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Van Helsing
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Van Helsing More at IMDbPro »

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23 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

enjoyable adventure

Author: John O'Neill (john_oneill41@hotmail.com) from Leicester, England
9 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Excellent adventure story based on the vampire killer created by Bram Stoker. Forget any Edward Van Sloane dottery old professors here. This guy is all action swashbuckling kill with his bare hands if there isn't a weapon handy.

Hugh Jackman is great in the part and is building an impressive action CV. The nods to the Universal movies of the 30s and 40s are well appreciated and one good point is that Frankensteins Monster who isn't intrinsically evil is allowed to survive at the end. He and the other monsters are presented in a new modern original way while at the same time having features that been part of them since they were first committed to celluloid.

If you want an action filled exciting couple of hours you could do a hell of a lot worse than watch Van Helsing.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

This is, dare I say it, fang-tastic.

8/10
Author: kevinxirau from United States
7 November 2011

Universal's greatest monsters are back, this time in a monster mash unlike any other. Stephen Sommers, director of "The Mummy", brings a new set of rules and updates to his creatures and makes Van Helsing an awesome, well-equipped action hero. So let's spread our wings, charge up, and take a bite into this action-packed creature feature.

Plot: Dracula, the Prince of Darkness, had Dr. Frankenstein create his monster for a nefarious purpose, but the vampire lord loses both the good doctor and his creation. A year later, having finished business in Paris (Mr. Hyde), monster hunter Van Helsing, alongside his genius sidekick Carl, is sent by the Knights of the Holy Order to Transylvania to kill Dracula while protecting Princess Anna from him. However, Dracula has three brides, a werewolf, and other creatures under his control. With the help of Carl, Anna, and Frankenstein's monster, Van Helsing sets out to stop this monster madness with an arsenal of crazy weapons and an attitude to match.

This is a great tribute to the classic monster movies. Dracula, the Wolfman, and Frankenstein's monster have great updates, cool designs, and unique twists to their characters. Van Helsing is tough as nails and Anna is both sexy and strong. Both characters do have soft spots, especially for each other. Carl, along with many other things in this movie, is pretty darn funny. It's great the way all these characters are tied together in this crazy battle for the fate of the world.

With a complex story, nice effects, fun music, good comedy, and awesome action scenes, this movie is sure to please. A must-see film. Check it out. Be sure to bring stakes, crosses, silver bullets, and fire.

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

" To you it's a mirror, for the Prince of Darkness, it's a doorway to Hell "

10/10
Author: thinker1691 from USA
25 July 2009

If you're a fan of Gothic stories, this movie is just what the doctor ordered. Nearly every conceivable horror creature created for the silver screen is resurrected for this masterpiece. Mary Shelley's Frankenstine born in 1818, Bram Stoker's Dracula penned in 1897, the fable Lycanthrope, Wolfman and even Robert Louis Stevenson's duel identities of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are part of this magnificent and horrifying menagerie. The story also includes Dracula's Black Transylvanian castle, the pathetic hunchback assistant Igor and an army of throat-ripping, flying children of the night. But just to round-out the story the famed vampire hunter Gabriel Van Helsing takes center stage to this nightmarish saga. The film is called " Van Helsing " and is a living tribute to all the horror stories of the 1930's 40 and 50's. What this movie offers is a collection of those dark tales and nightmares we thought we'd forgotten in our youth. Not so, with the incredible special effects this film uses, those black dreams return and are more terrifying than ever. Hugh Jackman plays Van Helsing, with Richard Roxburgh as Count Vladislaus Dracula. Kevin J. O'Connor is Igor and surprisingly Alun Armstrong plays Cardinal Jinette. Samuel West is Dr. Victor Frankenstein with Robbie Coltrane and Stephen Fisher both playing Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. For those seeking eye candy there is Kate Beckinsale and Josie Maran as Marishka. From start to finish, there is so much action, drama and savage physical confrontation it's nearly impossible to turn away. What puzzles me is the main characters' constantly fall from dizzying heights to crash against everything from thick wooden beams to concrete and stone barriers of all kinds and yet few bones are ever broken. Still, the excitement and enjoyment from this movie are incredible, so much so, it's no wonder it immediately became a Classic. Superb! ****

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

See The Movie Before You Start Judging It

Author: eric262003 from Canada
21 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I can't understand why people ostracize a movie negatively before it actually premieres? I watched "Van Helsing" 7 years ago and I was completely awestruck by it. The trailer previews doesn't even come close to the actual movie itself as it only shows the small tidbits of what you'll expect to see. The upper echelons at Universal Studios claimed the by the time trailer came into commission, the special effects was not fully completed. I had my doubts at first about seeing it, but in the end, and when the credits were rolling, I had to give a stand up applause. It was that phenomenal.

