Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter comes to the big screen as an adaptation of the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith — a story given to us as a ‘found diary’ of Lincoln, detailing his secret past — as a vampire hunter. It tracks his life from childhood up through Presidency, the Civil War, and his assassination. The movie starts with Abe finding out about vampires by watching his mother succumb to a vampire bite, sparking his hatred and vengeance towards them. Along the way he meets a friend, Henry Sturges, who helps him with his training and understanding of the vampires — making Abe the most feared vampire hunter in the country.
First off, the movie actually works. I’m not really sure how it happened, but I was entertained the entire time and only at 1 or 2 scenes did I find myself questioning what was actually happening or why (ex – horse scene). The alternate history storylines have always fascinated me, so seeing one of my favorite presidents destroy every vampire in his path, was pretty enthralling. Benjamin Walker (Flags of Our Fathers) does an excellent job portraying Lincoln also. Without a strong character as Lincoln, the film would have absolutely collapsed, but Walker adds a bit of depth to the role. Not to mention his silver tipped axe is a lot of fun.
That being said, the film is a hybrid horror movie and straightforward biopic that dances between taking itself seriously and being fun. It doesn’t seem to want to choose either one and actually strays towards the serious too much. The fight scenes are well choreographed (maybe too well), and besides a completely ridiculous horse fight scene, they work well (especially the plantation fight). Frustratingly so in almost every fight scene, the infamous CG dust is sprinkled throughout it to hide the animations and make things seem smoother. It creates a compacted shot that makes it difficult to see the whole fight at times.
It is definitely entertaining, however a bit less so than I expected. I wanted more development of the storyline — a lot is left up the viewer to assume/figure out. I also will tell you NOT to see it in 3D, it is not worth it at all and might actually take away from the film overall.
Kibitzers Review: 3 out of 5 – fun, but lacking overall.