Monday, October 29, 2012
Review by Toby Lattimore
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (12)
Benjamin Walker, a relative unknown, features as the young Abraham Lincoln in this dark twist on reality, where the man known so well to the American Populace battles the ever resistant vampire fraternity of Southern America, after seeking revenge for the death of his mother. This menacing supernatural force is lead by the believable Rufus Sewell who commands a number of despicable minions, two being well crafted by Erin Wasson and Marton Csokas. To battle this ever-growing threat Abraham Lincoln enlisted his lifelong friends Speed and Johnson and as we skip through decades of successful political elevation we are faced with a reckoning that the director Timur Bekmambetov has attempted to make as dramatic as possible.
Another prominent feature of this film is the prosthetic nose Walker is forced to wear throughout. This is obviously Lincoln’s trade mark along with the beard and hat which doesn’t suit the young actor. At times he looks more like a wax work and it is uncomfortably unnatural. Paying such close attention to Lincoln’s physically features is distracting and when Walker launches into the familiar hand trusts and the emphasised slowed voice of the president, a sporadic impersonation which he seems prompted to commit, it is cringeable.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is rated as a 12 and features much violence. We are witness to severing, chopping, impaling, biting, ripping and much more of the same. Vampires and victims alike are brutally murdered on screen and this 12 rating seems a little inadequate. It’s not just a question of violence either; there are scenes of nudity and psychological terror. A 15 rating would be more appropriate.
All in all the cast is good and Dominic Cooper as Henry Sturges stands out as well as Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Mary Todd Lincoln who also puts in an agreeable performance. The film’s unusual concept is interesting but the main problem is its struggle with its own identity. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is an adult film trying to appeal to the family market, meaning it loses some of its edge as it tries to compromise.
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