I would like to think I don’t have to remind all two of my human readers, and all 7,382,811 of my spambot readers that I’m very fond of vampires. So I won’t.
I’m not entirely sure I’ve mentioned this, but in particular, I’m also quite fond of Dracula: one of the most famous vampires of all time. Really, though, that should come as no surprise. If someone asks “who would win in a fight: Dracula or Lestat?”, you answer Dracula, or you get the fuck off my property. Much like how in the question of “do you prefer David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?”, you pick Roth. We’ll still be friends if you pick Hagar, honestly, but we probably won’t have a lot in common in terms of music. I’d say something about answering the third singer resulting in me unfriending you from life, but let’s face it, nobody remembers the Van-Extreme era. The fact I even remember that much is a miracle.
Wait, what was I talking about earlier? Oh yeah, Dracula! Dracula kicks ass. He’s become a bit of a cartoon character as of late (thanks a lot, Hotel Transylvania), but he’s still one of my all time favorites.
So when I heard a new Dracula movie was coming out… On one hand, I had a mixed reaction. On one hand, my inner fanboy geeked out tremendously. On the other hand… Well… Let’s just say I still remember how much I hated Dracula 2000. The soundtrack was pretty much the only redeemable quality of that album, and aside from a Taproot B-side and a Pantera song I’m pretty sure was written specifically for that movie, I’ve had no motivation to hang on to that soundtrack. Come to think of it, soundtracks in general, unless they’re film scores or tracks exclusively on that disk and unavailable everywhere else have fallen out of favor with me in recent years, but I digress. Long story short, I was excited, but I made it a point to keep my expectations low. And I think the fact I kept my expectations low going in is probably the only reason I don’t hate this movie as much as everyone else seems to.
Oh don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of things wrong with this movie. The fact it’s rated PG13 is probably the ultimate kiss of death, and for once, I’m not the only one who thinks so.
I also found it to be wicked predictable. The moment the first vampire strikes that deal with Vlad, you knew exactly what was going to happen. The moment the vampire told Vlad that he’d revert back to normal in three days unless he tasted human blood, you knew something was going to happen on day three, and you knew he was going to taste human blood. Partly because Dracula Untold is supposed to be a prequel, but mostly because this movie was a real paint-by-the-numbers affair from that point on. Hell, it might’ve even been that way the moment they introduced good ol’ Protovamp.
But in the long run, it’s less about the destination, and more about the trip. It’s a method of thought I’ve had to adapt to, what with the fact somebody has to constantly guess what’s going to happen next, and ends up being right ninety percent of the time. So predictability aside, was it good, or was it bad?
Honestly, the answer is somewhere in between. Yeah, it was predictable, there were no risks, and the fact PG13 means it’s going to be seriously tame. At the same time, though, I’ve seen worse. I’ve seen worse action movies, and I’ve seen worse Dracula movies. It’s not a work of art, but it’s far from the atrocities that used to come out of Hammer Studios. Seriously, Hammer is like Asylum, except at least with movies like Sharknado, you know it’s supposed to be bad.
I actually kind of thought the final battle between Dracula and… Uh… Random Turkish guy whose name escapes me at the moment, was pretty good. Scattering the floor with silver coins, wielding silver blades, covering your armor in silver etchings… This seems like it should be standard for any given vampire hunting organization. Assuming it isn’t a universe where silver has no effect, at which point forget about it, but still… Dracula, being a vampire, was pretty overpowered as a hero, and I think I’ve made it clear where I stand on the concept of invincibility once or twice. Specifically, with invincible heroes, there’s no urgency to the battle, and the bad guy’s efforts just feel like an exercise in futility. All the more reason I never liked Superman. Sure, you could poke holes in the whole silver everywhere strategy the bad guy used, like where the hell did he get silver etchings in such a short amount of time, and how the hell did he know vampires were weak against silver. But if you look past those flaws, it was a strategy that turned a potential ten-second massacre into a mostly fair fight.
Overall, however, I doubt I’ll be in any hurry to pick this up on DVD any time soon. Best case senario, it was a relatively fun way to kill an evening of boredom. And in the end, isn’t that all we really ask from Hollywood?