This film is about one man and Evans is more than enough to carry the movie.
STARRING: Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Charles Dance, Dominic Cooper, Art Parkinson
DIRECTOR: Gary Shore
THE SKINNY: Prince Vlad (Evans) of Transylvania was forced to fight for the Turks as a young man, earning the nickname "The Impaler". Back in his homeland, he sparks a war with the Turks by refusing to allow his son (Parkinson) to suffer a similar fate. Facing huge odds, Vlad takes on the curse of vampirism to protect his family and homeland.
Vampires have been done to death, but that is okay.
So have cops, gangsters, superheroes, nerds, professors, hot chicks, psychos, doctors, aliens, knights, ladies in corsets, astronauts, hookers, politicians, drunks, idiots etc.
I mean, why just pick on vampires?
Anyway, Dracula Untold proves that there is always something a little bit fresh you can do with even the most familiar genre. Basically, the flick has a unique take on the whole history of Dracula.
Turns out he was not really such a bag guy. In fact, he was a loving family man. He starts a war with the Turks when they try to take his son. Then he becomes a vampire to win the war. He is really kind of a superhero, but with a fun twist. As he himself says, "Sometimes the world doesn't need a hero, it needs a monster."
Pretty cool, if you ask me.
Evans is superb as Drac, coming across as fatherly, formidable or fearsome as required. It helps that his eyebrows are stunningly expressive.
The CGI work is mostly pretty cool, like when Dracula morphs into a bunch of bats, but some of the settings are rather generic. If you enjoy Underworld, Blade or even 300, you will dig this.
If there is a role Luke Evans was born to play, this is it.
He has been titan, musketeer, villain and even Greek god Zeus himself.
But none can be called his own except as Vlad the Impaler aka Dracula.
He is equal parts mesmerising, terrifying, seductive, loving and cold - all rolled into one handsome, rugged package. And that worked really well in this so-called origin story of the famous monster.
It is a nice departure to see this side of the anti-hero, how he chose to be a monster for the sake of his son, his wife and his people. Yes, this is not an unfeeling Dracula.
He would be an ultimate ruler if not for the nasty fact that he is a creature of the night.
Director Gary Shore deserves a huge pat on the back.
Sure, some sections could be better, but considering this is his first feature film, Shore does a decent job.
The former high-end commercials director delivers an entertaining flick that boasts some great action scenes balanced with truly tender moments between Vlad and his beloved wife Mirena (Gadon).
Speaking of Mrs Dracula, Gadon is easy on the eye, but not much else.
Dracula Untold is not perfect, but it has all the right stuff to kick off a potential franchise.
This article was first published on October 01, 2014.
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