Box office: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
The great Abraham Lincoln is renowned for many heroic feats. He was a strong leader who played a major role in abolishing slavery and he united his country at a pivotal moment in its history. He also hunted and killed vampires. Well, maybe not in real life, but he did according to Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” which has been brought to the big screen by producer Tim Burton and director Timur Bekmambetov, the visionary director of “Wanted” and the excellent “Day Watch/Night Watch” series.
The film begins in 1818 in the home of a young Abraham Lincoln. After Lincoln stands up for a young slave boy, a plantation owner seeks revenge and has a hand in the death of Lincoln’s mother. When he is older, he seeks vengeance only to find out the plantation owner is not human. It is here that Lincoln learns about vampires and their intention to take over the United States of America. He then makes the decision to dedicate his life to hunting down vampires and slaying every one he can find while at the same time shaping the future of his nation. Benjamin Walker plays Abraham Lincoln, Dominic Cooper is his mentor Henry Sturgess and Rufus Sewell plays the leader of the vampires, Adam.
After the success of the “Twilight” saga, it seemed vampires were everywhere and writers were finding ways to cash in on this phenomenon. But to think that someone actually dreamed up the idea to make Abraham Lincoln an axe-wielding vampire hunter might seem a little, to be quite frank, absurd. However, the novel was released to fairly positive reviews, with the LA Times stating that “a writer who can transform the greatest figure from 19th century American history into the star of an original vampire tale with humor, heart and bite is a rare find indeed.”
So, the idea might not be so absurd compared to the reality of how much money the “Twilight” films have actually made considering how bad they are.
The film was released in the U.S. in June and hasn’t exactly wowed the critics, with the main complaint aimed at the film’s insistence on playing it safe when it comes to some of the larger themes. But then I wouldn’t expect a film called “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” to be making overtly political references in the first place. And as Andrew O’Hehir of Salon.com rightly states: “Bekmambetov ... stages hilarious, imaginative, almost free-form action sequences like nobody in the business.” So if you were a fan of Bekmambetov’s “Wanted” or his “Night Watch” series, or are just a fan of seeing vampires being slain, this can be no worse than the next “Twilight” film!