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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!
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Characters: About 3 of the characters develop (slightly) and the rest are left to rot in their horrible cliché state of blandness and stereotypes. 4/10
Effects: This is one of the better parts of the film. The effects are good and at some points great. They fit well with the action scenes. At one point in the movie, I remember it didn't feel like I was watching a movie due to the amount of action and great effects. But it was short-lived due to the silly plot. 8/10
Plot: PFFFFFFT. It's bad. Really bad. But funny. Very funny. 5/10
Should I see it?: But if you're bored one night and have some dough to waste for a couple of cheap laughs and good action scenes, this movie is fine for you.
If you're looking for something deep or for a classic movie you can remember for this summer, this movie isn't it.
During the sequence with the burning trestle bridge (I don't want to be any more specific because I don't like posting spoilers) I actually turned to my wife and said, "This is stupid." She agreed.
My 11 year old daughter liked the movie so maybe grownups weren't the target audience for this mess.
If you liked the book, keep away. If you want any kind of thought or story internally consistent story, keep away. If you want mindless depictions of the 16th president acting like a super hero, leaping tall buildings in a single bound, felling giant trees with a single stroke, performing moves that would make Jet Li proud, this is your movie.
The movie was NOTHING like the book. The characters were different except for their names and some didn't show up at all. The events that made it from the book to the move were out of order in the movie. The details mentioned above - non- existent in the movie. The story was so choppy, leaving out huge portions of events. I am aware that not everything can be translated to a movie in a timely manner; however, it can be done far better than it was done in this movie.
I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this movie. Don't waste your time/money. Read the book - it is so much better.
Until I SAW this film.
I guess that should be more than enough to say anything about this movie. Spielberg better pull up his socks. His upcoming biographical saga on Lincoln will need something out of the blue to convince his audience that Lincoln was just a normal president with a beard and not ...you know what. Wanted took my expectation level to a stratospheric high. With this movie the level has rocketed to the exosphere. Wanted 2 better be that good Mr Bekmambetov. P.S.:Timur is one guy who hell sure knows how to make a film look and sound better than its trailer, one quality which film-makers seldom achieve. (Or maybe that's his trick!)
I don't even know where to begin with this movie. After wasting money a few years ago on another hyped up movie that turned out to be complete crap, I promised myself I would never spend full price on movies anymore until they came to my local $2 theater. There was one move in which I broke my promise which was The Dark Knight and I was satisfied, but for the most part I avoided movies particular new releases at all costs.
I did all of this until Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter was released. I was familiar with the story ever since the book was released many months earlier, and I finally get around to getting the book the Saturday after the movie release and completed it the following Friday. I really loved the book and while a fictional story, the historical information in the book was accurate including Lincoln's family, his sons, birth and dates of death. In addition the Civil War accounts were also accurate in terms of dates and outcomes. The book did a really good job tying in the story of vampires into the real life of Abraham Lincoln and this nation.
I was real excited to see the movie after finishing the book, and while I expected the movie to not follow the book exactly, perhaps omitting some aspects and combining characters, I did at least expect it to be much better than it was. On the contrary I found this movie to be quite insulting and terribly done. Once again a Hollywood movie jumps the shark and completes an utter disaster of overdone action scenes, needless characters and an unbelievable story. Its one thing to deviate a little from the book, but its a complete other thing to throw all of the things that made the book great out of the window and replace it with a steaming pile of crap such as this. The book was tortured, butchered and beheaded just as the unfortunate vampires Lincoln would encounter and destroy during his life.
It only took 10 minutes into the movie to realize that this was going to be a disaster. The only thing they got sort of right was the death of Abraham's mother when he was a little boy, but from that point on, everything was completely different. I don't mind the story being changed somewhat, but if you are going to change something at least make it worthwhile. The producers were so preoccupied with creating needless and overdone action scenes, they completely threw historical accuracy out the window. Without giving away too many spoilers, I must point out that the date of death of Thomas Lincoln (Abe's father) was wrong in the movie, the movie also completely ignored Robert Todd, Eddie, and Thomas (Tad) Lincoln. (Lincoln's other 3 sons). Henry, who was Lincoln's mysterious and one of his strongest allies in the book was reduced so some young Tom Cruise like character who was weak, unconvincing and boring. Mary Todd Lincoln who was psychologically weak in the book (and in real life); and understandably so, due to the death of her sons, turned into some powerful Joan of Arc wanna be which was also unconvincing. The movie also added two completely unnecessary main antagonists who were not in the book. These characters were your typical Hollywood a-hole bada$$es and added NOTHING to the story except to make it even worse than it already was. The story itself jumped around so much and seemed the producers' only goal was to rush through the back stories just so they could get to more action scenes. I could go on all day of how many things I hated about this movie but I will end my many gripes here and only say that the final action scene was complete crap, but what should I expect I suppose.
I guess it was my fault for expecting a quality movie when I should know by now Hollywood treats us American viewers as mindless Neanderthals who can only respond to non-stop action and cheesy overdone special effects and constant violence. This is not to say that the book wasn't violent, but I found the violence in the book to be much more believable than the movie which would just splash CGI blood every time Lincoln encountered a vampire.
I guess if you are a teenager who hasn't read the book or one who can't yet appreciate what it takes to make a movie both exciting and thought provoking, will absolutely love this movie. Older people on the other hand I suspect will find this movie quite insulting not only to the book, but to American history in general. As the crowd sat in complete silence, probably as disappointed and shocked as I was on how bad this movie was, I saw on the screen that one of the executive producers was Seth Grahame-Smith the author of the book. Such irony and such a shame that he can write such a good book, but then contribute to a disaster like this. I'm going to try my best to wipe this movie completely out my mind and from this point on I will re-promise myself not watch another movie in the theater until it comes to the $2 theater.
I don't give out 1 star review for anything too often, but I really can't find any redeeming quality that would push it up to two stars. So I will leave it at one. Probably not the worst movie I've seen, but its pretty close.
This movie should not even have the honor of having the same title as the book. There are approximately 4 characters that are the same, and that is just because of their names. The storyline is in no way similar to the book.
All movies that are based on book face the criticism of those who have read the book. The usual is that some things are left out due to a time constraint, a scene or two may be added in for Hollywood drama, or characters may look different due to the expectations of movie goers...This movie does not follow the usual. There is literally nothing that is the same. The characters personalities and intentions are completely different, there is a storyline that runs throughout the movie that does not exist in the book, and there is a "main" character in the movie that Does Not exist in the book. It is a disgrace that the author of the book would create a screenplay that does not only do injustice to the book, but is Not even similar to the book.
2. For those who have not read the book:
If you have not read the book, then storyline does not matter near as much because you don't know what happened. From a movie standpoint, the acting is sub-par, the CGI is Terrible, and the production (of which I was sadly disappointed in Tim Burton) was choppy and looks like it could have been done by a high school student. All in all it is a movie that is not worthing watching, let alone pay for.