Starring: Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadon, Art Parkinson, Charles Dance
Directed By: Gary Shore
Written By: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 1 hr 32 min
Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, member of the House of Drăculești, also known as Vlad the Impaler, and in this story, Dracula (Luke Evans). Searching for a way to defeat the Turks and save his people, Vlad makes a deal with the Master Vampire (Charles Dance). Once struck, Vlad has just a few days to use his new powers to vanquish his enemies, and fight the thirst for human blood, or else live an eternity as a creature of the night.
Every superhero and super-villain has an origin story, and this is Dracula’s. It even felt like it was ripped from the pages of a Marvel or DC comic book too. The Dracula ethos, once again reduced to playing in a PG-13 world, where all the action and carnage becomes a bloodless CGI show. I probably shouldn’t complain too much however, at least these vampires didn’t bloody sparkle!
While it does add a new chapter to the Dracula story, I found myself very unmoved by this movie. It has its odd moments of quality, but it wasn’t enough to shake the horrible air of inevitability the film had. So we watch Dracula fight the insatiable thirst for human blood, but we all know he’ll lose that battle eventually. Our underdeveloped villain, Mahmed (Dominic Cooper), sends his army to kill the super-powerful vampire, but the outcome of the battle never seemed in doubt.
Luke Evans does well as our titular anti-hero, but the rest of the cast are let down by a poorly developed story and screenplay. Characters are barely given any screen time to establish their roles, or even justify their existence in this story. The pacing of events and convenient weather patterns might also have you scratching your head too.
Set your expectations to ‘low’ for this one. It’s a some-what interesting new take on the Dracula story, but is hampered by its box-office friendly PG-13 rating, and a poorly developed screenplay. If you don’t mind a Dracula story with very little blood, then you might be entertained by this. Hardcore vampire movie fans will likely find this film tame and annoying, but not nearly as offensive to the genre as the Twilight films were!
The CGI is decent, but not ground-breaking at all. There are a few quality visuals here and there, but I’d wait to watch the rental at home if I were you. If you don’t want to wait, then take in a matinée screening.
Best Moment: << spoiler! >>
It’s on you, click here to reveal my favorite moment from the movie!