Friday, February 26, 2016

Van Helsing (2004)

Director: Stephen Sommers

Writer: Stephen Sommers

Composer: Alan Silvestri

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh, David Wenham, Shuler Hensley, Elena Anaya, Will Kemp, Kevin J. O'Connor, Alun Armstrong, Tom Fisher, Samuel West, Robbie Coltrane

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The One Name They All Fear

Plot: The notorious monster hunter is sent to Transylvania to stop Count Dracula who is using Dr. Frankenstein's research and a werewolf for some sinister purpose.

My rating: 3/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Over-acting, excess on nearly every level and overkill are the first words that come to mind.  I waited more than a decade to watch this because I'd heard nothing but crap about it.  I figured, how bad can it be?  In the first twenty minutes I found out.  The best thing about this picture is the set design.  The laboratory is fantastic and I LOVED how the opening B&W scenes looked but that didn't last long.  The dialogue is corny and most of the actors broke under the weight of the silly crap they had to speak and their over the top performances.  I'd be hammered in no time flat if I took a shot of whiskey every time some creature hissed or showed their teeth.  Unbelievable.  Jackman (as Van Helsing) and Hensley (as Frankenstein's Monster) fare the best but they're surrounded by an almost constant barrage of action and noise that it belittles their talent.  David Wenham was fun but I didn't like how much he was there for comic relief.  The film runs a good two hours before the credits roll, something I was waiting for after about a half hour.  It's just too loud, obnoxious and bombastic for my tastes.  I can see why people hate on this movie so much.  I really dug the production design, art direction and a lot of the costume design.  I'd buy any of those cats a drink if I ever met any of them.  Everyone else, though, owes me a drink or two.  I guess the fault mostly lies on writer/director Sommers.  Maybe it's the George Lucas effect in play that did him in.  Either way...woof!

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