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Just got back from an advanced screening that was the (according to the director) first screening seen by people outside of the cast/crew of the movie. Overall I was very impressed, having never read the book I did not really know what to expect. Acting was good, nothing Oscar worthy but no poor performances. Everyone did their job well, especially Benjamin Walker and Dominic Cooper. They both excelled in their roles as Lincoln and Henry respectively. Plot flowed well and was easy to follow, and the action was absolutely fantastic. It was over the top, fast paced, bloody, and very well done. If you don't mind seeing vampires getting hacked, slashed, and bashed to death in a wide variety of ways, you'll enjoy this movie.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is exactly what you would expect from
the title. A ridiculous, over-the-top, and fun action-horror flick. The
serious tone and silly premise may turn off some people, but the
serious tone actually works to the films advantage and actually made
the movie more fun. I actually think a goofy and comedic tone could've
hurt the films in some ways by being a bit too tongue and cheek. The
action scenes were well done and incredibly entertaining to watch. The
final action scene was actually worth the price of admission alone. I
also enjoyed how they included actual parts of Lincoln's history into
the film. Benjamin Walker also surprisingly did a good job as Lincoln.
The dialogue is corny but I actual think that played as a strength to a
film rather than a weakness. The 3D effects are also used very well in
the film and delivers a good mix of depth and gimmicky moments and
really enhanced the action sequences. I would highly recommend seeing
the film in 3D if you have the option. If I had any complaints it would
be that I did feel like the film dragged a bit in the middle.
Overall, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a fun flick that delivers on exactly what it promises. Abraham Lincoln kicking vampire ass! If you don't go in holding the films premise against it, than you'll have a blast with it!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I too was a skeptic of the title. I got to watch the movie and was surprised by how quickly it hooked me. Cast and director make characters believable and story plausible. Benjamin Walker does a superb job of playing Lincoln. He really makes the character come to life. Great mix of fantasy and reality. The story respects Lincoln the man and Lincoln the president. If your a history buff you won't be disappointed. The movie moves along at a good pace. Plenty of action. The director does a fine job of making a believable story of one of the greatest and most beloved presidents in American history. A lot of the scenes and camera shots are unique and really bring you into the story instead of just being a bystander. The group I was with really enjoyed the movie. The time spent suspending belief is well worth it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I discovered this movie, skepticism washed over me. I mean,
Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter? Having one of the greatest
presidents of all time as the character of a vampire hunter would be
the last thing anyone would expect. When I entered the theater, my
initial thought was that this movie would bring me disappointment. But
it turned out to be much better than expected and a fun film filled
with lots of violence, blood, gore, and vampire decapitations.
So, in the film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's fantasy novel, Abraham Lincoln is a vampire hunter. But before he becomes that, he's just an ordinary boy living in a world consumed by slavery. One night, his mom died from an undiscovered disease and from then on, he's waited and searched for his mom's killer, only to discover a new large world of vampires. There he becomes a vampire hunter under the guidance of Henry Sturges (who has a secret).
However, his vampire hunting career reaches a hiatus in the middle of a movie where Abraham is now interested in pursuing a career in politics. In the end, he becomes the President of the United States, only to have his career troubled by the devastating Civil War where vampires play a part in it somehow. In the 20 or so minutes that focus on his presidency, I felt there was an issue with it as it shifted the focus of vampire hunting and focused on politics and the Civil War instead as nothing about vampires was stated during this 20 minutes.
The vampires are led by a leader named Adam. Although he might appear to be the strongest, I felt that the vampire John Barts (killer of Abraham's mother) was actually the main antagonist of the film and represented a bigger threat. While Adam had a lengthy climax, the fight with John Barts was much longer and was more personal as only the two of them were involved and more engaging. The scene also displayed more of the abilities possessed by a vampire.
Talking about action scenes, they were all great and fantastic. They were energetic, full of blood, full of gore, extremely violent, and dead brutal. Most of them feature decapitations of the vampires and anyone seeking brutality, deadliness, blood, gore, and violence should be satisfied with the action scenes provided here. But what I noticed in the action scenes, particularly the Lincoln-Barts fight and parts of the climax, was that it was quite unclear. In the Lincoln-Barts fight, the two were in a sandy place with many horses galloping. I felt that there was too much sand flying around and the fight became unclear and a bit brownish. This made it hard to see what was going on. It might intentionally done like that to give it more of an old feeling but it may also be a distraction because you don't know what's going on. The same happened in parts of the climax but this time, smoke and sparks caused it.
