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April 16, 2014

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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ sounds awesome, but it’s … not

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Ah, that famous moment in history when Lincoln got ready to chop down the cherry tree with George Washington’s ax … er, kill some vampires … er, never mind.

The Details

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Two stars
Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov
Rated R
Beyond the Weekly
IMDb: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Rotten Tomatoes: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

For a movie with such a ridiculous title and premise, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter takes itself remarkably seriously.

Based on the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), it weaves real historical details of the life of our 16th president around a fictional narrative about his lifelong crusade against vampires. It’s a deeply silly idea, but Grahame-Smith (who also wrote the screenplay) and director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) play it completely straight, with massive set pieces and a grisly back story for Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) involving his quest for revenge against a vampire who killed his mother.

There isn’t a hint of humor to this tedious, plodding movie, and Walker has no charisma as the grim, determined Lincoln. Bekmambetov overdoses on slow-motion and quick cuts in his action sequences, and the special effects look dingy and fake. An adaptation of a textbook would at least have been more educational.

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