Van Helsing – The London Assingment

As a prequel to the Van Helsing movie, this animated short feature still holds it own in the entertainment department. There are some reoccurring jokes from the movie concerning the title character's hat and Carl's (his sidekick) naïve humour. Several stars return to add their voices to this classically drawn caper; Hugh Jackman as Van Helsing, David Wenham as Carl, and other minor characters. There is something unmistakably aesthetic in the animated depiction of the dark, deadly hero with his wry humour. There are portions of action that dazzle the eye and the sense of style is on par with any live film.
The prequel develops the opening events of the first film involving the mysterious Dr. Hyde. Van Helsing again visits the strange catholic organization to receive instructions and supplies. Teamed up with the Carl, the friar, Van Helsing attempts to discover who is behind a series of grisly murders. The victims all young, once beautiful women who are somehow horribly drained of all life and vitality. Van Helsing must discover the truth to save all of England and (most importantly) the monarchy. The stakes are high enough to involve some animated cross-dressing and the final battles are life and death.
I'm not sure who the planned audience is for this interesting depiction of Gabriel Van Helsing but anyone who enjoyed the first film will probably enjoy seeing the prequel. The film involves heroics, drama, humour and beauty – sounds pretty good to me. The DVD also includes 'Behind the Screams' (a short documentary on how the movie was filmed) and an interview with Hugh Jackman.

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