Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)
4 Score and 7 Vampires Ago
As a child young Abraham Lincoln (Lux Haney-Jardine, Benjamin Walker) witnessed the murder of his mother at the hands of Jack Barts (Marton Csokas). Many years later as a young man Lincoln goes after Barts only to learn that he is a vampire who can't be killed, only destroyed. Fortunately Lincoln meets Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper) who teaches him how to hunt down and destroy vampires, so with his axe he becomes a vampire slayer, destroying those who Sturges orders him to. Over the years Abe and his axe destroys many a vampire whilst working at a store in Springfield and studying law in his spare time. But years later after marrying Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and becoming President he becomes aware that in amongst the Confederate soldiers there are vampires and so sets about defeating them.
I don't know what to make of "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" because in truth it did very little for me yet at the same time it connected with me in a way which I remembered from being a teen and how this sort of simple entertainment would have once been what I watched. As such part of me says that "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is a success because if I was in my late teens I would have enjoyed its action filled storyline but as an older movie fan it was all a bit too vacuous for me.
So what do I mean by vacuous? Well whilst it tells a kind of version of Abraham Lincoln's life all it is really is a vehicle for graphic action as we watch Lincoln dispatch a series of vampires in an increasingly violent manner with heads lopped off, faces burned off and plenty more. It is accepted all done in an incredibly stylized manner which adds to its impact and will appeal to anyone with a short attention span but offers up little else for those who expected either depth or comedy which considering the ridiculousness of the title expecting comedy wouldn't be out of the question.
Despite being a shallow, mainly visual experience "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" does boast decent acting with Benjamin Walker doing a solid job of carrying the movie. I am sure Walker is sick of it but it has to be said that he does look a lot like a young Liam Neeson and he even appeared in "Kinsey" playing the younger version of Neeson's character. Aside from Walker, other performances from the likes of Cooper, Mackie and Winstead are all entertaining but there is no depth to any of the characters and anything close to depth seems only included as an excuse for another highly visual scene of stylized action.
What this all boils down to is that for those who watch movies for stylized action then "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is sure to appeal because it has a lot of it. But for those who need more it offers up very little in the way of depth or a storyline which is anything more important than as a vehicle for action.
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