Sure the naysayers will easily be judgmental as Van Helsing will utilize his impressive arsenal of weapons as he embarks on an eclectic journey against the top villains that once graced the silver screen back in the 1930's and 1940's. From the Wolfman to Frankenstein, to Dracula the battles were extremely engaging and it was fun to see the dynamic monsters try to challenge this clever monster-slaying warrior. Granted, this movie will never win any Oscars, in fact the script is cheesier than a lasagne in an Italian restaurant. But if you like watching the biggest, the baddest, the most macabre bunch of monsters to ever hit the screen in one movie, well look no further.

The film is just fun to watch. The setting were sublime, the monsters were very graphical and effective. Sure it looks at times like a Simon Belmont video-game in terms of atmosphere, with Helsing defeating these evil beings. The weapons Van Helsing uses is cool enough to make even James bond green with envy. His fight with the Count was very exciting it will keep you glued to your seat as the action and scenery is what makes this movie special.

For those who yearn on artsy movies or like to dissect every anachronism that's featured well, it's never too late to turn away from it. Don't spoil it for others just because you're judgemental. But if you're passive about cheesy scripts, but scintillating entertainment, you don't want to miss "Van Helsing". Just sit back and let your mind relax.

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22 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

What in the world...

1/10
Author: BigLitz
12 May 2004

What in the world were they trying to do with this movie. It was a great idea, and good action, but the dialog was absolutely horrendous. "But you're suppossed to Die" "But I want to Live" "Okay." It was either a 6 year old wrote this script or they didn't bother to write a script at all. I won't even get started on the incredible amount of errors in this movie. The writer/director might have well smack the viewer across the face with some of the mistakes they let slide. Needless to say I was extremely disappointed in this movie after looking forward to seeing it for some time. I can only hope that we will not see a sequal to this mistake. Or at least get a new writer and director who can actually do this good idea justice.

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25 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Not camp enough unfortunately

Author: isabelle1955
1 December 2005

I've seen some comments on this film suggesting that it has been misunderstood because, really, it's just a camp, cult film. The problem I have with it, is that if that was the intention, it fails because it's just not camp enough, and if that wasn't the intention, it fails because it's dire. Camp dire is fine. Just plain dire isn't. If I was Bram Stoker, I'd be suing from beyond the grave.

Now I loved director Stephen Sommers "Mummy" movies, especially the first one, which was lots of fun, I really like fine actors Hugh Jackman, Richard Roxburgh (wonderfully camp in Moulin Rouge) and David Wenham and I was fairly open minded about Kate Beckinsale as I'd hardly seen her in anything before, so I sat down to watch this movie (on pay per view at home) perfectly willing to be entertained. I rarely watch a movie about which I can find nothing good to say, but this was one of those rarities. From the incoherent script, to the confused plot, to the ear splitting sound track, to the overuse and abuse of CGI, to the tacky Brides of Frankenstein (or whatever those girlies were supposed to be. When it comes to scantily clad women, erotic is good, tacky isn't), to Kate Beckinsale's silly costume, to the revolting peasants, the entire thing was such a mess. I think it just proves again that the quality of a movie bears little relation to how much money you throw at it, and that there is really no substitute for a decent script.

I'm not averse to special effects movies. Try and imagine films like, say, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, or Star Trek: First Contact or last year's War of the Worlds, without special effects. Doesn't really work, does it? And those are all movies I loved, because the effects are used to enhance the story, to tell it better. But what you have at the core of those films, is a good exciting story, well written, and with characters you care about.

Who cares about any of these guys? Van Helsing fails mostly because it substitutes special effects for character and story, and then tries to take itself seriously. It's quite a cynical film, hoping to find an audience dumb enough to lap it up.

I'm still trying to imagine what good actors like Jackman and Wenham were doing in this? Maybe it was one of those movies that's much more fun to make than to watch, I'm sure they had a blast in Prague, or where ever it was, and earned enough to pay the mortgage for a few months. I'm also well aware that as a middle aged woman I'm probably not the target audience for Van Helsing. So it really only remains to say that I sat down to watch it with my two teenage kids, one of each sex. They hated it too, and gave up watching long before I did. When a movie is so bad that my teenage son would rather do his homework than watch - that's bad!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Fangs You Vociferously

4/10
Author: wes-connors from Los Angeles
13 August 2010

The infamous blood-sucker from Transylvania (Richard Roxburgh as Count Dracula) has sent up Frankenstein's laboratory in his castle, where he hopes to use the maestro's life-giving expertise to animate his vampire offspring. Since these babies are birthed by Dracula's three vampire brides, they are understandably born dead. For several reasons, this makes God unhappy. The Almighty arranges for vigilante vampire hunter Hugh Jackman (as Gabriel Van Helsing) to stop the supernatural meddling. Helping Mr. Jackson are Dracula's descendants, beautiful Kate Beckinsale (as Anna Valerious) and werewolf brother Will Kemp (as Velkan).

