This movie has received hoards of negative reviews and I canâ€™t for the life of me see why...
Is it rife with historical inaccuracy? Yes. Are parts poorly edited? Yes. Is it too self-serious? Hells yes. BUT GUYS, itâ€™s a movie about Abraham Lincoln KILLING VAMPIRES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why would you not want to see that? Dude kills vampires with an axe!!! Thatâ€™s right. AN AXE! This movie has everything you could ever want in a vampire movie: a badass main hero, hyper-stylized action, fun albeit predictable twists and some kick-ass period costuming. There is no reason to not see this movie. The vamps are actually awesome for a change. They donâ€™t sweat glitter. (Thatâ€™s right. I made a Twilight reference. Deal with it.) They take a lot to kill them and fight back. They donâ€™t have souls and they kill bitches left and right. It. Gets. Crazy. They also have the power to become invisible AND their eating-people-faces have more teeth than Julia Roberts.
So the basic story: Young Abraham Lincoln and family are indentured servants (I think, who really cares?) to this dude who unbeknownst to them is a vampire. They are fired after a disagreement about slave beating and told to pay their debts. Stuff goes down and the vamps wind up taking Abeâ€™s mom as payment, after which the young president vows to kill those that have brought this upon his mom. He grows up and, as if by fate, locates a guy (Dominic Cooper) that is willing to train him to fight these beasts. In this particular world, silver is the vampireâ€™s Kryptonite so naturally Lincoln, played rather well by Benjamin Walker, is given an axe with a Â blade that is covered in silver. This makes for a lot of really cool action sequences with Lincoln slaying the hell out of some vampires. He eventually garners the attention of Adam (Rufus Sewell), the leader and maker of all the vampires in America (there are apparently a lot spread all over the US). I donâ€™t really want to give away specific plot points because it will have a lot of spoilers, but long story short, Adam wants to take over the US with vampires and Abe does everything in his power to stop him. Naturally all of this is going on while Lincoln is young and newly settling in Springfield. He finds a job, a woman (Mary-Elizabeth Winstead) and starts to get involved in politics. He eventually starts to shy away from the vamp slayage and focuses more on his political career, which of course leads him to become president.
Time passes with little action and the Civil War starts, naturally preoccupying him. Abe thinks he is all but done with his killing days but he is quickly drawn in when the blood-sucking fiends begin to attack his family. Also, by this time, Jefferson Davis, sneaky bastard, has enlisted the vampires to fight for the south, which also provides some pretty nifty action sequences. Overall, the plot is pretty ridiculous, but itâ€™s a movie about a guy in a top hat killing vampires with an axe. What do you expect?
My favorite thing about this movie BY FAR is the costuming. If this gets no other award (which it probably wonâ€™t because everyone hated it), it should get an award for that. Especially for the costuming of Adamâ€™s gang which is all kick-ass leather period stuff thatâ€™s on the verge of steampunk. Itâ€™s absolutely gorgeous. Director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) does a really good job with stylizing this as well. Itâ€™s not flawless by any means and there are a lot of parts I thought were super funny that I donâ€™t think were meant to be, but doesnâ€™t that just make it more awesome?
The performances are all pretty good, especially that of Dominic Cooper. And I just realized that I went this entire review without mentioning the slave friend. Anthony Mackie plays a freed slave who is a childhood friend of Abeâ€™s who assists in killing vamps. All of this is pretty forced and obviously meant to meet racial quota, but thereâ€™s something about a black man killing vampires that I sort of love. This movie, again, has everything you would expect of it; over-the-top action sequences that are really well done, cheesy lines before killing people/vamps and gore abound.
If you are a fan of campy violence and general awesomeness, PLEASE go see this movie and prove all the critics with sticks up their asses wrong. This is not a great movie by any means (the script is at times unbearably self-serious) but DAMN just think about all the greatness that goes with a former president killing multitudinous vampires. Also there is one part where a vampire throws a horse at Lincoln in defense. A HORSE. Nuff said.[gallery]