It didn’t take long for Hollywood to corrupt Russian director Timur Bekmembetov.
Nightwatch and its sequel Daywatch, two movies about the ageless battle between dark and light, made him a figure to watch. Alas, he’s been saddled with the movie adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s second “mash-up” novel, and it’s not good.
It was Grahame-Smith, also serving as script writer, who inserted the living dead into a Jane Austen classic to deliver Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter soon followed. The resultant movie is a flaccid, pallid hybrid of everything that inspired Bekmembetov’s Russian vampire flicks – from Interview with the Vampire to Blade – as young Abe Lincoln vows vengeance on the bloodsucking fiend that killed his mother.
Abe (Benjamin Walker) grows up tall and strong and is soon recruited by vampire hunter Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper taking the Yankee dollar) as an axe-wielding eliminator of the good ole vamps of the Deep South. Soon he’s decapitating pharmacists, innkeepers and pastors whilst romancing the woman who will become his wife.
Played as a slice of tongue-in-cheek campery this one might just pass muster. It certainly looks gorgeous, but ultimately the delights of the production design are not matched by the overall concept in a movie that appears not to know the truth of its own identity.