105 mins - Rated R
Director Timur Bekmambetov along with author and screenwriter, Seth Grahame-Smith brings the fictional depiction of Abraham Lincoln’s rise to the presidency along with his vengeful side occupation of killing vampires, during an era of uncertainty and civil up rising. And if you haven’t guessed already by the title, it is not historically accurate. Just thought I’d throw that forewarning in there.
Let me start by saying, I really loved the book. (My book review) So for me, I already have a deeper connection to this alternative universe. In the novel, I think Grahame-Smith spends more time with Lincoln as he’s growing up and with both of his parents. You have an understanding that Lincoln is not close with his father, and in contrast, extremely close with his mother (along with other misfortunes that happen during his lifetime.)
This however is barely touched on in the movie, but if you think about it, is very important as it is the catalyst to why Lincoln decides to hunt Vampires. Needless to say, I did still enjoy the movie. Visually it was very cool to watch and the action sequences were fun (including the ending).
I did feel however, the film sort of glossed over the characters and it became more about the visuals and fight scenes, than about developing them for the viewer’s sake. This of course, is my only complaint. But, I fear that if you haven’t read the book, you might think the movie is sort of silly and probably would walk out feeling less intrigued, as I was.
As for acting, Benjamin Walker does an admirable job as Abraham and Mary Elizabeth Winstead does a pretty good job as Mary Todd. But, again, I felt a lack of chemistry between the two. Even Dominic Cooper, who plays Henry Sturgess, Lincoln’s mentor and long standing ally, is really only ok throughout the movie as well.
In summary, the film is visually appealing and the fight sequences were graphic and fun. So bottom line, both my husband and I were really entertained (and yes, he read the book as well).
As long as you have an understanding the movie is really cheeky, has vampires in it, and is not historically accurate (I’m not sure why I even have to mention the latter, but you never know), I think most of you will have a good time with it. I did!