Jumping on the bandwagon long after it has lost its momentum (and possibly a wheel) is a speciality of many a Hollywood studio. So we shouldn’t be at all surprised that quite a while after everyone has finally gotten over the latest outbreak of moody vampire pop culture ‘flu, we have the trailer for Dracula Untold, endeavouring to bring the un-dead back with a vengeance. I actually wrote this review earlier in the week but could not find the trailer for love nor money. Doesn’t fill me with confidence when a studio pulls their trailer on the same day it’s released, but here it is again:
It looks quite familiar, doesn’t it? It seems to have taken inspiration from many different sources; the poster looks like Batman Begins, climbing a mountain to see a weird-looking dude while wearing a billowing red cape is straight out of 300, and the whole thing is incredibly reminiscent of a Castlevania game that came out fairly recently (incidentally, the music in the video was used recently and to much greater effect in the awesome Assassin’s Creed Unity trailer). Mind you, this is an origin story for Dracula so I guess originality wasn’t top on the filmmakers’ list of priorities.
From what I can gather, Luke Evans plays the eponymous Dracula, but long before he turned to the dark side. He’s just your average everyday common or house-garden psychopath who appears to be capable of levelling an entire army all on his onesies. For some inadequately explained reason, a local sultan (played by Dominic Cooper for some reason) demands soldiers for his army, including Dracula’s son (who I assume is called Alucard). Naturally, Drac refuses and then has to find the power to protect his land and his family from the Sultan’s army… despite the fact he seems to be perfectly capable of doing that on his own anyway. Cue the aforementioned interview with a vampire, drinking its blood and becoming the pointy-toothed prince of darkness who we all know and love.
It all looks pretty ridiculous to be honest, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. It is one of the great joys about films of this ilk; they take themselves so very seriously that they become incredibly entertaining to watch, especially when they are so daft (see, for example, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter… which also starred Dominic Cooper… odd that). I just don’t understand who this movie is for; why do a big-budget blockbuster Dracula movie now? It’s not like The Lone Ranger, where Hollywood was desperately insisting that the Western is still a genre that people are interested in (look how that turned out). Vampires have been done to death recently and I don’t see why they are trying to resurrect the fad when the body is still warm.
But of course, all criticism of this film is null and void given that there appears to be a scene where Dracy-baby punches an army with a giant fist made of bats. A GIANT FIST– MADE OF BATS. That should tell you all you need to know about the film.