Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, 2012.
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov.
Starring Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Anthony Mackie, Rufus Sewell and Marton Csokas.
After his mother is killed by vampires, Abraham Lincoln takes it upon himself to vanquish the undead.
Modern film making doesn’t get much worse than Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
I need to have that statement in a paragraph on its own at the top of the review because I feel so strongly about it. As bad as the title sounds, the actual film is incrementally worse; even if it were titled ‘A Steaming Pile of Elephant Excrement’, the film would still be worse. There is simply nothing to recommend about the film and so much to dislike, it’s hard to know where to begin... but I’ll give it a good go for you.
Director Timur Bekmambetov, whose last film Wanted was so bad I couldn’t finish watching it, shows no understanding of how to stage either an action scene or a straight forward conversation - both are out of his zone of competence. Mindlessly, he will cut frames out of a sequence in a painfully incompetent attempt to give his action some degree of excitement and will end every scene with a loud BANG to cut to the next scene. The slow motion looks dreadful and has been done to death by now, yet Bekmambetov uses it as his only trick to ‘wow’ the audience and he uses it over and over and over again to demonstrate his complete lack of directorial skill.
The vampire effects have all been seen before and not one of the characters have any hint of depth. It’s just a constant stream of screams and stock sound effects that could be from any other film in the genre. Moreover, some of the sound effects editing is just downright stupid; when a guy is kicked in the face and spins around 360 degrees (in slow mo of course) why does it make the same sound as a knife or blade being drawn from its scabbard? Or when a toy sword, no more than two inches in length, is dropped on to a CARPETED FLOOR does it sound like Excalibur being dropped onto sheet of titanium? Not even the sound, so often the saving grace achievement in terrible CGI-heavy action pictures, is adequate in this film.
The film is so dependent on CGI but the effects are mostly terrible, which makes the woefully staged action scenes look even worse than Bekmambetov’s direction has made them. There is one scene where Lincoln chases a vampire through a stampede of horses, jumping from one horse to the next, and it looks worse than I could do justice in this review. I ask myself how the screenwriter could ever think that would A) make for an exciting set piece or B) how the director, knowing his budget and the limitations of CGI to realistically create animals, would attempt to make the scene work. After this, I should have made Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter my first ever cinema walk-out, but I stayed until the bitter end, like a fool. The sole element that could have made the whole experience worse is if I had seen it in 3D, but thankfully I avoided this punishment.
I beg and urge you now that you’ve read this to never see this utter trash. No good will come of it.
Flickering Myth Rating - Film: ★ / Movie: ★
Rohan Morbey - follow me on Twitter.