The script was a bit uneven. While the second half of the film was a bit better, I felt that the first half of the film was a bit lacking in dialog. There was little talk and there was too many decapitations, blood, and gore. I felt that the scenes progressed too fast and they should have taken it more patiently. In fact, most of the talk in the first part of the film comes from Abraham, due in part to the narration of fragments of his diary. The others rarely talk and probably only talk so little and it's only by the second half that they talk more. However, the performances by the actors were okay, not too terrible to burden the overall movie experience.
I also felt there was a bit of a disaster with the make-up. Since the time in the story spans from Abraham's early adulthood to his fifties, we could clearly see a change in his facial appearance (a beard). We can also see this change with Abraham's friend Joshua Speed. The same cannot be said with Abraham's wife Mary Todd, and Abraham's other friend Will Johnson. Mary Todd doesn't appear to change with the exception of very few creases on her face whereas Will Johnson doesn't have a change in appearance at all. His face is exactly the same his hair didn't even turn white.
However, the 3D was excellent. It takes you and makes you part of the scenes and is recommended although some of the scenes would make the 3D a nuisance. But other scenes where there is blood will be enhanced by the 3D and some of the blood may even squirt out to your face. And the visual effects! Oh they're such a wonder. But of course, impressive visual effects and eye-catching stunts would be what you would expect from a movie directed by Timur Bekmambetov.
Overall, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is a film that offers moviegoers a fun time with plenty of bloody and gory action sequences filled with eye-catching stunts, impressive visual effects and excellent 3D effects. Despite the interesting plot, the film is downed by some poor unclear shots, an uneven script that mostly focused on action, not on dialog, and poor make-up. Regardless, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is a movie you should see if you want a bloody fun time.
Final Verdict: Despite the uneven script, some poor unclear shots, and poor make-up, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" promises moviegoers a bloody fun time with gory action scenes, eye-catching stunts, impressive visual effects, and excellent 3D effects with an interesting and somehow peculiar plot line.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As a Brit, my knowledge of Abraham Lincoln is limited to stovepipe hat
and beard, the Civil War, abolition of slavery, and assassination at
the theatre by John Wilkes Booth. I had absolutely no idea that he had
enjoyed a career (prior to his entry into politics) as a vampire
slayer, nor that there had been a large contingent of vampires within
the Confederate army. Thank heavens Lincoln left behind his notebook,
or we'd never have known.
Benjamin Walker, an actor I have never heard of, but who looks very much like a young Liam Neeson, plays young Lincoln (and, with old makeup and a sticky-on beard, old Lincoln) in a batch of preposterous nonsense in which our hero become expert at whirling around a silver-bladed axe, surviving horrific physical trauma, decapitating vampires, chatting up Mary Elizabeth Winstead, starting the Civil War, and melting down everyone's silver into musket balls in order to defeat the 1st Confederate Vampire Infantry Regiment. In this he is assisted by a decent roster of support including Dominic Cooper, Rupert Sewell, the afore-mentioned Miss Winstead, Anthony Machie and Jimmi Speed.
All those involved play this nonsense with an absolutely straight face - indeed, it would not work if they played it tongue in cheek - but, notwithstanding the seriousness with which the characters are portrayed, and the slow motion decapitations and vampiric (black) blood sprays, this film is a romp. Like director Timur Bekmambetov's earlier Wanted, it is an unexpected and exuberant batch of utter twaddle, made with an almost palpable glee. And, also like Wanted, it features some beautifully choreographed and eye-boggling action.
This movie is hugely enjoyable and absolutely daft. And the 3D is often very effective.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's funny how I created an account for this website just to tell
people how awful this movie was. I had the benefit of seeing this movie
before it came out last night at my work, and even I felt like I was
being cheated out of time and money. I can't imagine paying to see this
Now, obviously I wasn't expecting a serious film. With the title, I expected an entertaining film with a lot of blood, gore, and action sequences. This movie however, tried to be so much more, while retaining a ridiculous plot and ludicrous action sequences. Every fight scene was either poorly crafted or so unbelievably stupid I almost walked out of a movie I didn't even have to pay for. The plot itself was also terrible. Characters barely introduced somehow become relevant, and acting was so bad at parts I laughed at the actors/actresses. It seemed like the only character who aged was Abe, characters such as Mary Todd's fiancé just disappear, and every single one liner from the beginning of the film is repeated. You know, that can work. Spider-Man's classic "With great power comes great responsibility" was okay. But when the characters repeat 6 or 7 different lines it gets old. fast.
