- RatedPG13 /GenreDrama, Horror
One of pop culture's permanent fixtures, Dracula has seen used to death as a movie subject over his many years of existence.
From as early as Max Shreck's unofficial performance as “Count Orlok” in 1922's ‘Nosferatu’ to other famous portrayals by Christopher Lee, Frank Langella and Gary Oldman, the world's most famous horror character has never been far from public consciousness.
This time, Legendary Pictures presents a new Dracula for a new generation.
‘Dracula Untold’ puts together many familiar elements from a wide variety of previously told Dracula stories. They are melded together into a new story about the character.
In this one, Vlad Dracula (Luke Evans), the king of Transylvania, is threatened by Mehmed, the Sultan of Turkey (Dominic Cooper), who demands 1.000 boys and Vlad's own son to join his army.
Having been sent to fight for Turkey's army as a child himself, Vlad is opposed to that notion. He starts considering, and eventually enters into an agreement with a powerful ancient being (*cough*, vampire) to help him defend his family and people.
So, obvious differences in this one: Dracula isn't the usual aristocratic figure. He is a really handsome warrior king who, for whatever reason, takes off his shirt a lot.
On that note, just about everyone in this movie is really good-looking... and that includes the villain. And the movie feels somewhat similar to that of a superhero movie, offering some exciting visual ideas.
As Dracula starts to discover the extent of his abilities, director Gary Shore and cinematographer John Schwartzmann show off a host of dazzling tricks that borders on an overkill, from point-of-view night vision shots to shots of Dracula taking on an army but seen through the reflection of a blade.
BLAND SCRIPT AND DIALOGUE
However, the movie’s grimy grey colour palette makes everything look dim and murky. Even a digital IMAX screen could not help brighten it up, which is a waste because some of the effects are quite decent.
The fatal flaw of ‘Dracula Untold’ is the script. While it does try to reinvent Dracula as a noble hero of sorts, it is completely lacking in suspense. The dialogue can be laughable and cliched.
You get the feeling that the filmmakers are trying to turn this into an epic, but it all slides into a rather silly, ridiculous realm – peppered with slow-motion shots of Luke Evans standing stoically.
And yet, it is not one of those movies that you can just watch for laughs because it is so bad. So it ends up being a very forgettable movie whose parts never really came together.
‘Dracula Untold’ is now showing in cinemas