‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ Fails to Stand

Once you hear the name of our 16th president placed next to the words “vampire hunter,” you know that something absolutely ridiculous is going to happen. Setting solemn Abraham Lincoln and fantastical vampires side by side is absurd—one would probably wonder how director Timur Bekmambetor (who directed “Wanted”) and screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith pulled off the task. While “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” tries to encompass the battle between good and evil, action, a fantasy-driven twist on history and the new bloody vampire trend, the load is too much to handle. With horribly overdone special effects, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” proves to be an awkward, disjointed flop.

The film is centered around the private life of Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Waller) who seeks revenge against the (who would have guessed) vampire, Jack Barts (Martin Csokas) who killed his mother when he was a boy. Lincoln’s vengeful pursuit is aided by mysterious vampire hunter Henry Struges (Dominic Cooper). But in exchange for Henry’s help, Lincoln has to agree to a plan that we’ve all heard before: to go on the noble and lonely quest of fighting the dark side (of vampires). Suddenly, the “Great Emancipator” in our country’s history becomes the “Great Exterminator” who kills vampires with an axe. Add more oddities to this cheesy mix and you end up with a president who is torn between a vengeful pursuit to slay vampires, his love for Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and declaring a Civil War against the vampires in the South who want a nation of their own.

Lincoln isn’t the only one who is torn between ideas, making him seem awkward during some scenes. The movie itself is torn between so many things that its ridiculousness seems to scream “identity crisis.”

Historical fiction fans can go home, for the movie only touches on obvious events such as the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil War and the small fun fact that Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd, was previously courted by Stephen Douglas.

Action lovers shouldn’t focus on the “vampire hunter” part of the movie and expect some dark horror scenes. What can be expected? Grossly overdone and repetitive slow-motion scenes of vampires being shot in the face, and high-definition fight scenes where Lincoln severs vampire heads and red-brown flecks of blood randomly float around in 3-D.

But in all of this lunacy, there has to be something for the vampire fans, right? Wrong. Twilight fans, stick to Edward Cullen and Bella. In an attempt to hide the axe he uses each and every night to hunt vampires, Lincoln coincidentally pulls out a ring and proposes to Mary Todd. How romantic. Vampires are just assumed to live a hidden existence, and no sufficient background is given as to how they even came to America. If you’re looking to see shirtless vampires that glitter in the sun, the only impression you’ll get from this movie is that vampires have invisibility powers, bulging veins, gruesomely pointy teeth and can really distort their faces if they’re going to attack. And no, the fight scenes aren’t any better. In fact, they seem almost exactly like the ones in the Twilight movies. The only scenes that seem different from Twilight ones are random and come in no logical order; for example, one action fight happens on the backs of stampeding horses that come out of nowhere.

With so many different themes the movie could have focused on, there was potential for the movie to go in a silly vampire-driven direction, or become a serious action fantasy. But just as the title suggests, putting the two together and trying to accomplish both couldn’t and didn’t work out. So don’t attempt to sink your teeth into this movie, for a movie so divided just won’t stand.