WHILE THE FILM HAS SOME DAZZLING SPECIAL EFFECTS, AN INTERESTING PREMISE, AND A PASSABLE PERFORMANCE BY LUKE EVANS, IT FALLS FLAT WITH ITS HAMMY AND LAUGHABLE DIALOGUE AND LEAVES A WEAK BITE!
By Nico Beland
Movie Review: C (2 ½ stars)
Luke Evans brings a new take on the classic vampire in Dracula Untold
There has been many different takes on the classic vampire, Dracula through film, the ones that we immediately think of is the 1931 Universal horror classic, Dracula or the 1992 Frances Ford Coppola exploitation horror movie, Bram Stoker’s Dracula starring Gary Oldman as the titular character. Now newcomer, Gary Shore IV brings a new take on Dracula with Dracula Untold, starring Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6, Immortals) as the bloodthirsty monster himself.
After experiencing a dreadful new Frankenstein movie earlier on this year, my expectations were pretty low on this new Dracula movie, you can’t top the original and no one ever will, but with that said it definitely looked better than I, Frankenstein by its trailer, so I went to see it on IMAX on opening day. And much to my surprise, it was better than I, Frankenstein…kind of.
The film definitely isn’t like the Dracula movies made in the past, it’s a new take on the vampire and explains his origins and what caused him to become a bloodthirsty beast of the night, that’s pretty interesting. Also the special effects are pretty spectacular especially when Dracula transforms into a swarm of bats, but unfortunately the dialogue is pretty hammy and laughable, but not nearly as laughable as the I, Frankenstein dialogue.
Set in the 1400’s in Transylvania, the film follows a prince named Vlad III Tepes (Luke Evans) who is forced to have his son recruited for his enemy, Mehmed II (Dominic Cooper-Captain America)’s war army. That is until Vlad fights Mehmed’s men off and eventually causes a war between the Transylvanian and Turkish armies.
Vlad then enters a dark cave where he encounters the Roman emperor turned demon, Caligula (Charles Dance-Alien 3) and Vlad begs him for the power to defeat the army and save his family and kingdom. So Caligula agrees and gives Vlad the powers of a vampire and becomes the bloodthirsty creature known as Dracula.
Overall, Dracula Untold is entertaining for the most part, although I’m not sure if it’s for the right reasons. The special effects are pretty impressive and the film as a whole kept me entertained all the way through.
However the writing and dialogue is pretty laughable, sure I loved the premise but the writing is a different story. Some of the characters don’t sound natural when they are saying their lines; at least no one in the film is bland and forgettable…well, except for Dracula’s son.
I’m sure he’s a nice kid and acted well in other movies, but I find him to be so boring and he doesn’t really do much in the movie, he just cowers in fear and weeps. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be scared if I was stuck in the middle of a vampire war but I wouldn’t scream or cry as much as this brat.
Why couldn’t he help Dracula fight the bad guy in his time of need, but whatever I’m ranting about what it could have been, let me go back to what I got.
It’s not as bad as I, Frankenstein and it’s an exciting vampire action movie that knocks Twilight out, this is a “vampire” movie, but I’ve seen better vampire movies.
If you want to see an impressive IMAX action epic and a different take on a vampire movie, there’s a strong chance you may enjoy Dracula Untold, however if you want to watch a more suspenseful and traditional Dracula movie, you’re not going to find it here, you should just stick with the classic Universal movie or Bram Stoker’s Dracula.