Sunday, 15 July 2012

Abraham Lincoln, You Slay My Heart

An awesome book that I completely endorse.

Last week I got myself out to see Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. I had already read the book so my standards were set pretty high. Unfortunately due to plot changes it didn't quite live up to my expectations. Below you will find a play by play of what I thought of the film as I watched it.

So I arrived in the theatre and I kid you not, there was only one other person in the theatre. To be fair it was a matinee on, I think it was a Sunday. I thoroughly enjoyed the ad for The Dark Knight Rises that showed before the movie, I'm excited for it to come out. Now without further adieu, on to the film! (and me pointing out differences between it and the novel from what I remember of it) To begin with it started differently, his diaries were supposed to be left with an author (Seth) to do with as he wishes. I realized at the beginning of the movie that because Abe's mother dies while he is a child, this could be a Disney movie. The movie definitely skips over most of Abe's youth, such as the fact I remember his father re-marrying, but it has been at least a year since I read the book. Also I do not remember him having a slave for a best friend as a child.

And now we meet Abraham as a young man... with a thirst for vengeance. Of course his attempt fails, but he fails so adorkably that his failure is endearing. So we have an abnormally tall man with an attractive yet goofy face that is awkward and HOLY SHIT DID HE JUST TAKE HIS SHIRT OFF!?! I think I have found my perfect man. Why does he have to be a fictitious version of a historical figure? Needless to say I will be watching more films with Benjamin Walker in them. By the way Benjamin walker looks like a younger Liam Neeson (AKA a man of many bad ass characters, except that one character in that Star Wars film that never existed) in fact he has actually played the younger version of Liam Neeson's character in a movie called Kinsey.
This guy made the movie worth my $10
Now onto the character of Henry, who is played by one of several actors (Dominic Cooper) who I feel have a very similar look (the other two actors are Sebastian Stan who was in Captain America with Cooper, and Andrew Lee Potts). Now the way they wrote Henry is very different from how I remember him in the book. First in the book I swear his mansion was built underground. Also I thought that he was supportive of Abe's political career and it was all apart of his plan. In fact he was apart of a group of vampires who were working to eliminate slavery because they felt humans weren't just food. Which leads me to one of the scenes that I felt was missing from the movie, one of the vampires Abe is sent to kill has developed an elaborate human draining system like the one in Blade Trinity, but steampunk.

If only that was one of the names he had named.
Now some more missing things. First they got the vampire mythos from the book correct (while the vampires can go out in the sun, they are still highly sensitive to it, especially their eyes, hence the sunglasses they all wear), but they didn't include one of Abraham's signature weapons, a flash bomb that temporarily blinded the vampires. Also I missed the black eyes the vampires are supposed to have. One thing I also gravely missed was Mr. Lincoln's encounter with one of my favourite literary figures Edgar Allan Poe, who in this universe has a vampire for a patron.

Now back to my man Abe. There is a party scene where he has a secondary encounter with his future wife and as a man after my own heart he simply finds a place near the food to hang out for the duration of the party until other people come to him. Also we see Alan Tudyk for a second time who interestingly went uncredited in the film. His character loved having slaves so that might be the reason why. There are also a few scenes in the film that don't have Abe in them. That felt strange since most of the novel is diary style. We have another action scene... Did that vampire just throw a horse at him?

There are a lot of scenes in this movie that I don't remember being in the book such as the horse fight, Abe parkouring and the train fight. Even the main bad guy I don't remember being in the book. And finally the ending was just an epic failure by missing the fact that Lincoln's assassin was a vampire and that he is revived by Henry to become a member of the undead because (and this is one of my favourite quotes ever) "Some men are just too interesting to die."

So overall I found the film a little disappointing as an interpretation of the novel and not what I expected I was going in to. Another aspect of the film I did not enjoy was either the editing style or something along those lines because the entire movie felt like I was watching a trailer for the movie with far too much CGI. On the positive side though, Benjamin Walker's performance made the entire experience worth while for me.

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