Several positive reviews for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter have come online in anticipation for this weekend’s release. Here’s a couple of them. Of course, to read the full reviews, just click on any of the links.First up, The Playlist‘s review:
“Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter” is a proudly B movie, and as such sometimes favors empty spectacle over genuine cleverness. Sometimes you’ll wish the story delved slightly deeper into history, to make it resonate even more, and the ending of the movie, altered drastically from the novel (and not for the better), errs on the side of convention when it could have been slightly bolder. But these are minor quibbles with a picture that is surprisingly solid, a genuine treat in a summer filled with manufactured spectacle. The beautiful cinematography by Caleb Deschanel owes a considerable debt to the “pinhole” style that Roger Deakins used for “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” giving the center of the frame the most important spot and then slightly blurring the outer edge, like an old western photograph, a bold stylistic choice for a movie this expensive (and, it turns out, the right choice). Bekmambetov, Burton, and Grahame-Smith have created the rare historical-based fantasy that seems authentic enough to snuggle next to the real thing, anchored by the heartfelt and dynamic performance of Walker as Lincoln. His Honest Abe not only speaks with the eloquence and conviction we’ve come to understand from the history books, he fights with it too. [B+]
From Roger Ebert, who gave it 3/5 stars:
“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is without a doubt the best film we are ever likely to see on the subject — unless there is a sequel, which is unlikely, because at the end, the Lincolns are on their way to the theater. (You know what happens then.) It’s also a more entertaining movie than I remotely expected. What it achieves is a surprisingly good job of doing justice to its title, and treating Lincoln with as much gravity as we can expect, under the circumstances.
“Its unexpected secret weapon is how effectively it often plays as straight drama,” writes Variety‘s Justin Chang. “Indeed, the picture works in no small part by applying a sheen of irreverently reverent mythology to one of the most lionized figures in American history…Always on the move and disinclined to overstay its welcome, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is almost good enough to make one wish it had been conceived and executed with a bit more care, or pushed to goofier and/or more visceral extremes.”
Here are a lot of amusing nods to historical events and characters that anyone with a high school diploma will find entertaining. But it’s the overall feel of the film that I loved most. Beside’s Walkers spot on Abe, it’s a very dark and violent film. Initially I was sure the studio would want to sell as many tickets as possible to a film that had vampire in the title and slap a PG-13 rating on it. However, Fox, trusting a successful R-rated director in Timur, held nothing back and the film is better for it. It’s incredibly violent and features vampires in the correct and demonic light with which they should be seen. It’s not overly campy but it’s just enough to smirk at and you’ll find yourself saying “Really?” only a few times. The action is far too much fun and grabs you from the first axe swing till the last twirl. Abe’s axe is the new bending bullet.3.5/5
Starting from a premise — succinctly stated by the movie’s title — that suggests a hybrid of history lesson and horror show, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a mishmash of styles that might leave viewers’ heads spinning. Genre enthusiasts will lap up the mixture of action and fantasy, while history buffs who don’t mind a bit of rewriting will dig into an alternative spin on the Civil War period. Audience response initially should be robust, even if closer consideration might sap some later momentum.
Tall and lanky, Walker seems like he was cast more for his potential resemblance to Lincoln than for his acting or action abilities. While he appears fairly capable — if not especially accomplished — handling Lincoln’s legendary ax, slower scenes opposite Winstead and other actors tend to drag with Walker’s restrained delivery and stiff demeanor. Winstead’s performance as Mary is far more spirited as she flirts with Lincoln in earlier scenes and later argues with him over the fate of their family and country. The supporting cast is efficiently tasked with supporting Lincoln’s twin goals of destroying vampires and winning the war.
At a taut 105 minutes, Abraham Lincoln credibly delivers the thrills and gore it promises, though it’s ultimately too lightweight and conventional to merit either cult or classic status.
There’s tons of more reviews all over the net, so if anything, just look up reviews for the film, and you’re bound to find more.