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Van Helsing (2004)

 -  Action | Adventure | Fantasy  -  7 May 2004 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 151,509 users   Metascore: 35/100
Reviews: 1,324 user | 230 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

The notorious monster hunter is sent to Transylvania to stop Count Dracula who is using Dr. Frankenstein's research and a werewolf for some sinister purpose.

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Title: Van Helsing (2004)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tom Fisher ...
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Stephen Fisher ...
Dr. Jekyll (as Stephen H. Fisher)
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Storyline

Van Helsing is in the world to rid all evil, even if not everyone agrees with him. The Vatican sends the monster hunter and his ally, Carl, to Transylvania. They have been sent to this land to stop the powerful Count Dracula. Whilst there they join forces with a Gypsy Princess called Anna Valerious, who is determined to end an ancient curse on her family by destroying the vampire. They just don't know how! Written by Film_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Adventure lives forever. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for nonstop creature action violence and frightening images, and for sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

7 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kallarai Manithan  »

Box Office

Budget:

$160,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,298,365 (Japan) (3 September 2004)

Gross:

$7,606,691 (Japan) (15 October 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The place where Van Helsing and Anna fight Dracula's three wives is the same place where they filmed Frankenstein (1931)Dracula (1931) and The Wolf Man (1941). The place is call the Court of Miracles and this place is also found at the studio tour at Universal Studios Hollywood. See more »

Goofs

When Anna and Velkan are fighting the werewolf at the beginning of the movie, there are about a dozen people helping them. Who exactly are these people, and where do they disappear to for the rest of the movie, when Anna could have used more of their help? See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Victor Frankenstein: It's alive. It's alive. It's alive!
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening titles, save the film studio logo. The title of the movie and the credits only appear in the end credits, which are seen as part of the portal to Dracula's lair. See more »

Connections

References The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Silly, lacking in plot, but good fun
21 November 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

It's big, it's dumb, it's cheesy as hell, but I found it to be enormous fun. This was made to be a roller-coaster ride and by that token it should be judged.

Actually after the opening pastiche of the Boris Karloff Frankenstein movie, I thought this had the potential to be a 5 star movie. It was very atmospheric and had me hooked. However the film never really captures any sense of magic from there onwards.

The main body of the movie does go on a bit, and it could have done with some attempt to create engaging characters. Plot and story are not always necessary for fun movies, but you do need characters with a level of interest to capture the mind, otherwise you tend to find yourself not giving a s**t. I felt Van Helsing did verge into this territory, but for the most part it's so fast paced this doesn't matter so much. The points where it does try to introduce plot are the moments where it really does fail. In fact there is too much going on that is never really explained, and I think it would've been better not to have bothered at all, than use the nonsense Sommers resorts too. For example the attempts at backstory to Van Helsing. Better to have one of those interlude chatty scenes you have in the Indy films, where it establishes he's a dude, rather than the poor attempts at angst and pathos. Really bad was the moment he gets upset over Frankie's Monster. What the hell was that all about?

Hmm maybe I took that a bit seriously, but the movie knows what it is, why try be something else. I also thought that that masked ball sequence was a natural conclusion, the eventual finale at the castle felt like an add on, which lacked any real punch.

Far better was Van's introduction to Transylvania, with the benefit of some neat angles and panning shots, the crossbow battle with the brides was cool. The coach chase was exciting without being exhilarating, but kept the flow going, so it's a shame some more bad plot gets thrown in, especially when it was involving the underwritten Velkan. That's the film's main problem - overkill of characters, with little space given to any of them to evolve.

Finally a word on the CGI. I thought it was very good, especially the morphs that were used. The very first moment Drac starts to turn made me jump a touch, and when the vampires turns into their fanged, contorted state it looked pretty scary to me. The wolfman transformation, with the ripping flesh looked genuinely painful. At this point I was thinking the CGI was genuinely stunning. I'd have preferred the finale if it had just been Van vs Drac though, having CGI characters fight felt uninvolving, and Drac in snarly state was far better than the beast he turns into.

This is a movie to genuinely switch of the brain and enjoy. At times there's too much going on and perhaps a bit too much swinging about for my liking, but it's an adrenaline filled ride. I'd probably give it 7 out of 10.


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