The makers of this film thought they could pull off the double cash in. They made a film that rides the coattails of the heightened interest in vampires and added to that a mash up of the popularity of The Lord of the Rings film series and Game of Thrones television series. Unfortunately they omitted the part about quality. For these types of films to work you have to make them good. Oops Gary Shore (first film for the Irish director), you forgot that part.
The story of Dracula, the original vampire, has been mined time and time again by filmmakers. It seems to me that it might be about time that they realize that the once ample vein has now collapsed due to overuse. I was a little hopeful in over the first third of the film because it seemed like Gary Shore et al had found a new way to approach the telling of the tale of this beast. Then was disappointed when the story began to meander into the area of ridiculous. Plus the fact that it rips off looks and story ideas from a multitude of other films became too much to handle. You’ll watch the whole thing with an almost constant feeling of déjà vu because it feels like you’ve seen it all before. Well, you have in form of Twilight, 300, Spider-Man and Superman.
Some things about this film made me scratch my head. For instance, the costumes including all the battle gear looks great and yet the CGI effects looks like those of a B movie. Makes no sense that they would spend money in one area and go cheap on another. They obviously had money while making this film so there is no excuse to cut corners. The film looks great but is somewhat ruined by some phony looking bats.
Luke Evans who plays…well basically, Dracula pulls off all the swordfighting and action scenes quite convincingly. Convincing us he is a 15th century warrior is easily accomplished. What he is not capable of is making us fear him. Evans does not exude even one iota of creature of the night. Rather we feel for the dad trying against all odds to save his family.
Prince Vlad (Evans) promises his wife (played by Sarah Gadon) that he will do everything humanly possible to make sure their son (played by Art Parkinson) is not snatched by the Sultan Mehmed II (played by Dominic Cooper), a man looking to forcefully conscript one thousand young Transylvanian boys into his army in Turkey. To gain an advantage over the man with a large army Vlad travels to a cave where a man/creature (played by Charles Dance) offers him blood that if drank will transform him into a super creature for three days. The trick is to try and resist drinking it a second time which makes the transformation permanent.