Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Directed By: Timur Bekmambetov

Starring: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell, and Marton Csokas

"History prefers legends to men, nobility to brutality, soaring speeches to quiet deeds.  History remembers the battles, but forgets the blood.  If history remembers me at all, it will only be a fraction of the truth."
-Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker)

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.  Based on the title alone, this film was destined to be a big hit or a big miss.  As the weekend has shown so far, the film has been pretty much a miss, at least critically.  Most film critics probably came to the movie ready to pan it based on its preposterous notion alone.  I, however, wanted to give the film a fighting chance.  I came to the film with an open mind despite its ridiculous perversion of history.  I was rewarded with a completely unrewarding, disastrous action movie.

Abraham Lincoln (Walker) grows up in the early nineteenth century with his parents Nancy (Robin McLeavy) and Thomas (Joseph Mawle).  When his black friend Willie Johnson (Anthony Mackie) is getting whipped publicly, young Abe intervenes on his behalf.  As the altercation unfolds, Abraham's father Thomas gets involved.  Unfortunately, plantation owner Jack Barts (Marton Csokas), Thomas's boss, gets involved as well and ends up firing Thomas and collecting on his debt.  When Thomas refuses to pay his debt, Barts vows to make him pay by "other" means.

Jack Barts is actually a vampire.  After the altercation with the Lincolns, he visits the Lincoln home and bites Thomas's wife Nancy.  Afterward, she becomes terribly ill and dies.  It just so happens that a young Abe witnesses Barts attacking his mother.  Nine years later, a vengeful Abraham goes to a bar to build up enough liquid courage to kill Barts and vindicate his mother.  When Abe shoots Barts in the head, he soon learns that his foe can't be killed quite that easily.  While at the bar earlier, Abraham meets a guy named Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper) who recognizes the hatred in Abe's heart.  Henry helps him deal with the undead Barts and takes him under his wing to learn about the art of slaying vampires.  With Abraham Lincoln now a hunter, his war on the vampire kind commences.

I have to really compliment the marketing team for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.  They got me.  After all the promising trailers, I had some hopes for a halfway decent action movie.  Having seen the film, all that I can say is that it's laughably bad.  Benjamin Walker does what he can as the famous US President, but there's only so much that can be done with a movie like this.  While I admittedly enjoy watching our 16th President wielding a sleek silver ax, I don't have the same appreciation for him decapitating vampires and subsequently kicking their heads like soccer balls.  It's impossible to simultaneously give us a political leader who gives soaring speeches like the Gettysburg Address and an action hero who is kicking ass and jumping from burning trains.  This movie proves it simply can't be done.  Let’s not do this to any more Presidents or other historical figures down the road.

Other aspects of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter reflect the poor filmmaking as well.  There are no great actors in the movie, but there's no excuse for some of the outright atrocious acting in this flick, especially from Mary Elizabeth Winstead.  Her stilted performance as Mary Todd Lincoln precludes any possibility of a worthwhile romance.  Aside from poor acting, the storyline is boring as hell.  I was tempted to catch up on some shuteye during this one.  There's nothing in the plot that spices the movie up and makes it worth a viewing.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a tough movie to endure.  He may chop down trees in a single blow, but this president offers nothing new or original to the vampire movie genre.  We get just another poorly acted horror film with tasteless, pointless blood and gore.  I'm curious to know what Abe is drinking at the bar before he attacks Barts.  Perhaps it's something that can help me get through this one.  It got Abe ready to kill another man in cold blood.  In theory, it should be able to help me.  Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter gets a wasted rating.  Get some Red Headed Sluts with this one.  You'll need it.