Posted by: Alyssa and Jen. 1.25 stars
Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
Cast: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Anthony Mackie
We were excited for Seth Grahame-Smith’s adaptation of his bestselling novel, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. We both thought that the book combined enough historical fact and drew enough on the sorrows of his life to make it plausible that vampires were part of his history. However, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter was strong on the vampire hunting but lacking in the Abraham Lincoln.
The vampires were too much, too soon and we never got to see our 16th president (learning!) developed as a character as a result. Instead of the well-rounded individual with a top hat that Lincoln was in all reality, we are given a toned-down, one-dimensional five o’clock shadow of a man portrayed poorly by the baby-faced lad known as Benjamin Walker.
Nevermind actual historical facts, in this film, the Underground Railroad is used to deliver supplies to the armies. And with the bad ass femme fatale that was Mary Todd Lincoln, who has quickly overcome her devastating depression by the way, the two are able to aid the Union to victory against the vampires (which is a well-known story to us all). That is why every June 14th is known as Mary Todd Lincoln Day. And good thing too, because honest Abe couldn’t figure out how to use his axe. Right when he needed it, he managed to fumble… a lot.
Harriet Tubman makes a cameo appearance in the pursuit for freedom, which is a backstory to all those digitally-enhanced vampires that have an uncanny resemblance to Tim Burton, who produced the film (naturally). They took actual history and a novel and managed not to follow either one. Plus, the law of physics didn’t apply, allowing horses and trains able to do miraculous stunt work. Both lasted almost as long as The Hundred Years War and became so ridiculously absurd and complex that it was unintentionally hilarious.
Abraham Lincoln has never been so disrespected. They took a chance to actually teach a naïve country about history while making it fun and decided, let’s just ride the Twilight wave and shoot some nifty action sequences which make no sense. And we here by proclaim, one nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom (from having to pay to watch shitty movies)—and that directors will make decent films of the people, by the people, and for the people so we shall be entertained.