Movie Review: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

vampire hunter01 Movie Review: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a film adaptation from a book of the same title. The book was enjoyable, concise, and very detailed. After seeing the trailers, I was excited about the film, but still had my doubts. When I was at Wondercon 2012, they previewed a clip from the film. It was great, now, I was really looking forward to the film.

The premise sounds a little goofy, Abraham Lincoln was also a vampire hunter. But, the book made it work. Author Seth Grahame-Smith did a great job combining fiction with historical facts. The idea is that Lincoln’s decisions in politics and in life revolved around the idea that he disliked vampires, tremendously. Unfortunately, the film didn’t pan out the way the book did. The story felt very rushed. One scene, Abe was a boy. The next scene, he’s an adult. Where’s the transition? Transitional problems were common throughout the film. Lincoln’s character wasn’t developed enough for the viewers to care enough. In the book, his whole life, from childhood to adulthood, was gloom. He didn’t just lose his mother, but also his sister, and later on, his girlfriend. This is what made Lincoln so bitter, so bitter at the Vampires. That bitterness is the core of the book, it’s the core of Lincoln’s character, and it was missing in the film.

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In the film, his relationship with his wife and his friends felt like a sad afterthought, nothing was established enough to feel the strong bond that supposedly grew from loyalty. His good friend, Henry Sturgess (helped Lincoln grow as a vampire hunter in the book), didn’t do much in the film, except give Lincoln meaningless motivational speeches, and generic background stories. He should have had a bigger role, he needed a bigger role. The film not only fell short compared to the book, but also as a stand-alone film. There will be a lot of head scratchings during and after the film.

Lots of characters were omitted from the book, and a few were added, but mostly without purpose. It’s understandable that certain characters have to be added for the story to work on film. But, the added characters were out-of-place, they were not established well enough, therefore, felt like dinner leftovers. Lincoln might as well have been alone, since the supporting characters were merely empty roles. They failed in adding depth to the story, and to Lincoln’s character.

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Although, the story was weak, the same can’t be said about the action scenes. Abraham Lincoln fought the Vampires with style, lots of style. The choreography was great, Lincoln fights through groups of Vampires using his Axe and acrobatic skills. The fight scenes are very cinematic and highly stylized, especially in slow-motion. John Woo would be envious!

The last half of the film felt more solid than the first half. The editing, storytelling, and acting became better. The pacing changed for the better. Lincoln is older, and carried more weight on his shoulders. Benjamin Walker played a better older Lincoln.

Overall, the film has its moments, and they were great. The fight sequences were fun and entertaining, and the older Lincoln is somebody to root for. The score is also pretty awesome. But, the biggest flaw of the film was the lack of character development. There wasn’t enough of it, when that doesn’t work, almost nothing else works, making the movie feel pointless. I was really hoping for a better film, but this isn’t the worse film of the summer, far from it.

Grade: C+


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