Movie review: 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'

Movie review: ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'
Oklahoman Published: June 22, 2012

His story begins in childhood when, according to this revisionist lore, Lincoln's mother was killed by a vampire before his very eyes. He seeks revenge as an adult, but doesn't know exactly what he's doing or whom he's dealing with. Enter veteran vampire hunter Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper), a debauched and flamboyant Brit who helps him hone the tools he'll need but who has an ulterior motive of his own. (Even the training montage, a staple of any movie about a warrior's transformation, feels oddly restrained.)

After wielding his silver-tipped ax on some practice targets — these evil fiends roam all around us, you know — Lincoln is finally ready to take on his nemeses: vampire businessman Jack Barts (Marton Csokas) and the genteel Southerner Adam (Rufus Sewell), who's sort of the king of Vampire Nation. (He gets some help from Anthony Mackie as his childhood friend and Jimmi Simpson as the shopkeeper Lincoln worked for in Springfield.)

At the same time, he's kinda thinking he might want to jump into politics during this tumultuous time in America. And so you have this intensifying struggle between humans and the living dead playing out against the backdrop of the North and South on the brink of Civil War. The notion that the horrors of slavery should be placed on a parallel with monster horror as entertainment is really rather distasteful, punctuated by the sight of vampires getting gored on a battlefield with Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address in the background.

But that's nothing compared with the line about being late for the theater that Mrs. Lincoln hollers at her husband toward the end. Even when “Abraham Lincoln” finally gives in and tries to loosen up, it gets it all wrong.

— Christy Lemire, The Associated Press

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‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'

R1:451 ½ stars

Starring: Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie.

(Violence throughout and brief sexuality)

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