(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Dracula Untold really tried to give a new meaning to the story of the classic monster, but instead it was a typical and cliched war/monster movie with semi-decent action, maybe I’m getting tired of vampire movies, but this movie didn’t help with changing my mind. 2.5 out of 5 Stars.
One thing that I’m really getting tired of are vampire movies. I mean, it started cool with Blade and Underworld, but those movies got old pretty quick. But then, it took a turn for the worse when those stupid Twilight movies came out. I mean I want to see vampires kill people with blood on their faces, not fall in love with humans. I mean the vampires in those movies don’t look scary, they look like really pasty emo people. The movies have really exhausted every story possible with vampires and I believe it needs to stop and let chill for at least 10 years. Now with this movie of a reboot of the most famous and classic vampire, Dracula, I thought it can be a breathe of fresh air, even though it looks like a Lord of the Rings wannabe, but it looked like something different for me to give it a chance. So I did, and I’m still sick of vampire movies. I will start with what I like, to the so so, to what I didn’t like.
What I liked, actor Luke Evans really played the role of Vlad the Impaler and eventually Dracula. He acted well with all the different emotions that comes with the character as a human who possesses the powers of Dracula to try to save his people of Transylvania from the Turks. He had a lot of chemistry with the other actors surrounding him. Most notably with his wife Mirena, played by Sarah Gadon, and his son Vlad, played by Art Parkinson. He shows how he is a true family fan and a respect leader for his people. Probably the most intense scene was when he meets with the Master Vampire, played by Charles Dance, when he almost kills him at first, but when Vlad the Impaler comes back to ask for his help and the Master Vampire gives him his powers so he can be free from it. The powers made Vlad the Impaler very powerful, but still holds the weaknesses of any vampire. Director, Gary Shore, really paints a dark picture which was appropriate for this movie, and how he mixes the light and darkness, even in the daytime, to expose the vulnerability of Dracula. The cinematography showing Northern Ireland as Transylvania is pretty nice.
The so so, the action was semi decent. They really tried to make the battles Lord of the Rings style but with their own unique pizzazz. The pizzazz is what made it too much. For example, that whole thing of Dracula converting into bats and back was cool at first, but it got old real quick. I mean, how strong can a flock of bats be really to gain an upper hand in battle. Some battle scenes were cool to watch, while others had too much camera shaking that made it confusing to watch. There were some cool shots like the blade of the sword reflecting Dracula beating guys to a pulp, and some unnecessary ones like adding too much smoke for Dracula’s entrance before he goes out and fight.
What I didn’t like, the story is suppose to show that the legend of Dracula is suppose to be a hero, and not a monster. However, how is he a hero when half of his people died, including the ones he turned to vampires before the sunlight killed them off. I guess he is a hero to his son, but geez, the kid lost his mom and dad practically the same day. That’s hard to take in if you’re a kid who just became King of Transylvania. They try to make him unique, but the whole vampire story cliches were still there. All it was missing was a love triangle with werewolves. Dominic Cooper played the villain as the Sultan of the Turks, Mehmed II. Really he tried to bully against the people of Transylvania while using a horrific Turkish accent. I mean, he sounded like he was chewing on a bunch of jello. In his final fight against Dracula was blah at best. He tried to distract him with silver coins all over the floor and throwing them at Dracula, and then the good old cliche of almost killing him, but Dracula decides to finally use his bats transformation to instead kill him off. (Rolls Eyes) I mean, they could’ve gone more creative than that. Once you thought they were going to end it, they decide to take it a little further for the worst. Eventually Dracula is immortal and lives until the times of today. Then he meets a girl that looks like his wife Mirena named Mina (really now). They share a mutual interest, and go for a walk, while the Master Vampire who is still alive as well (I thought he was suppose to be free, not immortal), and follows them as well. I heard the whole purpose of this ending is because Universal Studios want to start their own cinematic universe involving their monsters which involves Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, and more. Everybody is now trying to copy Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, but the difference is that Marvel knows how to do it great. If Universal Studios is trying to do the same, they are off to a very bad start.
Overall, this movie didn’t really do justice for the Dracula stories. It didn’t catch the essence of what Dracula is really about, and used his cliches instead of doing it in a more unique way. I mean, it could’ve been worse, at least it is not Twilight. But if Universal Studios want to do a cinematic universe with their monsters, they need to get better writers, a committed executive producer, and directors who respects the craft the original stories. Only time will tell if this will be a success or a flop. Final Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars.