, , , , , , ,

Not even a generic movie poster can stop Abe Lincoln!

I’ve realised I’ve been abandoning my blog for far too long now, but that’s because I finally got my first freelance writing job! After several long months of trial and error, the ball of my freelance career has started to roll!

Of course, it does mean that I have to spend all day every day sitting at my desk writing and writing and more writing. I haven’t had time to see many films, even with the chance to see them for free. Yesterday I did manage to sneak out and see Abraham Lincoln- Vampire Hunter because…Well it’s Abraham Lincoln hunting vampires. How could that not be awesome?

The film, based on the novel of the same name, is an alternative or maybe secret history tale of a young Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker). In addition to being an aspiring lawyer, he is also seeking revenge on the man who murdered his mother (Robin McLeavy) when he was a child. When he finally finds the man (Marton Csokas) and puts a bullet through his brain, he turns out to be not quite dead as he is actually a vampire. As it turns out, they’ve been running amok in North America long before the first European settlers arrived there. Abraham is saved by vampire hunter Henry (Dominic Cooper) and begs him to teach him how to kill vampires so he can finally get his revenge.

And so Abe is sucked (ha ha) into the exhilarating and dangerous world of vampire hunting. But as he makes friends and meets his future wife Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) he is torn between his duties and putting the people he loves in danger. And with the civil war brewing, he has to decide whether to fight vampires or fight for the freedom of slaves.

The weak side of the film is the story and pacing. There are a few rather brilliant moments, but it is still a done-to-death storyline we’ve seen in countless comic book adaptations. Even worse, major plot points and revelations are brought up as casually as if the film was telling them over a cup of coffee. Almost literally, in one case. Abe reveals his secret to Mary Todd over a picnic like this:

“Oh by the way, at night I go out and kill vampires.”

“That’s interesting. Pass the quiche, please.”

This may be because the main draw of the film is the explicably detailed and gory fight scenes. I’m not a huge fan of 3D or films reliant on CGI effects but quite frankly, for a film called Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Hunter, I wasn’t exactly expecting Oscar quality storytelling.

The 3D is used very well for the most part. Some parts are such a CGI overload it’s like they’re trying to make your brain explode. Otherwise, the fight scenes are well choreographed with pleasing visuals and effects such as slow motion used in all the right places. It’s not fight scene after fight scene either, they are counterbalanced with plot driven emotional scenes.

Quite frankly, how often do we get to see action scenes such as these with top hats, watch chains and steam trains? It’s like watching a superhero movie turned steampunk. And with Tim Burton as a producer, how could the visuals not be amazing?

In conclusion – While lacking in pacing and characterisation, the bizarrely awesome concept and compelling visuals make this a very entertaining film that is sure to please steampunk nerds.

Cloud verdict – 7/10.

Also don’t worry, there’s not a sparkle in sight.