Four score and seven beheadings ago… Yeah not sure that speech would generate the same impact if you enlighten the masses to the realms of the undead in their lands. Then again who knows? Maybe they would have taken it in stride and gathered arms to purge the evil from their shores. So sharpen your knives and stakes and start prepping holy water. This is Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.
Spoilers of the night shut up!
Director Timur Bekmanmbetov is carving himself a niche with vampire stories now with two already under his belt with Night Watch and Day Watch turns to a little bit of fiction that has been on the best sellers list with Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. He adapted his own novel into the screenplay so one comes to the conclusion it didn’t stray far from the source material.
Our story opens with the exploitations of 12 year old Abraham and his mother and father working as indentured servants to Jack Barts (Marton Csokas of XXX, Bourne Supremacy, Aeon Flux, Alice in Wonderland and The Tree), a man of unscrupulous behavior fires Thomas (Joseph Mawle of Freefall, After Tomorrow, Heartless and Game of Thrones) and Nancy (Robin McLeavy of 48 Shades, The Loved Ones, After the Credits and Hell on Wheels TV series) when Abraham tries to stop Barts from beating a slave boy and friend Will Johnson. Barts did not care for Thomas’ attitude to his “betters” and tells them they will pay one way or the other. Barts sneaks into the Lincolns’ cabin and feeds on Nancy, Thomas is grief stricken and tells Abraham he is not to seek revenge for that is a dark path.
Seven years later Abraham (Benjamin Walker of The War Boys, Coach, Westward and Flags of Our Fathers) and is all alone and feels he will have is revenge…after a few rounds of liquid courage. An idle chat with a fellow patron Henry (Dominic Cooper of An Education, The Duchess, The Devil’s Double and Captain America: The First Avenger) who states the only time you see a man drinking like that is when he is going to ask out a girl or kill man. Patting Abraham on the back hard, a flintlock falls out of Lincoln’s coat. Fending off the effects of alcohol and a formidable beating at the hands of Jack Barts; Lincoln awakens in the house of Henry and was told he is going about it all wrong. Look at the bigger picture, adapt and plan his attacks on these vile creatures. Henry mentors Lincoln in a series of mixed martial arts and melee weapons, oh which a 5 pound wood axe seems to be Lincoln’s preferred weapon.
Let’s break this down into various categories shall we? One hand you have a historical figure not only founder of the Emancipation Proclamation, the document to end slavery and offer a modicum of dignity to men that were whipped, beaten and often members of friends and family slaughtered, but you also have a different set of rules to vampires. Silver is back, beheading and bodily dismemberment works.
There are plenty of the traditional standings such as; vampire powers and superiority complexes but a fairly complex storyline of the involvement of humans growing, aging and living life. An amalgam of CGI green screen, wire work and prosthetic appliances, this film is wowing the audience a little too much on the lines of a Bruce Willis Die Hard in places. A hybrid of Super 35mm Digital film, anamorphic for the all-encompassing shot and of course, the Phantom Flex for the 3-D version of this movie.
Now I freely admit the title does sound a trifle silly but you have to admit it does catch the eye and make you question it and when all is said and done I actually had a good time, with one minor drawback. I was in the far front row right in line of the surround sound. A tad booming at times but one will adapt and move on. Give it a view folks. You will be pleasantly surprised.