If you can't help yourself, then go see this film. I was intrigued by the title and hoped to see Abe kick some ass. But this film is just so outright ridiculous. I feel like I've said that word way too many times, but it's the only word to describe it. Abe goes from a frail and tall guy to an axe swinging backflipping badass without anymore training than chopping down a tree (which was also a poorly done scene). I don't even think I can say something good about this film, other than the idea. This movie could have been very entertaining had it not lost total sense of reality and human capability. I found myself yelling "as if" multiple times during the film. If you don't believe me, see it for yourself.
Supposedly, the beginnings of Vampires in America and a story about
Honest Abe (Benjamin Walker) as he hunts them down before becoming our
I had no idea who Benjamin Walker is. Anyone? Yes, I suspected, but had never heard the truth that Abraham Lincoln was a Vampire Hunter ..until now. And, now you will too, if you watch this movie. I can hear you asking, "is it all true" Well, of course, it is. Hollywood wouldn't make up something if it weren't true now, would they? And, yes, they are finally admitting the truth about Edgar Allen Poe being a detective who wrote poems on his stake-outs. But, on to Abe ..as a Vampire Hunter.
But first, before you turn away from this one, let me tell you of 2-scenes that are worth your time. The first one is a battle between Abe and Vampire Jack Barts (Marton Csokas) on horses in a horse stampede. Yes, that's right. In a horse stampede. The way this was done was nothing short of fantastic and you will ask yourself " how in the world did they do this?" The second one is near the end on a burning bridge the train is crossing. Unbelievable how they did this. Again, you will ask yourself "how in the world did they do this?" They took CGI to a new level. You will be talking about these two scenes for a long time. Kudos, kudos and kudos again.
The entire production, photography, dialogues were all first rate as were the actors within. The music was spot on especially with the train near the end chug-chugging in time with the beat. Excellent.
Yes, there is some gore as Abe settles in to become the Vampire Hunter we know and love, and his weapon of choice is an Axe. Hey, he was a rail-splitter at one time. Keep up.
Abe is befriended by Henry (Dominic Cooper) who teaches him how to kill Vampires. But, wait Henry has a secret.
The main villain Vampire is Adam played by Rufus Sewell and he is always good. And, we learn how the battle for Gettysburg was really won. Yes, the North won but now you will learn how they did it. Never before told.
One more thing: finally, someone decided on a Mary Todd Lincoln (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who is easy on the eyes. Good choice. And, yes, Benjamin Walker makes a good Lincoln especially with the beard later on in the movie.
It's true, I didn't want to see this movie much less do a review on it. A friend I won't name (Russ) recommended it and thanks to him I discovered the truth and it set me free. Now, I know all. Will you? (7/10)
Violence: Throughout Sex: No. Gore: Yes, there is some. Nudity: Yes, quick shot of a dead woman with a breast exposed. Language: Only two f-bombs were heard. Otherwise no language at all. (7/10)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I didn't go to this movie expecting Oscar winning caliber, I did want
to be entertained, even in a "turn your brain off" way. I understand
that more often than not when books are adapted into movies, things are
changed, cut for time/story, etc. Preserving the main idea of a story
can be done even implementing this method without the nuclear meltdown
that occurred with this adaptation.
I LOVED the book. I loved the way time was taken to carefully develop the characters & story, & weave them into coordination with true historical facts, & events.
I'm not saying this needed to be "Batman Begins", i'm willing to accept the fact that studios aren't willing to provide unlimited funds for films they might consider "going out on a limb."
This movie would've been great if it had gone one of two ways: A goofy, campy, slaying story in the spirit of Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead" series (which I thoroughly enjoy). Or, if it had closely followed the tone & story of the novel. This movie did neither of those. The ONLY resemblance to the book are some character's names.
Here are my quarrels:
1.) A completely changed & rushed back story. What was so carefully plotted out in the book & gradually developed both story & character wise (so you can feel for Abe, his plight, motivations, feelings, & destiny) is now a completely different story with omissions of important characters, events, situations, mindsets, emotions, etc. & the addition of characters & situations not in the book.
It's rushed through in approximately 5 minutes, leaving you wondering why you should give a crap at all. You have no connection with Abe, or any other character for that matter. I was actually stunned.
2.) There's a training sequence that's laughable, & approximately 3 minutes long, with some of the worst CGI ever.
3.) Henry. His back story is unfortunately butchered & laughably unbelievable. As is his initial meeting (and ensuing friendship) with Abe. Gone is his meticulous nature, and important contributions to the story, and left is a husk of the character from the book.
