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Van Helsing

2004

Van Helsing
 

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This movie is an enjoyable piece of hokum, but would probably be better if blessed with a coherent plot, a bit of character depth and much, much better cgi.

The sentimentality was clearly inspired by that great Disney movie 'Greyfriars Bobby', while the screenplay was accidentally tranlsated into Mandarin. And Back. Twice.

The plot is the usual Hammer Horror plot, focussing on some well meaning idiot (Van Helsing) sworn to kill Dracula, with a sub plot concerning Princess Thingy, whose past nine generations of family will apparently go to Hell unless they kill Drac before he kills them. Just after we learn this piece of plot, the brother is slain, leaving just the one for Drac and his brides to slay. With me so far? After that, the sheer noise level has weakened my memory. Suffice it to say that The Plot Thickens.

The Movie starts in Paris, a sub-sub-plot concerning Mr Hyde (and Dr Jekyll). The CGI for this is really appalling, and you have a question judgement of a director who starts a movie in this way.

Once the plot moves on to Rome (Don't ask), the special effects do significantly improve. But Van helsing, sold to us as the expert slayer, is provided with steel or silver tipped weapons, and never seems to learn from his lack of success - a fast repeating crossbow is so much trash without the appropriate arrows. Similarly, sunlight is demonstrated to be effective, then never used again.

Frankenstein's monster (Yes, he's on the bus too) has a soft heart, probably from living in the sewers for a year, while the werewolf, which can climb walls, trees and leap tall buildings (and always has black shorts when he reverts to human form), doesn't take his shots.

For those of us who take vampires seriously, I could bore you to death with the basic cockups in this movie, and I strongly advise earplugs for us oldies (over 15 years).

But, despite the serious looking posters, and Beckinsale's wardrobe (stolen from an elderly maiden aunt), this movie is great fun, and I heartily recommend it.

Universal were so taken with the idea of this movie, that they seriously planned a TV series around it. Luckily, a short spell in a rehab clinic - and 'disappointing' box-office returns saved us from this. A one off movie is OK - so bad that it's good - but a TV series, endlessly reminding us of how good Buffy, Angel and NIck Knight are? Not a lot of mileage in that!


  • Starring: Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale
  • Director: Stephen Sommers
  • Encoding: Disc are Region Specific (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Widescreen
  • Studio: Universal
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The Vampyreverse 10 January 2016 Copyright Andrew Heenan Privacy