Matt Adcock’s film review: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
President by day. Hunter by night. They have tried to suppress the truth but here we have the ‘real’ story of the life of America’s 16th president and it is far more action packed then I remember from history class…
Using the fun novel by Seth Grahame-Smith as a base, Nightwatch director Timor Bekmambetov brings an effective dose of man vs monster spackdown to the big screen.
Is it totally preposterous to see Lincoln spending his life hunting bloodsuckers because one of them was responsible for his mother’s murder? Absolutely, but it is also a blast to see Honest Abe swinging a silver-coated axe in anger…
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter brings some decent 3D set pieces to help eke out the limited – and very stupid – plot.
One of the most ridiculous is a showdown between Lincoln and his mother’s killer – a vampire called Jack Barts (Marton Csokas) – which takes place in, on and amongst a raging horse stampede, with the two protagonists leaping from one horse’s back to another.
It’s best to approach this as a fun bloodsucking slaughter-em-up which just happens to be transposed onto a historical backdrop, rather than anything deeper or in any way meaningful.
He might get to be president but this tale sees Lincoln with only two real friends in his life – Joshua Speed (Jimmi Simpson), his boss in Illinois where he worked as a store hand while hunting vampires by night, and Will Johnson (Anthony Mackie), a childhood African American pal.
Also on hand is his vampire-hunting mentor Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper) who hides a dark secret and the love of his life Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth ‘Scott Pilgrim’ Winstead).
The plot builds up to a showdown with vampire leader Adam (Rufus Sewell), who has set up a vampire empire amongst the Southern plantations where the slavery maintains both workers and ready food supply.
By the frantic climactic battle on a train, it is down to Abe and pals to save the day, the future of North America and the very right to be ‘human’ – even as the train speeds onto a burning bridge and all hell breaks loose.
The action scenes are the only reasons to see this and they do pass muster but only if you completely suspend your disbelief.
If you even for a second let your mind ask: ‘How or why would any of this actually have happened?’ you’ll be lost.