Stephen Sommers' story isn't bad, but the execution drowns it to death. We begin with a black-and-white sequence, which looks more like they turned off the color than attempted to do a creative homage. As the star, Mr. Jackson wears the film's worst hairpiece, hat, and costume - he should have had a talk with somebody. Others are much, much better, with Ms. Beckinsale looking sexy throughout. The fine visual effects (supervised by Ben Snow and Scott Squires) and animation (Daniel Jeannette) are not flattered by a bombastic and overindulgent pace. "Van Helsing" looks like a shoved together collection of highlights from three movies.

**** Van Helsing (5/3/04) Stephen Sommers ~ Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh, Will Kemp

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Van Helsing against the Cartoon People

4/10
Author: Ariel_Ronnie from United States
10 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Somehow they managed to get beautiful fresh-faced Kate Beckinsdale and lather enough make-up on her to make her a candidate for Madame Tussaud's wax museum. A bit to aggressive with the hair curling thingie didn't help either. No lead had enough "quiet" time in which to establish a character...they had the depth of Playstation 3 people. All the CG monster's just moved too fast. The thing that bothered me the most...1/3 of the film occurs in "dark-o-vision"...it's so dark you can barely discern what is happening. Combine that with the hyper active fight scenes and rapid fire editing...and whole scenes occur that don't involve us simply cause we are confused on what is going on. I would think there could be some frightining scenes, maybe some tension and dread, heck it's got the grand trio of monsters...nope, not here. We've seen enough how movies are made specials that we are bored by CG cartoons. The "face in the sky" ending was embarrassing.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Horror stew in Hulk-vision

4/10
Author: Koenraad G.F. VISSERS from Flanders (Belgium)
13 January 2007

Hugh Jackman could have spared himself the trouble of trying to act among an otherwise cardboard cast and settings that fit the special effects - it all looks as tasteless as is barely acceptable in something like a Hulk-sequel. The script is mainly an inconsistent sequence of clichés from various, unrelated and hardly compatible horror traditions, turning the eponymous vampire-killer into a universal monster-slayer trained by a secret Catholic order as an orphan, with some other implausible twists. The genre normally requires accepting a few unrealistic premises, but here there is almost nothing beyond that to make it worthwhile. The result is rather infantile, hardly good enough even to be mentioned in the history of Dracula-movies.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

The BEST example of what is wrong with many Hollywood pictures today.

2/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
5 June 2008

This is probably the very best example of what is wrong with Hollywood today. When people around the world complain that Hollywood is churning out over-budgeted, special effects-laden films with brainless plots, this is the first film that comes to mind. It was as if the studio execs knowingly produced a bad film because they simply knew that marketing and stupid effects would draw the undiscerning teens like flies to a corpse. And, I hate to admit it, but if the bottom line is money, then this film was a success. The fact that it made millions is depressing and further supports the notion that crap sells and quality is irrelevant in a bottom-line world. I found it so offensively dumb that I wanted my money back after seeing it--and it was in a dollar theater!! My teenage daughter felt equally appalled and said "that's an hour and a half of my life down the drain!". I am so proud of my girl!

So let's talk about why I totally hated this film. Despite tons of money being spent on sets and all, it sounded like the dialog was written by a middle schooler. The worst example was the wretched and cliché-ridden scene where Van Helsing first meets his lady love. He walks into town as countless flying vampire maidens are soaring about--destroying the town and attacking the clichéd "tough as nails" heroine. Now, at this point, the annoying heroine is getting the crap knocked out of her by these vampires and Van Helsing literally saves her from certain death. So what does she do in the world of dumb dialog--she snaps out that she is doing just fine and she doesn't want his help! This is taking the spunky and petulant babe role to such a stupid extreme that I literally groaned out loud in the theater. And, did I mention is this 100% anachronistic film that Van Helsing helps her with the aid of a machine gun that shoots wooden stakes! Heck, such a gun would be next to impossible to make NOW--let alone back in the 19th century!!! The dialog and action is pretty consistent with this scene throughout the film--one petulant scene after another and one great special effects scene after another. While I appreciate the beauty of the special effects, without a plot and dialog, they are pretty much worthless.

Since seeing this wretched film, I have talked to dozens of my high school students and adults about this. With only a few exceptions, the kids liked it with such comments like "I loved the action" and "the flying vampire babes were cool"--and no mention of the story or characters. Those who hated it (mostly, but not exclusively adults) described it as "brainless" or "just plain dumb". Just because impressionable kids LIKE this sort of tripe, should we, as responsible parents, let them feed on a constant diet of this brain-rot?! God help us, as these kids are our future!

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