At the age of 9, Abraham Lincoln witnesses his mother being killed by a vampire, Jack Barts. Some 10 years later, he unsuccessfully tries to eliminate Barts but in the process makes the acquaintance of Henry Sturgess who teaches him how to fight and what is required to kill a vampire. The quid pro quo is that Abe will kill only those vampires that Henry directs him to. Abe relocates to Springfield where he gets a job as a store clerk while he studies the law and kills vampires by night. He also meets and eventually marries the pretty Mary Todd. Many years later as President of the United States, he comes to realize that vampires are fighting with the Confederate forces. As a result he mounts his own campaign to defeat them.Written by
The movie was shot in 2D and post converted into the 3D format. See more »
The railroad tracks are narrow. They should, however, be standard tracks, as Lincoln's silver train is from the United States Military Railroad which is a standard railroad. See more »
[voice-over in his journal]
History prefers legends to men. It prefers nobility to brutality, soaring speeches to quiet deeds. History remembers the battle and forgets the blood. Whatever history remembers of me, if it remembers anything at all, it shall only be a fraction of the truth. For whatever else I am - a husband, a lawyer, a President - I shall always think of myself as a man who struggled against darkness.
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An Entertaining, If Unremarkable, Period Vampire Slayer
Although I knew Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (from now shortened to Abe, Abraham or ALVH) was based on a novel, I've not read the novel. I have, however, heard good things. This is most likely not the novel the film was based on. A slick, action heavy vampire slayer movie that has more in common with Blade than Interview with a Vampire, like the novel, this re-imagines a history in which Abe Lincoln became a vengeance lusting, ax wielding vampire hunter, where vampires have a part in American History. The action is great, but sadly, everything else is mediocre. While the film presents some interesting ideas, the acting and plot are mostly ho-hum in favor of a rushed history lesson and speeding from one action piece to another.
Timur is an odd choice for this film, but probably one of the most inspired. He has a way of creating slick action, and it's no different here. From his creative uses of slow motion to the interesting action set pieces, in particular the final one on a train and an inventive one through a stampede of horses, Timur flaunts his skills at creating over the top action and reveling in it. And for sure, the action is the best part. With demonstrations of martial skills with an ax and cinematography that thankfully gives us a great view of the action, you're in for a more creative action packed film than the usual vampire hunting affair.
Sadly, beyond this, the majority of the film is mostly bogged down by historical details that are somewhat skimmed over and a plot that isn't all that interesting. Every character beyond Lincoln and his teacher, Henry, are mostly dull and cliché. Adam is the cliché, high class vampire villain with an air of superiority. Will is the token black guy, Abe's best friend since childhood and his eventual sidekick. Even the lovely Mary Winstead, who plays Mary Todd, is little more than eye candy (although, admittedly, she delivers one very solid, emotional scene that demonstrates her fantastic acting abilities). The script as well is as much to blame. There is a lot here that should be interesting, like the vampires involvement in the civil war. It's a fascinating idea, but it's rolled over in favor of watching Abe kick vampire butt.
Now there have been a lot of complaints about this film having no humor, and quite frankly, I am glad it didn't. Yes, several things seem funny, but the fact that this is a straight forward film that takes it's vampire involvement serious is a good thing. Had this been as comical as it's title suggests, it would have been a lot worse than it is. But as it stands, it is a slightly more than mediocre film with some great action scenes. It's nothing to write home about, and I probably won't be renting it to watch it again, but it was a decent and entertaining way to kill a couple hours on a warm summer day.
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