Story: A mysterious man played by Dominic Cooper trains a young Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) to hunt, fight, and kill vampires. Lincoln seeks revenge after a vampire kills his.mother. Eventually, Lincoln settles down with Mary Todd (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and becomes a family man and even the president of the United States. His vampire killing days aren’t over yet, however, as he finds out the Confederates are recruting vampires provided by the dasterdly bloodsucker played by Rufus Sewell. To save the nation Lincoln must defeat the vampires once and for all or face annihilation.
Thoughts: I saw this when it was originally in theaters a few years ago, and it was one of the best times I’ve had at the movies. The action is outrageous. It doesn’t pretend to be realistic. We have Abe chopping down a tree with one swipe, vampires being knocked up buildings in gravity defying ways, and I believe a vampire even throws a horse at Abe at one point….and Abe emerges without a scratch. It’s ridiculous but a good kind of ridiculous. It’s so kinetic, full of energy, and totally kick ass that I dare you not to smile at the awesome.
The story is actually really good. My wife tells me that the book this is based on is a lot less action filled and thoroughly researched. Abe visits the south at one point in the book and while that visit is heavily fictionalized (there are vampires after all) it’s based off a real event. The movie, written by the same guy who wrote the book, may differ from the novel at certain junctures, and that may make the film less historically accurate, but it’s still based in hard research. Besides my wife says the book was a great but it would’ve made a horrible movie. So the author was smart enough to adapt for a different medium and was not stubbornly insistant on keeping everything 100 percent accurate to the novel.
I’ve seen some complain about the pacing. While I understand that, I think the movie goes along at a good enough pace that any problems with some of the time jumps isn’t that big a deal. I also disagree that there isn’t much of a story. It may be a thinned out version of what’s in the book, but this being made into a lighter action film rather than a fictional biography makes that okay.
Good performances are given by all. It’s a silly concept that’s treated seriously. It’s not a Mel Brooks parody. I know that’ll disappoint some people who just wanted a silly flick, but I like the film being a ludicrous what if tale. And remember that word. It’s ridiculous. It takes itself seriously but not too seriously. It’s aware of its out there premise.
If you’d enjoy a weird tale that sounds like a conversation you’d have with a friend (“What if Abraham Lincoln fought vampires?) that has heart pumping action and a better story than you might think, I’d give this a watch.