(KTSF by Sean Au)
One of the most influential U.S. presidents, Abraham Lincoln, moonlights as a vampire hunter. “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is a breath of fresh air in this year’s summer Hollywood crop. It comes in the form of this mash-up genre movie.
In the early 19th century, Lincoln witnessed his black friend being ill treated by a slave owner and stood up for the boy. This action incurred the wrath of the slave owner who killed Lincoln’s mother in her sleep. A grown up Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) sought revenge only to realize that his gun shots failed to kill his target, who was a vampire. Lincoln was saved by Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper) who taught him how to kill vampires.
At the same time, Lincoln decided that he should get into politics to effect real change in the country, and kept his weapon of choice, a silver tipped ax in storage. Yet, he learned that the Confederates had the help of vampires in the south in the civil war, and so decided to go after the vampires again.
The movie is adapted from Seth Grahame-Smith’s best-selling novel of the same name which adds fictional elements to historical events surrounding the life of America’s 16th President. The movie combines elements of historical drama and vampire fantasy. Directed by Kazach director Timur Bekmambetov, who achieved fame directed two outstanding Russian vampire films, “Night Watch” and “Day Watch,” this film is heavy on effects and carries a visual style of a graphic novel. Fight scenes on a herd of galloping horses and a fast-moving train top are imaginative, heart-pounding and impressive.
The film feels weighed down by historical events, which feels less exciting and sexy. Yet, if you suspend your belief for a bit and allow the fantasy elements to carry the film, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is one of the most boldly original films of the summer.
Rating 4 out of 5 stars.
Video courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox.
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