Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

July 13, 2012

Mangled history

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 10:34 pm

July 13, 2012

Cast: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell

Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Mixing real historical facts with a preposterous make-believe premise, Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov delivers a silly biopic-meets-horror movie in the curiously titled Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

The film stars Benjamin Walker as the young 16th President of America who swears vengeance on all vampires when one dastardly bloodsucker kills his mum. Trained and tutored in the art of vampire-assassination by a mysterious stranger (Dominic Cooper), Abe wields an axe meshed with silver, and heads out to ‘cleanse’ the world.

The movie offers some crazy theories that might have inspired laughs, if they weren’t presented so seriously…that vampires got their strength from feeding on the blood of black slaves, or that the American Civil War was in fact a battle between the dead and the undead.

Expectedly, it’s the set-pieces that are most fun here, including one in which Abe takes on his nemesis during a thrilling horse stampede, and another one towards the end of the film, in which his train must cross a burning bridge. Bekmambetov shoots these sequences imaginatively, and they’re the only time you’ll be riveted during this boring film. Unfortunately, the obligatory 3D serves little purpose here, other than to make the images even darker than they already are.

I’m going with two out of five for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Walker makes for a likeable hero, and the action scenes work. Now if only they’d invested it with a sense of humor.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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