Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter proves to be all surface and no depth!
With a title that invokes a famous historical figure taking on the heroic deed of ridding the world of evil, you’d think this would be an enjoyable mash of an experience. Sadly, it isn’t. Director Timur Bekmambetov, whose last big feature film was Wanted, brings his visual style to the big screen adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith novels. The film follows the life story of Abraham Lincoln from a young boy up to his Presidency, as he witnesses his mother’s death at an early age to the hands of a vampire, and sets out to learn the secrets of vampire hunting in order to avenge her death.
It’s all surface and no depth. Bekmambetov believes slowing down action sequences over and over again to the point were you think your going to get a slow motion sequence once every ten minutes becomes really tiresome. He used the technique in his last film to make everything look cool and sleek, but in the end it just becomes a repetitive and tedious aspect to his work. There are moments however of genuine fright though, leaping creatures and gruesome looking vampires, even without the 3D, gives you the odd jump in your seat.
Throughout the film, I had in mind that this is a tongue-in-cheek piece, and that I should take any extremities that comes with it. But with action sequences of leaping across a field of galloping horse backs, a train journey gone sour and a gown party rescue mission, the film just sky rockets even more to the realms of stupidity.
Benjamin Walker plays Abraham, full of intrigue and innocence as a young man growing up into his idea of politics whilst falling for his future wife Mary Todd (played Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Wielding his axe to escape tricky situations via impressive routes and having a slight sense of wanting to carry out his act of vengeance is all fun and indulging to a point. But once his face is caked in makeup to portray the infamous image of Lincoln, ordering his troops to die for his cause in the Civil War and delivering speeches with importance and weight with hardly any conviction, he wierdly loses his seriousness which becomes an odd problem.
Another mention must go to Dominic Cooper who plays Henry, Lincoln’s right hand man and mentor, laying down the rules of the world of vampire killing. However, it’s not long before he parades through the film like some eloquent half drunk upper class peer, constantly informing the audience of exposition moments to hurry the plot along.
It’s a completely forgettable film. It simply sets out to do what the title says, but that’s all it does. To be fair, it may get a certain audience of some form, hopefully. But with nothing new to add to any of the horror, fantasy or vampire genre, it ends up being an unfortunate let down.