Dracula 2000 (2000)
Director: Patrick Lussier
Christopher Plummer/Van Helsing
Jonny Lee Miller/Simon
The infamous Dracula is freed from his prison and released into our century. He has a great perm, creates much havoc and searches for his honey bunny.
Dracula is in the house and he means business. This umpteenth variation on Stoker's novel takes many liberties but never forgets to slap in a few nods the classic's way. Lucy (singer Vitamin C) is still there, the new spin on the immortal line : "I don't drink…wine" is witty and Van Helsing is still chasing the thirsty fiend.
What I really liked about this movie is the new background they stuck to Dracula. What a wonderful idea! Kudos to Lussier and Soisson for putting it down on paper, it makes perfect sense and works. The Dracula character gets a whole new layer, Coppola should've thought about it…
The film itself is a harmless piece of action packed vampire fluff that moves real fast and never fails to entertain. You want some crazy vampire battles, some groovy effects, the occasional gore? You got it, baby!
The film's quick pace is actually its biggest faults. We have so many characters here and the film doesn't take the time to develop most of them. Many good actors are wasted: Omar Epps, Danny Masterson, Lochlyn Munro and worst of all...Jeri Ryan. I can live with the men not getting too much screen time but not showing enough of Ryan and her delicious assets is a sin.
Even Dracula is somewhat overlooked. His pain, his drive, his depth should've been explored deeper. Here he comes across as a fanged "Terminator" with slick clothes and a big grudge. I also expected way more "fish out of the water" sequences involving the Count. I mean he is walking around in the year 2000, a little more fun could have been had here.
The film plays it safe when it comes to the sexier, raunchier levels of the story as well, and with all the babes filling the screen, it's a damn shame. Lesbian scenes never hurt anybody, least of all me.
Overall, the movie delivers lots of action, a breathtaking pace, some good looking leads, nice effects, Matrix like fight scenes, a few boo scares and splashes of blood. But I feel that the people behind the flick underestimated its audience. There's nothing wrong with a movie stopping for a few seconds to let the characters build, therefore making us care about them. Teen audiences can handle more than tasty eye candy…they DO go to school…
Lots of KARO SYRUP stuff. Beheadings, nasty bites, gooey stake stabbings, icky leeches. This one was red enough to satisfy my bloodlust.
Justine Waddell (Mary) is very good and brings legitimacy to the film. Her British accent made it happen for me. I can see what they saw in Gerard Butler (Dracula). He's a solid actor, has that mysterious thang going on but I will admit that I sometimes felt he looked kind of goofy. Only sometimes, the rest of the time the man worked. Christopher Plummer (Van Helsing) delivers as usual, his mature presence is always welcome. Jonny Lee Miller (Simon) is lost here, his performance is very shaky and at times laughable. Where's the competent actor (Sick Boy, Sick Boy…) I used to love? Jennifer Esposito (Solina) is way hot and knows a thing or two about being seductive. She made my world move. Vitamin C (Lucy) is like her music: passable. Omar Epps (Marcus) does ok with what he has to do…not much. Danny Masterson (Nightshade) also does fine with the material given. Jeri Ryan (Valerie) has great cleavage.
T & A
Vitamin C shows us her breasts real fast. Jennifer Esposito keeps too much clothes on but still warms the blood (she has a great tongue…mmm). Jeri Ryan keeps her top on but shows off her two big friends as much as she can.
All made up and ready to break some hearts. This lady looks great! Lussier uses every MTV trick in the book and makes the film an effortless, energetic, colorful viewing. No thinking needed here.
Some good heavy stuff (Slayer, Godhead, Static X) and a score that actually brings the film down to a more serious level amidst all of the vampire carnage.
With a better grasp on the characters and a more daring approach this one could have been awesome. On the other hand, I can't deny that I was immensely amused during an hour and a half. If you want some easy, gory thrills check it out. If you're looking for substance or you're a Stoker purist, stay home and read the book.
Wes Craven is executive producer on this bad boy.
Director Patrick Lussier was editor on the Scream trilogy.