Its all things Abe at the moment as we've just had this flick and we've now got the upcoming biopic epic. Not to mention the Abe fetish that this has kick started with other low budget horror flicks where Abe fights the undead. When do we seen George Washington kicking werewolf ass?.
Tongue firmly in cheek here as we basically get a loose life story of Abe Lincoln but with clever tinkering. I must admit I do like how historical fact has been perverted with vampires, the way the writers have taken real historical events and twisted them to include vampire lore. Its not original of course but I do like this kind of thing, it makes it much more interesting, making you wish it was real history.
As a vampire flick this really is nothing much more than another 'Underworld' or 'Blade' simply set in the 18th century. The film is based on a book and has all the visual flare, editing, action, angles of your typical graphic novel/comicbook adaptation. This is totally fine as its exactly what you expect and nothing more, with a title like this you know to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Don't expect anything different from what you've seen before though. Although the action is swish, fast and actually pretty impressive with lots of twirling axe wielding slaughter its just the same as all the other vampire/werewolf action flicks we've seen. Add lots of slow motion into the fray and its all very familiar, highly unoriginal but highly enjoyable as it looks good. The main reason for the films saviour is merely the period setting which adds that nice dark gothic moonlit glow, plenty of opportunities for slick comicbook angles with dashing heroic lighting.
The main problem for me with this film is the fact you have part of a biopic and part of a vampire film. The director clearly must show both but has troubles keeping it together, the balance is there but it doesn't quite work at times due to historical fact. I do like how they incorporated vampire myth into Abe's civil war issues but at times your left thinking that it doesn't quite fit together...even though its complete fantasy.
The other issue I had, albeit small, was the fact that Abe seems to be almost super human himself. Slicing trees down with one stroke, leaping around like a Jedi knight and having a full grown horse thrown on him yet he lives without injury?. Suspension of disbelief being stretched there somewhat even though its a vampire film. I hasten to add that was it much of a surprise that Abe would be made out to be some kind of American superhero against slavery and fighting alongside a black man? pretty much your 18th century 'Captain America'.
I did enjoy this film, I did enjoy Walker in the lead who does look like a young Liam Neeson with his prosthetics on. Its complete graphic novel type fluff full of cliches...hordes of faceless vampire fodder, the obligatory sexy baddie female vamp, tonnes of CGI, tonnes of slow mo, a token black hero and lots of implausible sequences where Abe gets himself out of trouble.
BUT as a fun goth vampire flick I quite enjoyed it, along the same lines as 'Priest' with Sewell playing the snarling bad guy to a tee. The train sequence finale is absolutely absurd and lets the film down but I like how the character of 'Henry' carries on through time. Lets not get too carried away with taking real historical figures and having them monster mash, quit for now while the idea is on a high.