It’s not widely known nowadays but as well as being a damn fine President Of The United States (or even divided states at that time), Abraham Lincoln was a man driven to seek out and kill vampires after witness the death of his mother at their hands. Okay, it’s not widely known because, of course, it’s not true but that’s the premise of this movie, for anyone who couldn’t read between the lines of the subtle title, and it makes for some damn fine entertainment.
Honest Abe is played by Benjamin Walker and he’s started off on his vampire killing path by a young man named Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper). Of course, Abe just wants to get the vampire who drained his mother (Jack Barts, played by Marton Csokas) but Henry advises him that there are more around than he could have ever thought possible and that they are led by Adam (Rufus Sewell), the big badass who also created most of them. Thankfully, Abe has the courage, the skill and a silver-edged axe to help him achieve his goal of destroying the undead.
Written by Seth Grahame-Smith (adapting his 2010 novel for the big screen) and directed by Timur Bekmambetov, this is completely in line with the director’s previous works. If you didn’t like Night Watch, Day Watch or Wanted then you’re certainly not going to like this. I thought those films were fantastic fun and this easily sits right beside them. The pace, the style, the spectacle – it would be easy for people to hate the entire concept of the movie and the CGI and slow motion moments but it’s just so ridiculously entertaining from start to finish, with panache by the bucketload, that it would rank quite high if I ever made a “Top 20 Of 2012” list.
Benjamin Walker is a little bit bland in the lead role but he’s not terrible. It’s just that the supporting cast is full of more familiar, and more talented, folk. Cooper is very good as Sturges, the lovely Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a certain lovely lady named Mary Todd and Anthony Mackie and Jimmi Simpson make a good couple of potential allies to help Abe in his dangerous mission. It feels like Rufus Sewell has been playing villains for most of his film career and here he portrays another great baddie, supported by Erin Wasson (as the vicious Vadoma). Marton Csokas has fun with his small, but vital, role and Alan Tudyk also makes an uncredited appearance, with his role being small and non-vital but enjoyable nonetheless because it allows for the movie to have some . . . . . . . . . . . Alan Tudyk in it.
If you like what you’ve read here then do give the movie a go soon, it’s always good to learn more about great men of the past. Even if it’s just an entertaining web of lies woven around a few key real events.
DIRECTOR: TIMUR BEKMAMBETOV
WRITER: SETH GRAHAME-SMITH
STARS: BENJAMIN WALKER, DOMINIC COOPER, MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD, ANTHONY MACKIE, RUFUS SEWELL, MARTON CSOKAS, JIMMI SIMPSON, ERIN WASSON, ALAN TUDYK
RUNTIME: 105 MINS APPROX