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Review: Dracula Untold

Dracula Untold
10.08.2014
6 10

PLOT: A Transylvanian prince (Luke Evans) makes a dark pact with an centuries-old vampire (Charles Dance) in order to save his family and kingdom from a Turkish tyrant (Dominic Cooper). For three days, he'll possess near-limitless power, but if he submits to his thirst he'll be doomed to walk the earth for eternity as a vampire

REVIEW: Imagine the first five minutes of BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA stretched to feature-length. In a nutshell, that's DRACULA UNTOLD. As is the trend in most modern retellings of Dracula, the vamp is re-imagined as an anti-hero, but DRACULA UNTOLD goes even further, transforming him into a full-on superhero. Here, Vlad the Impaler is a former soldier-turned-prince, who's forced to accept the vampire's curse in order to keep his young son (and a thousand other Transylvanian boys) from being conscripted into the Turkish sultan's army. Even once he becomes a vampire, Luke Evans' brooding hero never even comes close to being the once-scary figure we know from literature and movies.

Luke evans dracula untold

While the buzz on this “re-imagining” has been pretty toxic, as far as these things go DRACULA UNTOLD isn't that bad. Running a scant eighty-or-so minutes, this is basically just a bunch of action scenes strung together, but it's still schlocky fun in the same way the first two UNDERWORLD movies were. While this is very low-rent for a movie produced by Legendary Pictures (the first in their new deal with Universal), it's relatively painless, thanks mostly to the fast pace.

While not much more than a B-movie with a budget, this gets by mostly thanks to a charismatic performance by an appropriately brooding Luke Evans. Jacked to the point that he has a “ten-pack” rather than a “six-pack”, Evans has done a lot of these fantasy movies, and he suits them. While there's certainly not much levity to his brooding Vlad (the movie has no comic relief whatsoever), Evans looks cool in his red armor (taken right out of Francis Ford Coppola's movie) and is a decent action hero. Sarah Gadon also makes for a fresh-faced love interest, with this being a far cry from her work with David Cronenberg or in Denis Villeneuve's ENEMY. The score by Ramin Djawadi is also pretty decent, although it sounds like just about every other action score out there.

luke evans charles dance dracula untold

One thing that doesn't especially work in DRACULA UNTOLD's favour is the direction. This is Gary Shore's first feature, and it's pretty by-the-numbers – although who knows how much of this is his fault (the running time suggests lots of post-production tinkering) . While the effect of turning Vlad into a horde of bats looks cool, otherwise there's not much that distinguishes it visually, other than a couple of goofy bits, such as a battle being reflected in a sword. The action scenes (of which there are a lot) are virtually indistinguishable from each other, with tons of quick cutting making mincemeat out of the carnage (this is strictly PG-13). The only one that stands out even slightly is the final showdown with Dominic Cooper (who seems to be channeling his Uday Hussein from THE DEVIL'S DOUBLE) where they fight on top of thousands of silver coins (which vampires hate – natch).

luke evans dracula untold

While it's not great, DRACULA UNTOLD is OK and an agreeable enough time filler. The new (tacked-on) ending seems to promise a whole slew of new Universal monster movies (which is actually a decent idea), and while it remains to be seen if the box office will merit it, I wouldn't mind seeing Evans take up the part again. But next time, let's hope for a stronger overall vision on the part of the filmmakers. The franchise has potential but this doesn't quite live up to it.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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3:26AM on 10/12/2014

Feels a Bit Harsh

I just saw it, and had a blast. I'm not saying it's perfect but I walked away with a smile for the fun it was. By melding the fictional story of Dracula with the reality of the man a bit I think they tapped something that is entertaining with lots of possibilities.
I just saw it, and had a blast. I'm not saying it's perfect but I walked away with a smile for the fun it was. By melding the fictional story of Dracula with the reality of the man a bit I think they tapped something that is entertaining with lots of possibilities.
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12:22PM on 10/09/2014

Movie was horrible

6/10 is generous

Most people are saying its near unwatchable and are giving it a 4/10
6/10 is generous

Most people are saying its near unwatchable and are giving it a 4/10
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7:46AM on 10/09/2014
Was deciding between a 5 and a 6 and ended up giving it a 5. It's just really generic fantasy action stuff and Luke Evans, while solid, (im)pales in comparison with the legendary actors who've played Dracula in the past. There's no elegant mystique to this reimagining. At least they retained the weaknesses to sunlight and silver.
Was deciding between a 5 and a 6 and ended up giving it a 5. It's just really generic fantasy action stuff and Luke Evans, while solid, (im)pales in comparison with the legendary actors who've played Dracula in the past. There's no elegant mystique to this reimagining. At least they retained the weaknesses to sunlight and silver.
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4:16AM on 10/09/2014
I've seen the trailer for this like three or four times here... and every time it's shown, it gets a terrible reaction from the crowd. Like the worst crowd reaction since Edge Of Tomorrow - just moaning and snickering at all the awfulness.

