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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
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Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Benjamin Walker
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Rufus Sewell
Alan Tudyk
Marton Csokas
Erin Wasson
Anthony Mackie
Dominic Cooper.
Directors
Timur Bekmambetov
Seth Grahame-Smith.
Screenwriters
Running Time
TBC minutes

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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
President Evil


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Plot
The life of Abraham Lincoln (Walker), the stock boy-turned-lawyer-turned-politician-turned-crusading President, who was also, it turns out, recruited by a mysterious Brit (Cooper) to hunt and kill vampires perpetuating the slave trade, and thereby their blood supply.


Review
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
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When Kazakh director Timur Bekmambetov broke through in 2004 with the hyper-stylish horror-actioner Night Watch, there was a tingling hope that his talents would not only translate to, but also invigorate, the Hollywood machine. His English-language debut, Wanted, with its ballistic balletics and gloriously eccentric touches (The Loom Of Fate?!) hit the spot. The signs, then, were good for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, especially as it wove in a fun-sounding mash-up concept (courtesy of Pride And Prejudice And Zombies scribbler Seth Grahame-Smith) and an attention-grabbing producer credit for Tim Burton.

Those signs, it turns out, were as reliable as putting a billboard announcing “Indoor Play Centre” outside Dracula’s Castle. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a steam-locomotive wreck (which, funnily enough, features an actual steam-locomotive wreck caused by — possible symbolism alert! — a massive burning bridge). Between them, Grahame-Smith (who also scripts) and Bekmambetov have made the crippling decision to play this entirely straight, to the point of being inflexibly po-faced. The result is a B horror invading a stilted History channel reconstruction, which veers from the unwittingly ridiculous (“I would fight not with an axe, but with words and ideals,” Abe intones during the over-ladled voiceover) to the faintly distasteful; Gettysburg was a long time ago, but it somehow doesn’t feel right in a film that takes itself so seriously to portray a national-psyche-shredding tragedy as a luridly slo-mo vampire massacre.

It is visually awful. In grasping for some kind of period-appropriate authenticity, Caleb Deschanel’s digital cinematography is bleached, harsh, uncomfortable to view. The 3D is, as is so often the case, noticeable only in terms of how much extra weight has been uncomfortably placed on the bridge of your nose. The excessive digital FX are ineffective and oddly oily, especially during a daft sequence where Abe chases ever-hamtastic rent-a-baddie Marton Csokas over, and through, a horse stampede. At one point an obviously CG gee-gee is thrown at Abe by his bloodsucky quarry. It would be funny if this movie had a sense of humour.

There are occasional flashes of the old Timur — a mural comes to life to give a potted history of vampires; an aerial cityscape shot glitters as America’s citizens stockpile silver (which, in this story’s muddled lore, is fatal to vamps) — but they are lost amid all the hurried, tension-free demi-set-pieces and gratuitous speed-ramping. Only one person walks away from this unscathed: Abe himself, Ben Walker, a physically impressive and charismatic specimen who could do worse than keep the nose prosthetic and carve a career playing Young Liam Neeson in flashbacks and Taken reboots.


Verdict
The grave tone makes it stiff and leaden, the digi-saturated look is a turn-off. Damnable and disordered.


Reviewed by Dan Jolin

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Empire Star Rating

RE: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

L: Dr Lenera A surprisingly successful mixture of historical biopic and action/horror i] Blade and far better than its reception may lead you to believe. The action ranges from mediocre to genuinely original ere is sadly some very poor CGI which lets the side down somewhat, but overall this is big, dumb fun handled with tremendous style and certainly kept me entertained throughout. 7.5/10 otally agree, just watched this from Lovefilm and went into it thinking this could be abso... More

Posted by MuckyMuckMan at 10:04, 11 June 2013 | Report This Post


RE: I don't think I've ever been so bored at the cinema

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Its all things Abe at the moment as we've just had this flick and we've now got the upcoming biopic epic. Not to mention the Abe fetish that this has kick started with other low budget horror flicks where Abe fights the undead. When do we seen George Washington kicking werewolf ass?. Tongue firmly in cheek here as we basically get a loose life story of Abe Lincoln but with clever tinkering. I must admit I do like how historical fact has been perverted w... More

Posted by Phubbs at 22:15, 17 October 2012 | Report This Post


Empire review is wrong, for the people, by the people etc....

