Saturday, May 22, 2004

Monster Mash

  • movie review: Van Helsing [2004]

    Starring Hugh Jackman as Van Helsing and Kate Beckinsale as some Transylvanian Princess, Van Helsing is a modern reworking of the Dracula, Frankenstein and Werewolf characters. Van Helsing, working on behalf of the powers that be(The Order) in Vatican City, hunts down these "monsters". The Order work covertly to protect humanity from Evil. The beginning of the movie introduces Van Helsing as he is on the trail of Mr. Hyde(alter-ego of Dr. Jeckyll).

    Van Helsing manages not to be a bore, but what it accomplishes in visual effects, it lacks in story. Well there is a loose story that manages to tie together the various 'monster' characters. The acting is adequate if sometimes campy[which I'm not sure was the intention of the film]; the Dracula character lacks any of the depth you may have seen of the portrayal of vampires in other films eg. Interview with the Vampire, even Queen of the Damned. There's some comic relief in the film(easily the best thing in the film next to the visual effects) with Van Helsing's reluctant sidekick, who is a Friar, and who works with The Order developing weapons to aid in the protection of humanity against Evil hunting down monsters. Kate Beckinsale's character provides some slight romantic overtones, but other than that is quite useless [other than providing some appealing eye-candy]. (Kate Beckinsale was so much better in Underworld [yes I thought Underworld was a good film] in which she was playing a vampire.)

    Van Helsing will entertain you visually but you'll leave the film feeling like it could have been so much better. I vaguely recall talk of a sequel. Hopefully it'll be an improvement.

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