Friday, 3 October 2014

Dracula Untold

This was a pretty campy; in a bad way, film. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't recommend watching it. 

The first thing that struck me when I saw this poster was the huge similarity in feel to Batman Begins. At first I went in thinking that maybe this wouldn't be a boring vampire origin story, maybe it would show the complexities of Vlads life; a story which surely has not been told very often on film. How he went from royal hostage to the Turkish empire, to being known as a defender of the faith by the Church while slaughtering Turkish invaders into his homeland of Wallachia. Maybe even add in a bit of supernatural at the end, as he loses everything he has ever loved and damns the heavens for it, finally turning into the monster he is today. 

Instead, we got a very very campy vampire film. I can't even call it a horror film because it's more of an action flick than a horror one. It's ironic because Hercules; which I went in expecting demi-god action, was more about the mortal side of things. While Dracula; which I expected more mortal action, jumped straight away into the supernatural side of things. 

So we have Vlad, who's prince of Wallachia and who has started a war with the Turks for the safety of his son. He makes a deal with a vampire who will grant him the abilities of a vampire for 3 nights and as long as he doesn't drink blood within those 3 nights, he will return to being a human. If he does however, he has damned himself forever. There was still SOME potential at this point for a monster flick, as you would expect him to lose control and kill his loved ones. Instead, nope, he ends up drinking blood because his dying loved one tells him to drink her blood because she's dying anyway. 

So instead of doing the smart thing with his powers, he just fucks around with them. This is a person capable of killing 1000 soldiers in like 20 minutes on the first night. Instead of running to the Turkish camp; which he knows is located in which area, killing the commander and then a few other troops, he decides that leading his troops on a retreat to a monastery is better. So he spends his precious 3 days running instead of bringing the fight to an enemy he knows the location of. WHAT AN IDIOT. 

Then there's the climatic siege scene which involves the Turkish army using an army of blindfolded warriors so that they won't see Dracula in action and be scared. HTF does that even make sense?!?!?! He has them march all the way from the Turkish camp to the keep where Dracula is holed up and somehow, viewers are expected to believe they never trip and fall. And htf does an army even fight blindfolded.

Otoh, there is one cool scene where Dracula leads an army of the undead; comprising of his dead citizens slain by the Turks, into the Turkish base and slaughters all of them. But seriously, too little too late. 

So in the end, Dracula ends up being some epic tragic heroic figure who has never done anything wrong in his life. Which makes for a pretty boring film when the hero shows no flaws on screen.