Oh Dear, Dan Jolin did you get this review wrong! My immediate reaction following watching this glorious slice of alternative history was that it was fucking insane! If Will Johnson and Abe battling the undead on the top of a train as it speeds towards Gettysburg can`t get you excited, then you`re one of the undead! As for the 3D, I`ve not seen a film more perfectly suited to the format, since how to train your dragon. Weight on the bridge of your nose? Very poor, just very poor. I loved t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by markdavies at 01:00, 01 July 2012 | Report This Post


I don't think I've ever been so bored at the cinema

Never before have I seriously considered leaving mid-film, I just couldn't wait for it to end. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by flit88 at 19:55, 29 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

A surprisingly successful mixture of historical biopic and action/horror i] Blade and far better than its reception may lead you to believe. The action ranges from mediocre to genuinely original ere is sadly some very poor CGI which lets the side down somewhat, but overall this is big, dumb fun handled with tremendous style and certainly kept me entertained throughout. 7.5/10 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 18:45, 28 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

ng comments about it, without knowing anything about it?somebody made comments about a film they haven't seen on the internet? Stop the press, this is Pulitzer Prize stuff!!! ou're and idiot...so stay in your corner of the room and relax for your time out. , absolutely anybody who has commented on things they haven't seen, on the internet, for reasons that may not be relevant to anyone but them must, and can only be, an idiot h your reality tv and twit your way to stardom on your own. I wi... More

Posted by jobloffski at 19:07, 23 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

I'm seeing this and I know I'll like it. Why? Great idea for a summer popcorn genre movie. That's it. Timur is solid as a director of genre movies. Knows how to use film-edit language; knows where to put the camera. Knows he's telling a story called, yes, a movie. Not a play. Not a novel. Not a tv show. Seth hit gold with the public, the audience with his previous history-genre mashup book. He knows what he's doing. Horror, history, mythology. 2 hour summer blockbus... More

Posted by MARK11 at 02:31, 23 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Started reading the novel the other day and went to see the first screening of it this morning. First and foremost ignore all the negative reviews! There's been far far far worse films released by Temur (Wanted!!). It would appear he's managed to reign himself in a bit for this one and has made a decent schlock horror action film which never sets out to be an Oscar winner. Go in expecting a bit of OTT fun and you won't be disappointed. 5 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by losthighway at 21:59, 22 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

t is getting poor reviews, cos that title is fookin' killer!! ... More

Posted by drews at 17:59, 22 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Imagine, if you will, the aura of Interview With The Vampire, told through the lens of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, with all the rompy fun of Van Helsing, but none of the campy humour. That, ladies and gentlemen, is AL:HV. Now I'm aware, of course, that a large percentage of you disliked at least two of those three films I mentioned in comparison. Personally, I loved them all, which is why I enjoyed Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It's not perfect, and it certainly isn't for eve... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 17:40, 22 June 2012 | Report This Post


I enjoyed it. I didn't go into the cinema expecting a 5-star masterpiece and definitely wasn't met with one, but I thought the plot was enjoyable, especially with the great action sequences, I mean who doesn't like a guy swinging an axe around? I also thought that the 3D in this film was a lot more suited to it than in most films. I gave 3 stars but in my books that doesn't mean bad, it means the opposite, overall I think it was a good effort with a good plot and fully enthralling action sequenc... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Scooper.duper at 14:01, 22 June 2012 | Report This Post


A steaming turd of a movie.

S AFOOT!! So, Lincoln: Vampire HunterI had gone into this expecting an hour and a half of a escapist fun. I know that kind of defence of a movie 'but it's only a bit of fun' is the last resort of the scoundrel, but it can be warranted. Such movies, mostly high-summer Hollywood fodder, are possessed of at least ] redeeming features that make up for the general naffness of the film, but I'm afraid to say that this flick is not one of them. Timur Bekmambetov is a filmmaker who is increasing... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Filmfan 2 at 12:44, 22 June 2012 | Report This Post


I agree - good review

3/5 stars - good, not great. Tim Burton as a producer is to blame and managed to add a dash of douche to the proceedings. And Timur's magic is missing - you're better off watching WANTED again...and again. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jace007 at 07:52, 22 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Ridiculous from the start...

