Firstly, remember that this oh-so-popcorn movie is titled Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
(For all y’all history buffs, there’s yet another Lincoln movie on the horizon – this one directed by the Steven Spielberg, starring the Daniel Day-Lewis. That’s the one you want to hold to higher standard.)
And thirdly, remember that this oh-so-popcorn movie is titled Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, directed by the helmer of Wanted is about the 16th American president and like, how because of his secret life as friggin’ vampire hunter he was able to win the American Civil War and pave the way for the greatness that was to take hold of the United States.
Wait, what? You mean the title of the movie is not a metaphor?
Nope – it’s not.
See, dude picked up vampire hunting shortly after the death of his father, who died nine years after Lincoln’s mother bit it – ha! – after a vampire sank his fangs on her because Lincoln’s father owe a debt that he would not pay on account of principle and his having stood up to defend Will, a slave boy Lincoln is BFF with...and would grow up to be played by Anthony Mackie. Abe being Abe, he fixates on a bit of an eye-for-an-eye brand of keeping them honest and sets out to find the mother-killin’ vampire, not knowing that such creatures are more than myth.
Fortuitously, Lincoln meets the mysterious Henry (Dominic Cooper) and he begins to grasp the power of his enemy. Henry trains him, shows him to Buffy up his game (seriously, the slayer would be proud, if she like, could travel back in time and insert herself into this mythology). However, he also frustrates the heck out of the Lincoln because for a while he won’t let him get the vamp who offed his mom, sending him off instead to hunt vampires out of a town – a place closer to the allure of D.C. and politics and the betterment of not only oneself but the country...and of love, which Lincoln meets in the form of Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter chronicles Abraham Lincoln’s lifelong quest to rid the nation of the threat from the undead – as well as all the other problems that burdened it, beginning with slavery.
Virtual newcomer Benjamin Walker plays Honest Abe, and the actor – who is building a career on interesting takes on American presidents, already having played a rocking version of Andrew Jackson in Broadway’s Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson – could not be more of a mesmerize.
He has this boyish, yet commanding presence (he’s very tall and lean and worthy of a good stare in one shirtless scene) and has this Liam Neeson-esque situation going on....
He’s a good thing, and, obviously, the fourth, and by no means least other thing you should consider when you go see the movie, which is not quite as super-exciting as it provocatively absurd, but, regrettably for the powers that be, which include Tim Burton as a producer, only exciting enough.
My Rating **1/2
Photo: 20th Century Fox.