Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Dracula Untold

"Sometimes the world doesn't need another hero. Sometimes what it needs is a monster."

It’s safe to say that vampire films have taken a slight knock in recent years. They have become a bit of a joke and thought of only as a way to influence teenagers into buying their merchandise. This newest incarnation promises a back to basics story, reconnecting with the essence of Bram Stoker’s creation. In reality it gives us a very different experience.
Like many of the villains that have recently been given a backstory Mr Dracula is merely a misunderstood citizen who resorts to desperate measures to prevent the Turks from enslaving his son. He undergoes a monstrous transformation that turns him into a creature with a lust for blood and power over bats.
This is definitely the most predictable and pretentious film I’ve seen in a while. The fact that after the first half an hour you know exactly how the film will end certainly take a lot of the tension out of the process. Half of the time Dracula resorts to using its own characters stupidity rather than come up with an intelligent plot or reasons for the film to last another ten minutes. I felt as if they were stalling for time at every opportunity and kept trying to introduce new elements of story but none of it really worked.
There was virtually no emotional attachment to any of the characters. Luke Evans does a reasonably good job as Dracula and gave it his all on what he was given. The villain is just a standard villain, very forgettable and could have been played by anyone. Even Charles Dance disappointed me in this movie. When Tywin Lannister can’t turn words into gold you know you have a problem with the scripting. The character of Dracula, especially in this context is a great troubled soul and you should be able to at least scratch the surface. But no, he’s fairly one dimensional, like I said Evans gives a nice heroic portrayal but that’s about it.
Some impressive special effects and well-choreographed battle scenes are all that the director Gary Shore has going for him. Apart from that he fails to make the film stand out in any way. It resembled nearly every film of this genre that we’ve seen before. As well as this the film feels so much longer than it actually is. You’re just waiting to get to the next action scene and skip through all of the emotionless talking because nothing is happening in those parts, certainly not character development. One of the redeeming features of Dracula Untold was that it managed to keep the runtime as low as it could so I wasn’t completely bored.
Dracula Untold also takes itself way too seriously. I can appreciate someone wanting to make a serious vampire film again but when you finish your script and there are this many faults and flaws with it just take out some of the hard-core stuff because none of it works when set against this more cartoonish take on the story.
In essence this is just a story that we’ve seen before many times but to a much lower standard. This was supposed to be Universal’s reboot of an entire universe of monster movies. But this was just such a rocky start that I really doubt whether they’ll make any more. As well as this I simply do not want to see anything else coming out from this universe. One outing sucked all of the blood out of me long before the word vampire was mentioned.
Result: 2/10     

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