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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Movie Review: Dracula Untold

When a decision you made puts others at risk, what would you be willing to do to make it right? In October 2014, Vlad found a way to become stronger than any man and protect his people... at a hefty price.

Directing this 92 minute action/drama/fantasy/horror/war is Gary Shore.

Some of the cast is: Luke Evans as Vlad, Sarah Gadon as Mirena, Dominic Cooper as Mehmed, Art Parkinson as Ingeras, Diarmaid Murtagh as Dumitru Paul Kaye as Brother Lucian, William Houston as Cazan, Noah Huntley as Captain Petru and Charles Dance as Master Vampire.

Taking a stand against the Turks, Vlad knows he doesn't have the numbers to win this battle. Needing help, Vlad searches for a way to save his kingdom, which takes him to an old man high up on a mountain. After he
reaches the man's cave he asks for help to fight off the Turks, but what Vlad finds in that cave comes with at dark price, one many will pay... in blood.

Well, I fell for it again folks. Once again I saw a killer looking trailer that had a pretty good cast and thought "Man I have to see this!" Luckily, I wasn't the only one who felt that way, but never the less I'm still a little irked  that a (should have been) good movie was a let down. Yet again, another flick that's more flashy effects than style and won't be able to with stand the test of time.

Even though this is based off of Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897), writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless went a different way with the story. Instead of covering the well known charcter the same way it has a million times already, they went with an origin story for... Vlad the Impaler. Now, I have to give them props for going a different direction and not just following the popular herd. I just wish it would have turned out better. The story starts off interesting enough, but then falls short of anything more than just an excuse for effects and cool visuals. Then throw in an ending that wasn't really built up enough to make it anything more than an (attempted cool) reminder that he's immortal. Which yeah, I remember thank you, he's a vampire.

The playthrough was quick feeling, which I guess works because I never felt bored but I also never really felt entertained either. The film puts so much weight on why he becomes a vampire, then it's like, "Ok, I did what I needed to do and there you go, bad guys be gone." Yeah, there's a downside to what he did, but it didn't really matter because they don't talk about it much and all the bad stuff that happens to him isn't really because he's a vampire. It's due to a decision made before he became one. All this leads to a very unbalanced flick that feels like a half-assed story. If you've seen I Frankenstein (2014) then you have a pretty good idea of what I mean, but this one has a touch better of a storyline.
                                                             

One of the other good things this film has going for it, aside from the effects, is Evans. I think Evans is a really skilled actor and he does great in a lead role. Unfortunately, due to the script you don't really get a chance to see anyone else shine. The other people around him come and go so quick you don't really get a chance to attach to anyone else.

The effects were seriously cool looking and John Schwartzman did some great work with the cinematography. Now, if for some reason you actually want to pay and see this on the big screen you will get a visual treat.

Now, don't get me wrong this isn't a terrible movie by any means, it just wasn't the great film it could've been. Personally, one of the things that hurt it was the PG-13 rating. I don't belevie you need blood and guts to make a killer flick, but when you're talking about a vampire one... you should up the ratings a bit. Here's a quick rating comparison for you, Twilight (2008) PG-13 (flirts with dark and edgy)... Dracula (1992) R (dark and gritty). That's the difference this film has, minus the flirtiness, it's just to clean and pretty-ish for my tastes.

Overall, I wouldn't pay theater prices to see this one, but... I'd do a rental. If nothing else I can now say I've seen it.

It's rated PG-13 for violence.

3 stars


1 comment:

  1. Saw it. Served the purpose of killing time. I thought it was fun that his explanation for impaling people resembles the one given for throwing the atomic bombs.

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