This is one of the worst movies anyone’s ever made. Not just because it was terrible in a traditional sense (it was though) but because it’s one of the most OFFENSIVE & DUMB premises I can think of.
First of all, a few years ago (?) when I saw that this movie was being made at all, I thought to myself: “This truly is the collapse of all things.” It just seemed like actually the dumbest thing anyone could think of. But I didn’t see it, so I couldn’t pass judgement. Then this past weekend I was at the library and saw the DVD waiting there for me. So I checked it out both literally and figuratively.
This movie. What was my biggest problem with the movie you ask? Was it the completely irrelevant subversion of a President’s life to be about hunting and killing mythic creatures? No. Was it the terrible script and fight choreography and art direction? No. Was it the revenge plot so simplistic in its reliance on cliched tropes it was insulting? No, it wasn’t even that. It was the CONTINUED use of SLAVERY as a METAPHOR FOR VAMPIRES. Let me repeat. Throughout this whole dumb movie, there were constant references to slavery, (the worst atrocity in America’s history in case anyone’s forgotten-namely the writers of this movie) that main characters would use when they were talking about Vampire Hunting.
There was a particularly terrible jail cell speech from ABRAHAM LINCOLN to his future wife MARY TODD where he’s asking her if there’s an evil so big that one man can’t change it by himself should he still stand up to it at all. They’re expressly talking about slavery but it’s very clear he really means hunting vampires. Now, let’s just walk through linguistic choices for a minute. Whenever a character uses the veil of one topic to talk about another (metaphor, allegory, these kinds of things) it assigns importance. A topic of lesser importance is substituted for a weightier one because for whatever reason the character feels that they can’t outright discuss the latter. So a lesser, more innocuous subject is put in its place, one with similar principles so the broad strokes of the matter can be discussed without bringing up the off-limits specifics of the desired topic.
The problem with using slavery as a cover topic for anything else is that it’s SLAVERY. It’s the antithesis of innocuous and these causal assertions otherwise throughout the ENTIRE movie were so offensive I couldn’t even process it after a while. There was another conversation Abe had with his mentor/trainer/vampire/Blade wannabe, Henry Sturges, where Sturges is like, “why are you running for President, it’s taking too much time away from you killing vampires” and Abe goes, “You gotta have a back up plan-what if this vampire killing thing doesn’t pan out for me career wise?” ……………………..it was the Civil War not a job as a sandwich maker at Whole Foods WHO WROTE THIS??? (Seth Grahame-Smith).
Smh. I literally fell asleep during the final fight scene/series of explosions on a train. Additionally there was this whole B-plot about silver that was unclear to everyone with a functioning frontal lobe. First it was really biblical, Sturges gave this speech about how Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver and since that moment silver became a symbol for ? He said more things about justice and betrayal but everything was so vague the explanation was like the verbalization of a Monet. Then at one point over dinner Lincoln is talking to Mary Todd about how he doesn’t think he can win the war and she goes, “You have to win this war” (thanks Mary, very helpful) and he’s eating and he looks down at his fork and has an epiphany about the fork/silver and collects all this silver to send to Gettysburg. What were they fighting with before? Straw? Yeah, make your weapons out of metal, that might help. I don’t know, maybe there’s a big historical allusion I’m not getting, or maybe everything was pewter- it just was so dumb by this point already, I gave up expecting things to make sense.
Oh also, in the beginning when he was first starting out, Abe goes from layman to professional murderer of the undead in less than 10 minutes. There’s ONE training montage that isn’t even that long where he chops down this tree with an axe (TWIST: the axe is also a gun later on!) then Sturges sends him to a new town to live and kill vampires by himself. MOST of Rocky is dedicated to training montages and that movie is wonderful. Rome wasn’t built in a day and fantasy assassins aren’t either. Also once in the town, the margin for error here was so small it was laughable. If ONE vampire beat him in a fight, everything was done. That’s all it would have taken, he was completely by himself.
Maybe because he realized that, he seemed to be very quick to axe people and did not do a whole lot to confirm that they were vampires before killing them. That’s a small thing but it happened like 3 or 4 times, he would get a name from Sturges and where that person worked, then would go to that place and kill the first person he saw there. No conversation, no “Alan Rickman? Is that you?” Nada. Just an axe to the face. I was waiting for one of these murders to be a horrible mistake but it never happened.
Lastly, nothing about this movie was historically accurate. I know that’s not a huge surprise to all you history buffs because I think all of our expectations were pretty low, but I mean NOTHING not one thing. They portrayed Abraham Lincoln as this guy who wasn’t racist at all, someone who signed the Emancipation Proclamation because he believed it to be the right thing to do. So, not only did this movie insinuate that slavery kind of takes a back burner to a mythic folklore of immortal blood creatures, as if that wasn’t bad enough: it then went on to portray Abraham Lincoln as a morally sound crusader for civil rights. Which just was not the case. I’m not saying he was terrible, he was a person in a very tough position in a very tough time, but there were plenty of people on the right side of things and he was not one of them. He signed the Emancipation Proclamation because he thought it would save the United States not because he couldn’t bear the idea of slavery. I don’t think it’s right to misrepresent history that poorly that for any movie but especially one as shitty as this.
Overall this movie was terrible and stupid and no one should ever watch it.