Sunday, 4 November 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, dir. Timur Bekmambetov, scr. Seth Grahame-Smith, st. Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell, Marton Csokas

Light on scares or substance and heavy on the fancy-pants grading and tricksy post-production, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is classic Bekmambetov. Along with Wanted, Apollo 18 and The Darkest Hour, this bears all the hallmarks of his tiresome pyrotechnica, a vapid melange of unenthusiastic performances and over-choreographed set-pieces, stitched together with no discernible care or thought. In 1818, the young Abe watches his mother's slaughter at the hands of plantation owner Jack Barts (Csokas). Nine years later, Lincoln is befriended by shade-wearing Henry Sturges (Cooper) who proves nifty at the old vamp-slaying. After the obligatory not-gonna-train-you-yeah-alright-I'll-train-you patter, Abraham is soon dispatching the undead in flash routines that involve him spinning his silver-bladed axe like a behatted majorette with ADHD. Ignoring an earlier don't-fall-in-love-with-anyone-now-you're-a-lone-wolf speech, he predictable falls for Mary Todd (Winstead) and sets about destroying vampiric ultra-bastard Adam (Sewell), a terrifying monster about as evil as an unsharpened banana. If you feel like you've seen this all before, it's because you have. Bekmambetov rips off everything from Underworld to Sherlock Holmes with po-faced solemnity. The result is as boring as it is utterly, utterly forgettable.