Film review: ABRAHAM LINCOLN VAMPIRE HUNTER from Built for Speed

With a title like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter you would be forgiven for expecting either an iconoclastic satire of the great emancipator, one of the most revered figures in US history or an over the top Evil Dead style action horror film. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong on both counts as this film is neither exciting nor funny and is really just a pedestrian attempt to eke out a few more bucks from the vampire craze.

The film employs a ludicrous but strangely unfunny premise where honest Abe, in addition to forging a law career and eventually becoming the American President, also spends his time lopping the heads of vampires who seemed to be rife throughout America. According to this film, slavery and the entire confederacy of Southern states was some sort of vampire conspiracy led by gentlemanly bloodsucker Adam (Rufus Sewell). Abe (Benjamin Walker) gets on the vampire killing bandwagon after his mother is murdered by one of Adam’s minions. When he teams up with a mysterious assassin (Dominic Cooper), a childhood friend (Anthony Mackie) and a shop keeper played by Jimi Simpson the creepy intern from the Letterman show, he finds himself on a quest to rid America of both slavery and the red neck vampire menace.

The film offers a couple of inventive and dynamic fight scenes but little else.  Any credibility is skittled by implausible sequences where no law of physics is left unscathed, just check out Abe’s escape from a vampire-infested mansion.  It’s also full of inconsistencies, particularly my pet hate inconsistent toughness where the vampires are phenonemonally powerful one minute but insipid fops the next. There’s also cartoonish cgi action scenes and a central performance from Walker that’s badly lacking charisma.

Also, as the violent struggle between Abe and Adam draws to a head, the increasingly intense action scenes become messy and confusing.

This film could have been an outrageous action horror romp but that opportunity has been sadly lost.


Nick’s rating: 2 stars.

Classification: MA 15+

Director(s): Timur Bekmambetov

Release date: 2nd August 2012

Running time:  105 minutes

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