This is a movie which should have worked much better than it did. An historical fantasy horror, it had the right ingredients. With people like Rufus Sewell (Zen, Aurelio Zen, 2011) and Dominic Cooper (The Devil’s Double, Latif Yahia, 2011) they should have been well able to play off each other, but they were in a support cast so their influence would have been limited. Added to this the director, Timur Bekmambetov , who brought us those great Day Watch, (2006) and Night Watch (2004) movies.
Benjamin Walker, a relative unknown, (Flags of Our Fathers, Harlon Block, 2006) acquitted himself well and whether it was the relative inexperience or the character, he came across much as we would have expected of a characterization of Abraham Lincoln. The story line follows a young Lincoln looking to revenge his mother’s death at the hands of a vampire, while trying to kill the particular vampire (not knowing he’s a vampire) he meets Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper) who teaches him how to kill vampires and then sends him to Springfield which was seemingly a hotbed of vampires. As the movie progresses it becomes clear that he needs to come up against Adam (Rufus Sewell) one of the oldest vampires (he tells us he is five thousand years old).
There follows a series of vampire hunting fights and struggles over the years until he eventually becomes President. Here we see the vampiric legend superimposed on the historical timeline. Lincoln’s son who of course died in childhood is in the movie Killed by a vampire. There are also implications for the war as Adam agrees to deploy vampires for the Confederacy, this of course is a potential game changer.
There is only one person (well three if we include his friends, his wife (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, The Thing, Kate Lloyd, 2011) and of course Mr. Sturgess…so that’s tree humans and a vampire.
They of course come up with a plan to save the world and in so doing so create the movies big dénouement. This is probably where the movie was let down most, but in fast scenes, appropriate scene music and give our actors plenty of life threatening situations and you should have a good action sequence. Unfortunately everything was just too well scripted. A kid can be thought how to work a mathematical problem to its end through the use of a formula. A mathematician can take the same formula and create something new and exciting; Bekmambetov is a “mathematician” by any standards so I have no reason why this movie did not work.
There were a number of leaps of faith, at least one very poor continuity issue and some scenes which were just too contrived. The use of mid 19th century sunglasses by all was actually a nice touch which could have been over done but was not.
Rating 4/10, this should have been a much better movie but I suspect something just did not work in the production. This is not a bad film, it just did not engage me or bring me in to the story.