Van Helsing is one of those films that I really wanted to like. I love campy action movies, especially ones that are interspersed with all of my favorite classic movie monsters. Unfortunately, I was bitterly disappointed by this film and not even its occasional dosages of Narm Charm
could save it.
The audience is treated with the surprise that this is not about the aging scientist and vampire expert we all know and love, courtesy the original Dracula novel. Played by a young, strapping Hugh Jackman, he doesnít resemble the character in any way. He canít even qualify as Helsing In Name Only
because his first name is not Abraham, but Gabriel for some inexplicable reason. Nevertheless, I was willing to forego Helsingís characterization because this is, after all, an action film.
One of the major things that really spoiled this movie for me was its portrayal of Dracula. Our first glimpse of him, when he is discussing his nefarious plans with Victor Frankenstein, is accompanied by a barrage of Grade-D ham. It soon becomes increasingly clear that heís been stripped of his mysterious and dangerous qualities and saddled with goofy, CGI-morphing, axe-craziness. The movie canít seem to decide whether it wants to be humorous or serious and, apparently, neither can its main antagonist.
The film continued to incite annoyance with its grating side characters, overuse of very mediocre CGI, and Kate Beckinsaleís
horrid attempt atÖ Whatever accent she was trying to speak in. Even ignoring all of the anachronisms and the butchery of many beloved characters (with the exception of Frankensteinís monster who, despite the frequent unwarranted yelling
, just might be the only sympathetic character in this movie), any optimism is staked in the heart by a painfully convoluted plot.
Overall, this movie was a nightmare for this troper. Its stabs at humor are appalling while honest moments are laced with Narm. Furthermore, it began to drag on tortuously for me. Even the final battle was boring and uninspired. If youíre looking for something carefree, full of Fan Service
and passable attempts at badassery, then you might want to give this one a try. But if you are, like this troper, a notorious horror purist, itís probably best if you forget Van Helsing