Just got back from seeing it. Will post more tomorrow, but the jist of my upcoming review: it's crap! ... More

Posted by Filmfan 2 at 23:07, 21 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Ridiculous from the start...

just returned from seeing this is it a dissapointment....a bit.however its not as bad as some of the reviews on here would have you believe,some of the points that people are complaining about are that it doesnt look good well i agree to a point it could do without 3D(wouldnt make it worse) it s a bit over graded, none of these are that bad(will be better on small screen when you can fiddle about with it).Yes the story is stupid and takes itself just a little to seriously, but what film doesnt ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Imrahill at 20:44, 21 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Ridiculous from the start...

It’s been four years since Night Watch director Timur Bekmambetov last made a film, being his Hollywood debut: Wanted, which was noticeable for featuring a buffed-up James McAvoy, a nude Angelina Jolie stepping out of a bathtub and best of all, the Loom of Fate. Since then, he has been a producer of works such as The Darkest Hour which have been quite lacklustre. Re-collaborating with producer Tim Burton, Bekmambetov’s latest is about the secret life of the 16th President of the United States. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by R W at 19:28, 21 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Ridiculous from the start...

i was replying to the idea that stupid concepts don't work, i was simply saying that they can work and you shouldn't disregard them because the basic idea is ridiculous. But also how is jurassic park not like that? It's dinosaurs and theme parks mixed together. ... More

Posted by fightclubber954 at 18:33, 21 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: I Enjoyed it, So There

All would be forgiven if it happens to be a bit of a laugh, but the reviews make it sound like it's aimed at people who like the result of the mash-up of monsters for Van Helsing, which was starting from a far tastier potential concept. Abe fighting Vampires is a good one liner. So is Gandhi versus Predator, but nobody would expect that joke to carry a film, ... More

Posted by jobloffski at 17:08, 21 June 2012 | Report This Post


I Enjoyed it, So There

Just putting it out there, it's Abraham Lincoln fighting Vampires so it's a bit of a laugh and if you go into it thinking otherwise you've probably missed the point. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by pom86 at 17:03, 21 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Ridiculous from the start...

Any concept can be made to work, IF the concept is fleshed out with a decent script. Neither of the concepts you mention fit the formula being used here, of two already famous things being 'mashed-up' ... More

Posted by jobloffski at 16:55, 21 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Ridiculous from the start...

yeh ridiculous ideas never work. It's almost as stupid as say... a dinosaur theme park or a time travelling delorian. Admittedly it is likely not even close to as good as either of those movies but don't criticise it for being a stupid idea, criticise it for being poorly executed. ... More

Posted by fightclubber954 at 16:45, 21 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: ridiculous from the start

It's NOT original. Taking a historical figure and crafting a fictional story for them to take part has been done before. Usually resulting in a one joke premise in a poorly executed narrative. And what exactly is fresh about a story revolving around a slayers one of the most over-used ideas there is. With the help of Google, I've learned the novel the film is based on is by the same writer who did Pride and Prejudice versus Zombies. So, take something/someone/some story that's already fa... More

Posted by jobloffski at 15:08, 21 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE: ridiculous from the start

The studio should be lauded for at least attempting something different as apposed to all the re-boots sequals prequals that are littering about just now come on spiderman re-boot its not even been 10 years since the last and what have we got to look forward too.....Mad max(re boot) total recall(re boot) robo cop(re boot) and a possible lethal weapon re-boot it might be daft and silly but it will be entertaining and new.Why bother with new films if this carries on the studios will be like"look ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Imrahill at 14:46, 21 June 2012 | Report This Post


RE.PS

Probibly be entertaining enough, was hardly ever going to be critics choice as for the review talking about the digi grading i havent seen it yet but 3D is hardly ever an improvement to the film(there are afew exceptions) but in most cases it just makes the film look worse i prob see it once in cinema but better waiting for 2d blu ray which would prob look better, but overall as i have said before it would need to go some to be worse than prometheus(too long,poor acting,boring)and MIB(waste of o... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Imrahill at 14:39, 21 June 2012 | Report This Post


Ridiculous from the start...

Was and will always be a mind numbingly idiotic and outright STUPID concept for a movie...Hollywood will do anything these days..seems like Timur Bekmambetov is a one hit wonder...NEXT! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ronniem at 14:38, 21 June 2012 | Report This Post


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