Some men are just too interesting to die.
I really really wanted to like this movie. I adored the book and the premise is just fantastically out there that you have to go in with a great sense of humour and an open mind. I tried, I really did. But I just couldn’t get into it.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – it’s pretty obvious what the movie is about. Abraham tries to save a slave boy from being whipped by his dad’s boss, Barts. Abraham’s dad stops Barts and gets fired. The boss demands Dad Lincoln to pay his debt in full immediately, but Dad Lincoln refuses and Barts muses that there’s more than one way to collect a debt. You see Mom Lincoln reflected in Barts’s sunglasses. That night, Abraham witnesses his mother being secretly attacked by the boss, who is a vampire. She later dies. Fast forward like 10 or 15 years and the older, adult Abraham is in a bar. He’s getting drunk enough to pluck up the courage to kill Barts, the vampire who killed his mom. Well, he’s not sure exactly what Barts is, because Abraham had been so young when his mom died, he didn’t understand what he saw. He knows that Barts killed his mom somehow, but he’s vague on the details. He’s accosted in the bar by Henry (the always sexy Dominic Cooper), but Abraham shakes him off and goes after Barts. Hiding under a dock, he witnesses Barts talking with a man and woman. They leave on a boat and Barts turns to go as well. But Abraham shoots him. It doesn’t take, because duh, he’s a vampire. Barts taunts Abraham, who flees into a nearby shack on the dock. There he sees a naked dead woman, her throat covered in puncture marks. Abraham reloads his gun and shoots Barts point blank in the right eye. Barts falls to the docks and Abraham takes off, tossing the gun in the river. When he looks back though, Barts is gone. Barts reappears in front of Abraham and morphs his face into this gross thing with black veins and needle teeth and the bullet still in his eye. He attacks Abraham, who is luckily saved by Henry. It is pretty cool when Henry tosses Barts up the building and through the roof. Nice bit of CGI.
Abraham wakes up in Henry’s house. Henry explains that vampires exist, there’s a secret war, blah blah blah, join us, it’s not about vengeance, yadda yadda. Henry puts on some sunglasses to go outside, but Abraham stops him and agrees to be a VAMPIRE HUNTER. Then there’s some pointless scenes where Henry’s training Abraham. Henry also reveals that the man and woman Barts had been meeting were the head vampires, Adam (I also find Rufus Sewell very attractive) and his sister.
Now a vampire hunter, Abraham moves to another city and gets a job as a store clerk. Henry sends him letters that have names of vampires that need to be killed. But Abraham is still fixated on killing Barts. He also falls for a local girl, Mary. She’s already engaged (to Alan Tudyk in an all too short cameo! I also adore him), but breaks that off for Abraham. Abraham eventually kills Barts, who reveals that Henry is a vampire too. Abraham goes to kick Henry’s ass and Henry explains that he had been a vampire hunter in life until Adam killed his fiancée and turned him. Since vampires can’t kill each other, Henry has been recruiting humans to hunt and kill vampires for him. Abraham decides he can’t do this anymore and quits, going into politics. He puts his silver tipped axe away and vows to fight with words. There’s another huge time jump to his presidency and the first rumblings of the Civil War.
What Abraham doesn’t know, and Henry informs him, is that the vampires have been using the slaves as food for years. With Abraham being elected and vowing to free the slaves, then the vampire food source will dry up. The bad vampires can’t let this happen and instigate the Civil War. It’s time for Ol’Abraham to get out his axe and kick ass.
Eh. The movie moved way too fast in many areas and then just way too slow in others. The speed and sudden slow pacing of the movie made it feel very disjointed. I really couldn’t get into it. When something interesting starts happening, it ends too fast. The subject matter demands that you go ridiculously big or just go home. It just took itself too damn seriously. I wanted an undercurrent of ‘we know this is a nutty premise, but we’re having fun doing it!’ I didn’t get that. I got ‘this is a movie about Lincoln, we should be serious. With vampires. Somehow.’ Some slapstick scenes (when Abraham runs in on Henry and a prostitute) felt really out of place. I admit I did love the conversation when Abraham tried to explain to Mary that he was a vampire hunter. She just thought he was kidding and if some guy said the same thing to me in that awkward way, I would too. But it felt out of place. Hell, their whole courtship felt like it was ripped from some sappy Austenesque rom com and stuffed into a vampire movie that didn’t realize it needed to be more ridiculous.
The beginning shot of Washington now, slowly morphing back into the Civil War era Washington, was really well done. Although the scene where he’s chasing Barts through the horse herd was poor looking CGI.
The guy playing Abraham looks a hell of a lot like Liam Neeson. It was somewhat distracting. His makeup was weird too because it made his face look fake. It looked like he had a lot of prosthetics on his face and was overly made up. He wielded a mean axe though. I did like the scenes of Abraham attacking vampires.
Also, the movie never explains why vampires always wear sunglasses. It’s supposed to be because their eyes are red or something, but it just shows them going around in shades and never explaining that it’s easy to spot a vampire because he’s wearing sunglasses when most people don’t. If I hadn’t read the book I would have wondered about that.
I don’t know much about the Civil War. Well, enough to talk intelligibly about it, but I could have sworn that Abraham and Mary had more than one kid. And there were more historical inaccuracies I just couldn’t quite put my finger on, but I knew there was something off.
Also, **SPOILER** because I read the book, I know Abraham’s supposed to turn into a vampire and become the secret presidential vampire. I had been kind of really hoping to see this at the end but maybe it’ll be in the deleted scenes.
I tried. I wanted to love this. I was so excited to see it. But it just wasn’t worth it.
1 profiterole out of 5.