Thursday, February 01, 2007

May 24, 2004

Abridged Movie Reviews : Van Helsing

Visually just stunning. This movie has a definite style. It starts out in a great black and white sequence dealing with the creation of Frankenstein's Monster you really get the feeling that the director did his homework with the classic monster flicks that will be incorporated into this film.

So the high points of this flick are pretty easy to point out, it's Fun first and foremost, it's a great tribute to the classic films (Dracula, Frankenstein, etc...), visually it's amazing the scenery can really convey a lot in movies and there is a great eery feeling emanating from Van Helsing, there is plenty of CGI some of it more noticeable than others, but the noticeable stuff is very well done (Hello Vampires and a very unique and cool werewolf transformation). The cast all did a pretty excellent job and there is never going to be a time in my life that I will ever complain about seeing Kate Beckinsale in a flick, she beautiful and talented and I did that in an actress.

The low points are almost equally easy to suss out. The timing seems to speed up and slow down throughout the film, during one part you may be thinking the movie is dragging a little bit and then five minutes later your like whoa what just happened. The story is just a little too big and consequently seems to be not fleshed out quite enough, especially the rushed back story with Dracula and Gabriel. In the genre department I would have liked to have seen Van Helsing be a mixture of action/horror with maybe a tad of a comic flair thrown in, instead it seems to be more of an action/comedy with fleeting attempts at suspense thrown in. The suspense just doesn't work well enough for my taste.

If this review seems very muddled and confused, believe me it's with good reason, that is how I feel about this movie. I really really really really wanted to totally Love the experience, I mean come on the entire concept is just a mind blower. Unfortunately the execution was not quite as spectacular as I hoped.

So all in all, Van Helsing gets super huge props for bringing in a great feeling of nostalgia with an original twist, it gets a great grade for being visually pleasing. The story kind of drags and speeds up a little bit more than I would like, the silliness factor is turned up a bit too much, and the ending takes a twist that I just don't think jived very well. Unless they come up with an extra special directors cut DVD I would say rent this one and watch it in the dark, but there isn't much need to rush out and buy it first thing when it's released.... and that pains me to say.

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