Saturday, November 24, 2012

Movie Review: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

Blurb: In 1818, Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) lives with his parents, Nancy (Robin McLeavy) and Thomas (Joseph Mawle), who work at a plantation owned by Jack Barts (Marton Csokas). There, Lincoln befriends a young African American boy, William Johnson (Anthony Mackie), and intervenes when he sees Johnson being beaten by an overseer. Because of his son's actions, Thomas is fired. That night, Lincoln sees Barts break into his house and attack Nancy. She dies shortly afterwards. Thomas tells Lincoln that Barts poisoned Nancy. Nine years later, a vengeful Lincoln attacks Barts at the docks, but Barts, who is actually a vampire, overpowers him. However, before Barts can kill him, Lincoln is rescued by Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper). Sturges explains that vampires exist, and offers to teach Lincoln to be a vampire hunter. Lincoln accepts and, after a decade of training, travels to Springfield, Illinois. During his training, Sturges tells Lincoln that the vampires in America descend from Adam (Rufus Sewell), a vampire who owns a plantation in New Orleans with his sister, Vadoma (Erin Wasson). Sturges also tells Lincoln of the vampires' weakness, silver, and presents him with a silver pocket watch.

In Springfield, Lincoln befriends shopkeeper Joshua Speed (Jimmi Simpson), and meets Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Though Sturges warned him not to form any close relationships, Lincoln develops romantic feelings for Mary. Lincoln successfully finds and defeats Barts. Before dying, Barts reveals that Sturges is also a vampire. Lincoln confronts Sturges, who reveals that, many years ago, he and his wife were attacked and bitten by Adam. Adam turned Sturges and killed his wife. Now that Sturges was a vampire he could not kill Adam or any other vampire (since "Only the living can kill the dead"). Sturges has since been training vampire hunters, hoping to destroy Adam.

Disappointed, Lincoln decides to abandon his mission. However, Adam learns of his activities and kidnaps Johnson to lure Lincoln into a trap at his plantation. Adam captures Lincoln and tries to recruit him, revealing his plans to turn the United States into a nation of the undead. Speed rescues his friends, and they escape to Ohio.

Lincoln marries Mary and begins his political career, campaigning to abolish slavery. Sturges warns Lincoln that the slave trade keeps vampires under control, as vampires use slaves for food, and if Lincoln interferes, the vampires will retaliate. After Lincoln's election as President of the United States of America, he moves to the White House with Mary, where they have a son, William Wallace Lincoln (Cameron M. Brown). William is later bitten by Vadoma and dies. Confederate President Jefferson Davis (John Rothman) convinces Adam to deploy his vampires, and this impacts the first day at Gettysburg. Lincoln orders the confiscation of all the silverware to produce silver weapons. Speed, believing that Lincoln is tearing the nation apart, informs Adam that Lincoln will transport the silver by train.

On the train, Adam and Vadoma, who have set fire to the upcoming trestle, attack Lincoln, Sturges, and Johnson. During the fight Adam learns that the train holds only rocks. Speed reveals that his betrayal was a ruse to lure Adam into a trap, and Adam kills Speed for this. Lincoln wraps his silver watch around his fist and punches through Adam's chest, killing him, and Lincoln escapes the exploding train alongside his allies. Meanwhile, Mary and the ex-slaves have transported the silver to Gettysburg through the Underground Railroad - it is here that Vadoma is killed by Mary.

The now leaderless Confederate vampires stage a final, massive assault and are met head on by the Union. Armed with their silver weapons, the Union soldiers destroy the vampires and eventually win the battle. Nearly two years later, on April 14, 1865, Sturges tells Lincoln that the remaining vampires have fled the country. Sturges tries to convince Lincoln to allow him to turn Lincoln into a vampire, so that he can become immortal and continue to fight vampires, but Lincoln declines and leaves for the theater with his wife, apparently implying he is soon to be assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. In modern times, Sturges approaches a man at a bar in Washington, D.C. as he once approached Lincoln. (from Wiki)

Review: This movie intrigued me from the very beginning. I love the idea of a mash up of real historical events and some creepy paranormal activity.

Lincoln as a vampire hunter is totally badass. He wields an ax like no one else can.

I was really expecting a film that was more on the cheesy front, but that wasn't what you got here. Ok, maybe the vampire part was a little bit cheesy, but come on, this is a mashup. You were expecting maybe, thoughtful cinema?

If you were, I feel really sorry for you.

This is an action/adventure. The vamps don't really get scary, at least not in a horror movie kind of way. They just are there.

Though this movie certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea, it is worth a viewing. You get a funny twist on history, and yes, the writers try not to destroy history too much, in their addition of the fanged bad guys.

Its like history meets Demons, only no one is smiting anyone.

The best parts of the film are those of Lincoln kicking vampire ass. Benjamin Walker makes the young Abe look very sexy.  This film does a good job of making Mary Todd Lincoln look like a dazzling debutante. Go ahead and google her, you'll see she was anything but.

But people don't want to see ugly people in movies, so we'll forgive them that.

This movie was fun.

Nothing more and nothing less.

It has made me want to hunt down the book too.

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