Friday, June 29, 2012


As ridiculous as the title may sound, the concept of ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER is solid. Based on the best-selling novel, it is an imaginative and nearly clever fresh-take on an all-too familiar person and events in history. However, just like any good vampire-hunt, it is not the idea that counts; it’s the execution.
After witnessing his mother murdered by a vampire, Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker), swears revenge and begins a life-long hunt of the undead. After training and aid from his new friend Henry (Dominic Cooper), Lincoln discovers a deeper plot to destroy the country and chooses to fight evil through public service. After becoming President, he eventually comes face-to-face with Adam (Rufus Sewell), a lead-vampire who is secretly behind the Civil War.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER is a film which is very true to its name. There is plenty of hunting and slaying of vampires, but after that…not much else. The film takes very little time to set up a story with meat on the bone, and characters are simply glossed over. Each scene of dialogue seems to exist only to set up an action sequence, and the film can’t even fall into a class of a comic-book style story; for even a comic can let you know what’s going on inside of a character’s head.
With such a high concept of one of the country’s most beloved Presidents being an axe-wielding vampire be-header, the film needed grounding to hold interest. This is where HUNTER gains a little bit of momentum. The vampire-infestation is weaved into historical events and actually make sense; good enough that many of Lincoln’s writings and speeches (including his Gettysburg Address) suddenly have a different meaning when thinking about vampires. The time-period of 1860 is remarkably brought back to life, and scenes such as Lincoln addressing Congress and Gettysburg are stunning. However, these efforts are very sparse and leaves you wanting more.  

Benjamin Walker fits the part of Lincoln very well. He looks GREAT as Lincoln, is fun to watch, holds the film together, and eerily looks like a young Liam Neeson (seriously…it’s creepy). Dominic Cooper puts in a very good effort, but other actors such as the main villain (Rufus Sewell) and Lincoln’s wife Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) are left to serve only as placeholders.
Director Timur Bekmambetov is known for his flashy action sequences, and here he doesn’t let the 1860’s hold his style back. Some of the action is over-the-top and in other places gory and gritty, and that is probably the film's greatest fault in that it doesn't take itself seriously for very long. Overall ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER is fun and interesting, but forgets to bring a story to the party.



  1. For the most part I agree with you, except I think I found it a little more enjoyable. Many of us know Abe Lincoln's story and some basic civil war history so delving down that road deeper with the script while having Abe axe up vamps could be overkill. That said, a little bit more of it couldn't have hurt either. The over the top concept of Abe vs. Vamps was fun while played straight - and just enough connection to historical periods to establish that this is ABE- so I enjoyed the theatre.

  2. I agree...after some thought I think they could have beefed up the plot a little more by focusing more on Abe and less on Henry. I understand the need for the Henry character but he got to be intrusive to the point where he was taking over the movie. Even the very end seemed to forget about Abe.
    But yes, if you're there for vamp-slaying and little else it's a good time at the theatre.

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