresh and visceral voice to the blood-thirsty lore of the vampire, imagining Lincoln as history’s greatest hunter of the undead.” (Collider)
- Rated: Rated R for gore, violence, and brief language and sexual content.
Okay, First and foremost, this is not a movie that claims to be historically accurate. So let’s get that straight. I mean, did you read the title? If you are going to this movie expecting the accuracies that you were supposed to be learning -but instead slept through- in your history classes, then this is NOT the movie for you! Although, some of you might accept this movie as fact having not paid ANY attention to your history teacher! (shakes head). That being said, producer Tim Burton and director Timur Bekmambetov have put together a rather surprisingly good and imaginative movie that does something I thought impossible: Make the 16th President of the United States even COOLER!
Every time this movie trailer would play before other feature films I would hear laughter, comments like “That’s Stupid!”, and a few “Boooos” here and there. And I will admit, I really wasn’t too sure about this movie. I mean, Abraham Lincoln was NOT a vampire hunter! I know! You see, I have a college degree in HISTORY! So, with low expectations, I ventured into the theater for a 19th century adventure that I never saw coming!
Almost the entire movie takes place in a flashback…and then proceeds to more flashbacks withIN flashbacks. We begin with Abraham Lincoln as a boy and quickly see him come of age with nothing but revenge in his heart and vengeance as his guide. Crossing paths with an experienced tutor of sorts, Henry Sturgess (brilliantly played by Dominic Cooper since Joaquin Phoenix turned the part down.), Honest Abe ventures on a path of indignation and deliverance of a land from the pestilence of the undead. Along the way, he falls in love, seeks political stature, and rekindles friendships of old. With quite the mashup of Marvel’s Blade meets Showtime’s Dexter, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter brings on the blood and battles of a man who fights for more than he himself. And the action is amazing!
The great assembled cast includes Rufus Sewell, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, etc. and keeps good acting a part of this outlandish/believable tale. With an impressive infusion of historical people and events, the movie retains a jilted sense of authenticity that allows the mind to entertain the hilarious notion that it
could’ve happened. Use of historical figures and events such as Stephen Douglas, Jefferson Davis, Harriet Tubman, Mary Todd Lincoln, the Civil War, Ford’s Theater, and more really added to the “aha” moments in the film and sparked smiles at the realization of what they just did!
I was delightfully impressed. The film puts a fun twist that tempts at reality.
Although the pace slows towards the middle, and although the all too convenient repeated rescues that take place end up redundantly expected, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a fun time at the theater. Surprise!! haha.
Is it bloody? yes. A little hokey at times? yes. A bit outlandish and too over-the-top to be accepted as true? sure. An Axe-swinging Abraham Lincoln, Keep-your-eyes-glued-to-the-screen kind of film? You BETCHA!
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is an intense action film that surprisingly entertains the mind and the action junkie beyond expectation. With a darker more serious tone that anticipated, it blends real life and historical issues with a new fantasy of adventure that was very fun to watch. Something new…and not rehashed…which, of course, is often refreshing in this world of remakes, sequels, prequels, and reboots. Check it out.
The only thing that would’ve made this film even better for me: if during the credits, Lincoln took his axe and decapitated a few “sparkling” vampires of the Twilight persuasion! ROTFLOL
Score: 3 out of 5 stars for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
-T, The Focused Filmographer
up next: Rock of Ages!