UK Release date: 20th June 2012
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 8th June 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I must admit when the book came out I initially loved the premise of this story. As time passed and it very quickly got snapped up and made into a movie, I began to wonder if my initial hope was misplaced. You see, I’m always wary of Hollywood; they never play the long game when it comes to movies. It’s quick bucks right now and hang any artistic integrity... But that’s another story; we’re here to talk about Abe Lincoln and his vampire hunting hobby. So here’s a very brief summary before I tell you just what I thought.
As a child Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) had already come into contact with vampires when his own mother, Nancy (Robin McLeavy) was killed by one of them, Jack Barts (Marton Csokas). Now older, and after his father had passed, he was now free to exact his revenge and to this end he sought some courage in a bar. Here he meets Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper), who will have a profound effect on his life. Sturges teaches Lincoln all about vampires, and most importantly, how to kill them. Lincoln proves very adept at using his preferred weapon, a modified axe. And so he goes on with his life, killing vampires whenever he comes across them; but still studying law. His friends old and new join him, including Will Johnson (Anthony Mackie) and Joshua Speed (Jimmi Simpson). And of course he meets his future wife, Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). But the vampire leader, Adam (Rufus Sewell) has plans for Lincoln; plans that will throw the whole country into civil war.
Now, Timur Bekmambetov is well known for the effects he uses in his movies and this is no exception. There is blood and gore all over the screen as death is meated out in many and varied ways, all in glorious slow motion. The trouble is we’ve already seen that kind of stuff before; there’s nothing new or particularly innovative here. Yes, it’s very well done; the effects guys did an excellent job; but I would have liked to have seen something different. The plot; again disappointing, it just followed well documented events in Lincoln’s life and added a narrative that meant he had to do this or that to thwart the vampire hordes. Not exactly groundbreaking either. The performances were all pretty good although nobody really stood out and nobody looked like they were really stretched either. Over all I found it pretty disappointing; not quite as bad as ‘Jonah Hex’ (2010), but heading that way.
SteelMonster’s verdict: NOT RECOMMENDED (Unless you’re a die-hard vampire fan…)
My score: 4.8/10.
IMDb Score: 5.9/10 (based on 70,080 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 42/100: (Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 52/100 (based on 215,748 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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