Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

HONEST AXEMAN: Benjamin Walker in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
HONEST AXEMAN: Benjamin Walker in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

The title says it all. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, moonlights as a hunter of bloodsuckers from the underworld.

The adaptation from Seth Grahame-Smith's novel of the same name (he of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, who also penned the screenplay), begins when Lincoln is a child. His family unwittingly annoys a powerful vampire, who seeks vengeance on them by biting young Lincoln's mother. Fast forward to an adult Lincoln (played by Benjamin Walker) and the battle for justice begins.

These are no Twilight-style vampires. They are ghouls; gnarly, snarling beasts who are relentless in their fighting. Lincoln brandishes his axe slicked with liquid silver in fight scenes that resemble the tricky moves from The Matrix.

The problem is, this story is bigger than just the fight against vampires. Throw in Lincoln's love interest, Mary Todd, and you get that old chestnut: should Lincoln save the world or be with his girl? Plus once the immense issues of slavery and emancipation are tackled, you get a film that is too ambitious to fully deliver.

Director Timur Bekmambetov (known for Wanted and Russian film Night Watch) takes the reins of this roller coaster ride and teams up with Tim Burton as co- producer.

If you can suspend your disbelief and watch this movie for some light entertainment and action sequences, it will satisfy.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Runtime: 105 mins
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Rufus Swell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Sunday Star Times