I know what you’re thinking. Of course a movie about Abraham Lincoln hunting vampires is unrealistic! Well, you’re right, but not just for the reasons you’re thinking. In fact, the reasons you’re probably thinking of didn’t bother me at all. This movie has very little realism as far as the plot goes (everyone knows he killed zombies) but the issue I found with the movie was the action. According to the movie, Abraham Lincoln was not only extremely tall, but very fast, incredibly strong, as agile as a fox, smooth with the ladies, had a hat that was VERY durable, and had an axe that could shoot bullets. I know, I know… it’s hard to believe he was smooth with the ladies, but according to the movie, he was.
So lets put a pin in that for a moment and talk about the action. There were several moments that had me laughing out loud, quite literally. Lincoln is able to chop down a tree with a single swing becuase he was angry. He also somehow managed to survive a horse being thrown at him, then subsequently able to ride that horse, all in one fluid motion. Now in any other movie, that honestly wouldn’t bother me, but the fact that he’s supposed to be a normal person and not some super-human president-to-be made it a little unbelievable.
Aside from the somewhat comical premise, the plot itself honestly isn’t that bad. Years after Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker, Flags of our Fathers,) after witnessing his mother’s murder, vows to seek revenge on the man that took her life, no longer being held to the promise he made to his father to stay away from the man. The sloppy, amateurish plot to take the murder’s life goes awry and Abraham is rescued by a self-proclaimed vampire hunter, Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper, The Devil’s Double,) who subsequently trains him in the art of slaying said monsters. Lincoln then moves away to a small town where he works as a shopkeeper by day, and slays vampire targets sent to him by Sturges by night, all while climbing the ranks in the political world.
Believe it or not, Walker’s take on Abraham Lincoln was well done. One can only imagine the difficulty in taking one of our most beloved presidents and turning him into a vampire slayer, but Walker was able to make it work somehow. He’s both a perfect gentleman, and a killing machine.
For those of you who were fans of “Wanted,” the trademark style of director Timur Bekmambetov should seem very familiar and prominent in this film. Bekmambetov, aside from his difficult to pronounce name, has made his staple in American cinema with intense sequenses of action. Many of the scenes in which Abraham slays countless vampires can be easily compared to the action sequences in Bekmambetov’s “Wanted.” The use of slow motion and incredible choreography are ever present in this film, making the action very appealing and fun to watch.
So, if you have difficulty getting over ridiculous concepts or unrealistic fight scenes, then perhaps this movie isn’t for you. If, on the other hand, you are able to sit back and enjoy a film, regardless of how ridiculous the story might be or how outrageous some of the action sequences are, then you will more than likely enjoy this film. Personally, I enjoyed Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, however easily I may make fun of it. I suspect we’ll see a whole new era of satirical films on the horizon soon enough.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is rated R for violence throughout (many violent fight scenes involving axes, guns, and creature violence, all of which are relatively gory) and brief sexuality (a woman is briefly shown with her chest exposed, and a man and woman are briefly seen having sex but it is not graphic, as it is mostly covered by the side of a tub.)