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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: Rewriting History Spectacularly

  • Anthony MackieBenjamin Walker...
  • 3DAction & Adventure...
  • Timur Bekmambetov
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: Rewriting History Spectacularly

If
you thought that slave owners were behind the kidnapping of Africans and
working them to death on American plantations, you’d be mistaken; it was
actually vampires. If you assumed that the American civil war was between the
slave owning South and the more liberal North, you are wrong; the South was in
fact run by vampires. If you thought that Lincoln was merely a president,
you are in for a major shock; he, like Buffy, was secretly a vampire hunter,
except he was a lot less quip and used an axe instead of a stake.

The
film’s rewriting of history allows for very ugly undertones. Our society isn’t
exactly passed racial issues and writing a version of history in which racism
is almost completely written off as the province of mythical creatures is a little
disturbing.

Anyway,
back to the plot. Lincoln’s (Walker) mother is killed in front of him as a
child. He grows up completely consumed by vengeance as he bides his time until
the day he can finally seek revenge. His chance comes and he discovers that the
murderer was a vampire. Seemingly by chance, he meets a man named Henry
Sturgess (Cooper) who purports to be a vampire hunter and he agrees to teach Lincoln
the tricks of the trade in exchange for his word that he’ll only kill the
vampires he tells him to kill. Lincoln soon discovers that vampires are behind
the slave trade and he vows to put down his axe and take out their food source
using the law. Along with his childhood friend Will Johnson (Mackie) and his
employer Joshua Speed (Simpson), he starts a fight that will see him as the
president of a country being torn apart by a civil war. 

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is all
about the spectacle. The film’s pretty violent and a big chunk of the fights
are in slow motion – better to showcase the swishing blades and hacked-off heads
with. It’s full of big action pieces that look great in 3D, the best of which is saved till last. And while the film definitely looks great and is
visually reminiscent of Wanted, the
director’s last film,
it lacks a sense of fun.

Turning
Lincoln into a vampire slayer is beyond ridiculous and the film never once acknowledges
that, instead choosing to be sombre, ultra-serious and almost devoid of humour.
Having said that though, the film does have a decent supporting cast, with
Cooper standing out as Lincoln’s shadowy mentor. Walker however seems rather
blank and fails to imbue his character with any gravitas or charisma.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is
for people who are content with being entranced by jaw dropping visuals. If
you’re looking for an engaging story or characters though, look elsewhere. It
would have been ok had this film made peace with the sheer absurdity of its
premise. What we have instead is a stupid, but pretty, film that takes itself
far too seriously.

Like This? Try

Wanted, Snow White & The Huntsman

360 Tip

Tom Hardy turned down the titular role due to scheduling conflicts with the latest Batman installment, The Dark Knight Rises, in which he plays Bane.

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