Movie Review: "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"

Ever since seeing a screening of Timur Bekmambetov's Russian masterpiece "Night Watch," I've made it a habit to watch anything the producer / director puts his stamp of approval on. Most everything he's been involved in I've liked or appreciated. His movie "Wanted" is probably my favorite action vehicle of the last decade. It doesn't seem like anything in that genre can thrill me after witnessing all the unbelievable scenes and adrenalized energy emanated by that film. Even the movie "9," which he produced with Tim Burton, was interesting even in its imperfection.

Bekmambetov has hit gold again with "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." Successfully marrying history with horror and vampire lore is risky business. Some people get very touchy when you start playing with historical figures and happenings. Original book author Seth Grahame-Smith wrote the screenplay, leading me to believe the final outcome is the way he wanted it to be. Obviously, Bekmambetov added the martial arts flavor to the mix.

Grahame-Smith perfectly melds patriotism, elements of horror, and history together to construct a truly convincing story. He ties different historical events together with fictional elements so well you might actually believe what he's feeding us as fact if we didn't already know otherwise.

Benjamin Walker fully embraces his roles as Honest Abe. You're already convinced he's channeling the 16th President by the time he dons the familiar beard. Rufus Sewell is as creepy as he always is as the villain of the film. The entire cast puts forth their best effort to make this a believable period piece.

The visual effects and CGI in the film work for the most part. There are a few instances where the limitations stand out, but It's not enough to distract from some great action sequences and amazing eye candy. A huge train wreck and a battle on the back of a pack of horses are examples of key VFX scenes in the movie.

There's some cheese to be found within this movie. However, it's fresh and not moldy. You can't really have a movie about a patriotic President who wields an ax as a vampire hunter without a little slice of American cheese being added to the sandwich.

"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is an entertaining movie that will have Americans cheering for their country while simultaneously enjoying some great decapitations and gore. I saw a screening of the film on Juneteenth and it really helped hit home the importance of what Lincoln did for the U.S. in a fun and unique way. Much like "30 Days of Night," this is a return to the world of scary vampires. These bloodsuckers don't sparkle in the sun and quote romantic poetry. If that's what you're looking for, this isn't for you.

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