I’m all for the re-imagining of historical events with a genre twist. ‘X-Men: First Class’ did that very well; it was fun and playful. However, ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ isn’t. Constantly changing tones between comically tongue-in-cheek and deadpan serious, the film lies within that category of Movies That Don’t Know What They’re Trying To Be. The only certainty is that it’s a movie I won’t willfully watch again.
There’s nothing more depressing than looking forward to a movie, only to have it utterly fail. ‘Abraham Lincoln’ doesn’t start off too badly, but it certainly doesn’t stay where it starts. What begins as fun ends in the ranks of ‘Jonah Hex’. No, ‘Lincoln’ isn’t that bad, but it gets that bad.
First off, Timur Bekmambetov, I’ve enjoyed your movies up to this point, but please pick a single tone for this one. It’s serious. It’s silly. It’s dramatic. It’s quirky. It’s emotional. Remix the order of emotions and repeat. And repeat. And repeat.
Visually, ‘Abraham Lincoln’ resembles a Syfy channel original film. Without over-exaggerating, literally every single frame of the film carries a smoky/foggy effect. Although it’s probably there to hide the lacking CG effects, it’s a terrible distraction. This effect also causes the 3D presentation to feel like a pop-up book, barely one hair above that of ‘Clash of the Titans‘.
As much as I wanted to love the movie, I hated it. I saw what Bekmambetov and (producer) Tim Burton were trying to do, but they failed horribly at getting it right. Instead of filling the flick with vampire violence, it’s chock full of history lessons that we all learned (assuming you’re American) at the age of eight. Speaking of the story, if you read between the lines, the Civil War as depicted in the film has nothing to do with slavery, but keeping the vampires from moving north. Give me a break.
‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ is joke – a joke not worth laughing at.