But it has Charled Dance as some old ass vampire, so I'll rent it atleast.
I've seen the trailer for this like three or four times here... and every time it's shown, it gets a terrible reaction from the crowd. Like the worst crowd reaction since Edge Of Tomorrow - just moaning and snickering at all the awfulness.

But it has Charled Dance as some old ass vampire, so I'll rent it atleast.
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+2
3:07AM on 10/09/2014

I liked it

I saw it last night and thought it was cool, I liked it, as did the girl I was with. Entertaining and well acted.

Given the subject matter and nature of the "reboot" it could have been very cringe worthy, but luckily it wasn't.
I saw it last night and thought it was cool, I liked it, as did the girl I was with. Entertaining and well acted.

Given the subject matter and nature of the "reboot" it could have been very cringe worthy, but luckily it wasn't.
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3:06AM on 10/09/2014
Vlad the Impaler reimagined as a hero? Seriously? What's next? A movie version of Springtime for Hitler in which he gains superpowers so he can protect the boys and girls of Germany from the Jewish hordes?
Vlad the Impaler reimagined as a hero? Seriously? What's next? A movie version of Springtime for Hitler in which he gains superpowers so he can protect the boys and girls of Germany from the Jewish hordes?
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3:09AM on 10/09/2014
It's explained, and no excuses are really made for his actions. This film is set after them, while he is trying to repent for his sins, which leads to his brooding nature more so than the vampire "curse."

And, you should probably be made aware that, in Romania, Vlad IS actually renowned as a folk HERO for protecting the people from the Ottoman empire (which this film is about).
It's explained, and no excuses are really made for his actions. This film is set after them, while he is trying to repent for his sins, which leads to his brooding nature more so than the vampire "curse."

And, you should probably be made aware that, in Romania, Vlad IS actually renowned as a folk HERO for protecting the people from the Ottoman empire (which this film is about).
6:54AM on 10/09/2014
"Vlad the Impaler reimagined as a hero? Seriously?"

Well, he did sort of save Europe from being overrun by the Muslim Turks. If he hadn't, we'd all be praying to Allah several times a day and telling women to dress up like ninja nuns or we won't get our 72 virgins when we die.

Analogy-wise, Vlad's chaps were the Allies and the Turks were the Axis powers.
"Vlad the Impaler reimagined as a hero? Seriously?"

Well, he did sort of save Europe from being overrun by the Muslim Turks. If he hadn't, we'd all be praying to Allah several times a day and telling women to dress up like ninja nuns or we won't get our 72 virgins when we die.

Analogy-wise, Vlad's chaps were the Allies and the Turks were the Axis powers.
8:01AM on 10/09/2014
Wait, Germany had Jewish Hordes?!

That explains so much that never made any logical sense about Hitler's actions....
Wait, Germany had Jewish Hordes?!

That explains so much that never made any logical sense about Hitler's actions....
12:12PM on 10/09/2014
Guys you have to keep in mind that, until Coppola's version, the historical Dracula was widely considered to be completely unrelated to the fictional Dracula. I mean hell, Bram Stoker called him Count Vampyr until the final draft, and there's NO indication in the story that his first name is Vlad.
Guys you have to keep in mind that, until Coppola's version, the historical Dracula was widely considered to be completely unrelated to the fictional Dracula. I mean hell, Bram Stoker called him Count Vampyr until the final draft, and there's NO indication in the story that his first name is Vlad.
11:54PM on 10/08/2014
That's a better score than what I was expecting but I'll wait for the blu-ray.
That's a better score than what I was expecting but I'll wait for the blu-ray.
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11:54PM on 10/08/2014
Despite the low reviews this film has been receiving, I'm pretty excited for it. I'm not expecting great things from this film, but only a fun time which it seems to look and be. I just hope it does well for Luke Evans sake because the guy is talented and dedicated and deserves some good success towards his direction. Hopefully it does well enough to kickstart the whole Monster Universe respectfully and successfully.
Despite the low reviews this film has been receiving, I'm pretty excited for it. I'm not expecting great things from this film, but only a fun time which it seems to look and be. I just hope it does well for Luke Evans sake because the guy is talented and dedicated and deserves some good success towards his direction. Hopefully it does well enough to kickstart the whole Monster Universe respectfully and successfully.
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12:03AM on 10/09/2014
I'd like to know what the heck is happening with the Crow remake starring him. I haven't heard anything in a while. I think that could really elevate him to the next level.
I'd like to know what the heck is happening with the Crow remake starring him. I haven't heard anything in a while. I think that could really elevate him to the next level.
2:19PM on 10/09/2014
Yeah. It's weird that we haven't heard anything in a while about it.

Perhaps that film will use his talent better then this film did.
Yeah. It's weird that we haven't heard anything in a while about it.

Perhaps that film will use his talent better then this film did.
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