It takes nerve to take a great story and rework it into something new. ‘Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter’ uses cues from the life of the former US President and builds an unwieldy supernatural story on top of it.
Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) is on a quest find the person who killed his mother and in the process discovers vampires living in America with a sinister plan.
Russian-Kazakh director Timur Bekmambetov ramps up the zany gothic elements with thrilling over the top action sequences. Abe’s weapon of choice is an axe that Bekmambetov develops into an ‘axe-fu’ fighting style that’s a lot of fun. There’s also a fight scene amidst a horse stamped that’s completely mad but I wouldn’t expect any less from Bekmambetov.
Walker is excellent playing Lincoln both young and old, but it’s the latter where the film starts to get rotten. The younger Lincoln’s adventures are exciting but all too brief a hit list of vampires is breezed through via montage. As Lincoln starts to come of age and the politics start, the film suddenly begins to take itself too seriously. The solemn tone is a huge departure from the first half of the film and screenwriter Seth Graheme-Smith’s script is full of scrappy dialogue that’s all exposition, all of the time. Even Lincoln’s real life speeches fail to inspire in the context of the film.
The bad guys plot and brood but it’s all talk and distraction, although, there are good monster effects when the vampires show their fangs.
It’s a mighty swing and a miss for ‘Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter’.
The Popcorn Junkie