In 1818, a very young Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) loses his mother to a vampire attack and swears vengeance upon the whole breed of monsters. In his late teens, or early twenties, Lincoln attempts to exact his revenge only to fail. Taking pity upon the failure, Lincoln is guided under the wing of another who wishes to destroy the vampire plague - Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper). Together, Henry and Lincoln wage war against the monstrous trio looking to conquer America as their own land.
The action scenes in this film are some of the most creative I've seen in a long while. You can definitely tell Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was directed by Timur Bekmambetov, the same man who directed the film adaptation of the comic book, Wanted. Some of the action scenes in the film weren't in the book, but a lot of what was in the book was changed. While I caught myself saying the book was better than the movie (a phrase I never thought I'd utter), I took time to digest this feeling and realized the film was superior. I was just looking forward to some of the characters and important moments from the book making it into the film.
Horse stampede, Jack Barts catching the scent of Lincoln, and the train fight
A lot of reviewers were really disappointed by this film but they're clearly sympathizers with the blood-sucking living dead. Kids have clearly been brainwashed by the vampire agenda in Twilight. This is a beautiful genre-tastic, fairly low-budget (69 mil., which when compared to Wrath of the Titans/Dark Shadows 150 mil., Snow White and the Huntsman 170 mil., and The Amazing Spider-Man 220 mil. is pretty darn low) exploitation film. It blows my mind that anyone can hear the title of the film and expect anything different than what was put on the screen.
What was really great about the film that so many people seem to under-appreciate is the fun they clearly had with it. There were parts where tone was serious, scares were had, emotions were felt, and then there were parts where the concept was embraced that this premise is just ridiculous and everyone knows it. They drop the F-bomb in this film, which may very well have been around in the mid 1800's but feels hilariously out of place for the sake of a good soundbite. The action scenes were especially enjoyable, because they start off serious and innovative and evolve, or maybe devolve, into homages to old action movies with the setting adapted to fit the time period. It was the best use/twist of cliche action scenes I may have ever seen.
This isn't an artsy film, or a deep film. They fake you out at times by making you think they're going to go that way, but then they throw a vampire or two or three into the scene as though to admit they were just pulling your leg. It's a modern day B-Movie, and a fun way to spend 105 minutes of your time, especially with friends. It's not without it's flaws, but they're all forgiven by the end of the film. Overall rating...
5 / 5
Now, somebody make a prequel about George Washington.
When You Should See It:
As soon as you can gather some friends together. Keep in mind, it's not a comedy anymore-so than Snakes on a Plane was... but I bet you laughed at that too.
image from Movie Poster Data Base