Tongue in cheek historical fiction is nothing new. This year, audiences got treated to the Poe murder mystery in “The Raven.” Now we have a new movie based on a hit novel of the same name- a vision of Abraham Lincoln’s life as he goes from young adult to the “Great Emancipator” all the while hunting vampires.
As a boy, young Abraham Lincoln sees his mother killed by a vampire. He vows vengeance against vampires and with the aid of a vampire ally, he learns their weaknesses. When he moves to Illinois, he spends his nights armed with his silver covered axe, killing vampires. How can he find that he can fight better as a statesman then as a warrior?
The acting is pretty fun. Benjamin Walker took the tongue in cheek job as Abraham Lincoln and made it work as a fun, dark, action role. Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Mary Todd Lincoln does a good job playing the strong character. There are other characters that are also very well cast. I was a bit disappointed Robin McLeavy and Alan Tudyk have such short amounts of screen time. They are better actors that deserved better.
The plot is not bad. At times it seems like it would be predictable. Then you are sideswiped by over-the-top goofiness. At the very least it’s something different. The flaws are pretty minor. The effects are so-so. The CGI has a tendency to be blurry and choppy at times. The villains are 2-dimensional and don’t really seem to have much motivation beyond cartoonish super villainy.
This is still an okay movie. It’s certainly nothing amazing but it’s at the very least worth a rental or a matinee. It’s a neat distraction where if you can allow suspense of the disbelief about the vampires, then you can relax on the gaping holes in the historical context. So go give it a watch if you are in the mood for some mindless silliness.