4.) And what's this crap about vampires can't kill their own? And how vampires are made vampires? The explanation for how vampires are made vampires is so ridiculous, you'll want to puncture your own eardrums for having heard it.
5.) Continuing omission of key characters & events which continually leave you detached from any characters or the story. Adam, & the female vampire (? name) are a prime example of additional made up characters shoe horned in the movie. If they had followed the original story they would have had more than enough material without needing to invent these two silly, cardboard characters,
6.) Continuous, unemotional, passionless, mind numbingly repetitive "Matrix" like slow motion vampire killing scenes. Silly fight in a herd of wild running horses....horse "tossing".
7.) Silly subplot about silver. It's not ever in the book as being harmful, or the making of weapons from them. (PS: writers...stop putting silver in vampire movies, save it for the werewolves.)
8.) Mary Todd was never savvy to what her husband was up to. But here, less believably, distributing silver weapons out in the battlefield, where she could then have a stupid scene where she shoots the female (name?) vampire, who is running at her with full "Ahhhhhhh!!" battle cry.
But I guess the "writers" figured they needed to amp it up & give her a scene where she does something.
9.) I'm confused as to what happened at the end. Who is it in the bar? Why couldn't they just have had the ending they had in the book? The ending in the film reminds me of that ending from "Interview with the Vampire" with Tom Cruise telling Christian Slater he's going to give him the choice he never had. Cheesy.
Imagine my shock to find out that Seth Grahame-Smith was involved with the screenplay. SHAME ON YOU SETH! Did you have little creative control, or did you not care & sell out completely??!!
Tim Burton should hang his head in shame too (even though he hasn't been involved with a quality flick since "Sleepy Hollow")(with the "possible" exception of "Sweeney Todd".)
In my showing there was a group of gabby tweens who literally burst into giggles every time something happened on screen. Most of the time it was something that wasn't meant to be funny, but due to the nature of this "film" -was. Normally this behavior annoys me, but I couldn't even get annoyed with them, as it was justified.
So what did I like you might ask? If you're still reading. Well, I liked Benjamin Walker as I thought he looked the part, especially in Abe's later years, & he tried. But due to poor writing, and equally poor direction, his performance throughout the film is uneven and shockingly wooden as Abe in his younger years.
I liked Dominic Cooper as Henry, who like Walker, did the best he could with the crappy material and direction, at least he had a little more passion in his performance. It's not his fault the script sucked.
I liked that the vampires didn't sparkle.
If you enjoyed or have any respect for the book this is "based" on, I urge you to refrain from spending your hard earned money on a vastly overpriced ticket. You have been warned.
I didn't have high expectations of this film due solely to it's title.
How wrong I was! This is a popcorn movie of the best sort. Ridiculously
over the top but in a very entertaining way.
The action doesn't stop from the get go and there's a narrative that runs through the whole movie that keeps you interested.
The SFX are impressive too.
Performances are good, particularly Rufus Sewell who plays a very good villain. "Rufus Sewell" that's got to be a made up name. It's too cool to be a real name.
One of the better vampire films in recent years.
After watching Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter at home I asked myself why I didn't go to see it in a movie theater during the summer. I should have but I guess the reason was that I thought the premise was silly. Too bad because this is a terrific action film. It's very entertaining but I stress that it's not dumb. All the actors deliver good performances. Benjamin Walker creates a fantastic hero in Abraham Lincoln, a secret vampire hunter and the 16th President of the United States. Walker is good in the action scenes as well as at delivering Lincoln's historic lines. He begins hunting vampires as a young man with the assistance of his mentor Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper). Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Lincoln's wife Mary Todd and Anthony Mackie plays his closest friend William Johnson. Rufus Sewell as Adam is the film's main antagonist, a powerful vampire with an interesting story. The film is based on Seth Grahame-Smith's mashup novel of the same name. It plays very much like a comic book movie, and it takes liberties with the facts of Lincoln's life while poking fun at some of them. Director Timur Bekmambetov has a talent for creating impressive visuals, but here with the assistance of cinematographer Caleb Deschanel the look of the film is often stunning. The scene in which Lincoln fights Jack Barts on horseback at sunset is just one amazing highlight. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter earned almost twice its budget at the box office but it should have been a bigger hit. It's serious fantasy horror. I won't be surprised if it becomes a cult movie. It's one of the best films of 2012, and I definitely recommend seeing it.
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