The story begins with young Abraham scarred after seeing the murder of his mother at the hands (fangs) of a vampire. Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper) saves Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) after he naively goes looking to avenge his mothers death without the essential apparatus and know-how about the vampire legend. Every vampire mythology is different from one another and it should be. In some cases, vampires dont walk in the sun, in others they glitter (Okay yes, not all should be very different). Sturgess agrees to make him a vampire hunter under one condition: He must not hold onto silly notions of vengeance. There are larger things at hand.
Soon, Abraham Lincoln starts giving Abraham Van Helsing a run for his money. With his silver-smeared axe, Abe adds another career attached to his name besides law and politics. There are a couple of twists which add enough meat to the bone. The death of his child due to tuberculosis gets a new side to its story and so does The Civil War. His wife Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) also gets to kick butt.
A film like this needs to over-speed just a little and it could skid and crash and burn. There is enough ostentation to complement the pulp. Numerous shots of blood dripping in slow motion, shiny dust particles in the foreground and flying fire flares make the 3D not so redundant. There are two action set-pieces that make this film worth watching. One is a chase sequence involving hundreds of horses that is gobsmackingly exciting to watch. The other is the climax atop a speeding train. The action culminates at a massive bridge, which burns down while the film rises up to an extremely enjoyable thrill-ride.
Im not well-read about American history but from whatever little I know, I could tell it would be futile to try and make the chronology correspond. As film about a vampire hunting president of a country, the film does its job. It isnt anything more.
The only other film that Ive seen about Abraham Lincoln is John Fords 1939 film: Young Mr. Lincoln. Oh yes, it was different. Fictional too, but very very different. It is also one of Fords most underrated films containing a terrific performance by Henry Fonda. This reminds me of a quote from one of Coachs best films: When legend becomes fact, print the legend. Timur Bekmambetov definitely took that seriously and decided to go ahead and film the legend. Except it isn't the best legend there could be. Let's see if Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis can do something about that.view less