This weekend I watched the new Dracula movie – Dracula Untold with Luke Evans in the title role of Vlad Tepes. I was expecting a shitty movie considering all the awful Dracula movies in the last 20 years or so (and even more abysmal vampire movies) so I was mildly surprised that this one didn’t suck as bad! Don’t get me wrong, the movie was not great, it wasn’t even good, but at least there was no random changes of accent, or babies being removed from to womb with the use of teeth and special powers (I really should write a post about shitty vampires on the big screen)
The movie was not good – the characters were either annoying or 2dimensional or unexplained or played by inappropriate actors.
I’ll stop at the last thing first:
How in all that’s holy can this dood play sultan Mehmet?
It’s not like there aren’t more visually appropriate actors to play this role! (one example) Putting black eyeliner under a guy’s eyes does not make him a Turk! I thought we were past this “trick” but we obviously aren’t.
Now onto other things – the unconvincing side characters. We have a couple of recognizable actors delivering one or two lines that were just plain silly, like Ronan Vibert being quiet and brooding the entire movie and then during the “grab the pitchforks” moment he screams that Vlad is under the influence of the Satan. Silly, silly, silly.
I want to write more about the shitty moments from this movie but I’ll just get depressed. I love vampire stories. I actually researched the historic figure of Vlad Tepes for a paper a few years back, and I am constantly disappointed with how this strange man is portrayed on the big screen.
I mean, this was the guy who, while in prison, impaled small animals, this is the man who is rumoured to do things that would make the fictional Hannibal look like a kitten! Seriously! Nailing the turbans to the heads of Sultan’s emissaries because they refused to take them off in his presence! Punishing a woman whose husband’s shirt was ripped and she didn’t mend it! That is the man I want to see on the screen.
Here we have a glimpse of this man. We see Luke Evans (hot damn he’s good when he’s angry) do awful things to protect his kingdom (and in this romance to protect his son). The “real” Vlad was a ruthless ruler, an unapologetic leader and a force to be reckoned with. He was named Impaler for a reason! This Dracula is a driveling fool at times.
But hey, it’s not as bad as some other Dracula movies. There are good things too – there’s good scenography, pretty costumes, ok fight scenes, and eyecandy. But that is not enough, not even close to being enough. To quote Empire magazine
“If Dracula really started like this, no-one would have bothered to tell any other stories about him.”
Hopefully one day there will be a good Dracula origins movie, but it is not today.
In other news – Luke Evans is still pretty 🙂