You hear that there's a movie called 'Abraham
Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' and you might think, assuming you
haven't read author Seth Grahame-Smith's graphic novel, that
Abraham Lincoln twirling a silver coated ax like a halftime
baton twirler while doing kung-fu, that this is some kind of
wacky comedy. A farce. A silly good time.
That's not what you're getting with 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire
Hunter', a film which takes it's mythos of our sixteenth
president deadly serious. Deadly serious. Saving
Private Ryan was a barrel of laughs by comparison. Well,
maybe it wasn't that serious but while Timur Bekmambetov's
film had its fun moments, I'm thinking a lighter touch
might've made for a more enjoyable film.
Born in 1809 in a log cabin, it was tough for young Abe
Lincoln, considering his mother died when Abe was just nine,
of typhus or something. Uh… no. Vampires killed
Nancy Lincoln. Totally, it was vampires. Actually
it was the cur known as Jack Barts (Martin Csokas) that young
Abe saw kill his old lady, unawares that vampires even
existed, but he has sworn to kill this man the moment he
becomes of age.
Sure enough, years pass, now of age and looking like actor
Benjamin Walker, Abe confronts Jack Barts and dang if a bullet
to the head doesn't kill this dude. Mainly because he's
a vampire and stuff. In fact if it wasn't for the
righteous Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper) looking out for young
Abe, he would've been a tasty snack for Jack Barts.
Sturges gives Abe the 411, that vampires are real and they
need to be dealt with, and if he wants to eventually get
around to killing Jack Barts he will need to be trained in the
ways of the vampire hunter.
So Sturges sends his freshly trained vampire
killer on his way, has him set up shop in a small town, gives
him a few rules such as don't make any friends or
acquaintances because they will be used against him, and he
gives him a list of vampires to slay, a task Abe dutifully and
violently fulfills. However, by 'make no friends' Abe
must have heard 'fall in love', 'make all kinds of friends'
and 'run for office' because that's what he did. He
meets the love of life Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winsted),
reconnects with his old friend Will (Anthony Mackie), makes a
brand new friend in Speed (Jimmi Simpson) and through a series
of convoluted events, the three will attempt to end the
vampire menace by taking down the chief vampire Adam (Rufus
Sewell). Sturges won't be as much help in this task as
he has a little something he's been keeping from young Abe.
While Abe would like nothing better than to end the terror of
through violent means, he has determined his oratorical skills
and political ambitions are the best way to stop the
vampires. Say what? Vampires… Confederacy.
Jefferson Davis was a freaking vampire. I knew it!
Where you thought slaves were cheap labor, they were really
just a tasty and relatively inexpensive food source for
vampires. And where you though The Civil War was a
battle over slavery, among other things, it was really just
the Union trying to stop the Vamps from killing us all.
Emancipate This Vampire scum!
Even though I had read some things that were not very
flattering towards Mr. Bekmambetov's film 'Abraham Lincoln:
Vampire Hunter', it's not that bad really and if you release
yourself to it… meaning giving up any historical notion you
might've had about Abraham Lincoln since everything in this
great man's life has been skewed towards vampirism in some
way… but this is kind of a fun movie with all the explosions
and kung fu fighting and twirling axes and whatnot. But
like I mentioned earlier, it just takes itself so darn
serious. Why so serious, man? Not that we're
saying 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer' should be a comedy or
anything, but just a lighter touch might've gone a long
The performances were okay given what the actors
were given to work with, problem being that almost all of
characters were even less two-dimensional from the graphic
pages from where they sprung, including Benjamin Walker's
turns as Abraham Lincoln which felt uninspired at best,
stilted at worst. But my man sure can twirl an ax,
that's for sure. The lovely Mary Elizabeth Winsted
actually did a little better with Mary Todd, delivering a
little more depth to her character than her counterparts, even
delivering hotness to Miss Mary which history tells us that
she was anything but… movies making history better… however
the acting performances wouldn't be a reason to watch this
No, the reason to watch 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'
would be action, kung fu Abe fighting Kung Fu Adam the
Vampire, a completely ridiculous but spectacular sequence on
the train with everything on ablaze, Abe and his buddy Will in
complete ax wielding, vampire murdering synchronicity, and
some of the lamest, most easily disposed of vampires cinema
has ever seen. You would think something that is super
strong, super fast, that can turn invisible at a whim, and
invulnerable to everything except silver… I did like the
reason given why silver is bad for these dudes… but these
creatures went down as easy as a flimsy deck of cards in a
I didn't love 'Vampire Hunter', being as it was a bit
overblown, over serious, on top of being completely
nonsensical, but there is still some solid entertainment value
to be had here. You just have to release yourself to it.