Cast: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell, Marton Csokas Direction: Timur Bekmambetov Story and Screenplay: Seth Grahame-Smith; Cinematography: Caleb Deschanel Editing: William Hoy Music: Henry Jackman Producers: Timur Bekmambetov, Tim Burton, Jim Lemley; Genre: Action, Sci-Fi; Running Time: 136 minutes Location: Old Americas; Distributor: 20th Century Fox
CINEMA Rating: V 14 (For viewers aged 14 and above)
From the visionary collaboration of writer Seth Grahame-Smith at direction of Timur Bekmambetov, the novel with the same title was transformed into a silver screen adaptation of one of America’s greatest leaders. In the film, the young Abraham Lincoln was both a witness to the sufferings of the African slaves and the death of his gentle mother in the hands of Jack Barts (Marton Csokas), his parent’s employer and one of the cruel slave owners. Although this incident affected the young Abraham, he was held by a promise to his father that he will not retaliate. But after nine years, Abraham (Benjamin Walker), now an orphan, considers himself free of that promise and makes it his lifetime commitment to seek revenge for his mother’s murder. Unknown to him, Barts is one of the many vampires slowly overtaking society. He chances upon the murderer and attacks him, but he is utterly surprised when he realizes that even bullets lodged in his eyes could not kill Barts. When Abraham is overpowered and is about to kill him, Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper), a guy Abraham met in a bar, intervenes and saves his life. Abraham wakes up and discovers the truth about vampires. He pleads Henry to teach him how to defeat the monsters and in turn agrees to be Henry’s protégé and do the vampire hunting for him. Together, Henry and Abraham defeat the most notorious monsters in the new Americas until the latter discovers the truth about his mentor he almost could not handle.
Eventually, Abraham realizes a deeper struggle he has to fight and decides to lay down his ax and use the power of words and ideas to free slaves, save the people and unite his nation causing the vampires to retaliate by killing his only son. Again, Abraham, now President of the United States must fight but his fight is ignited not by vengeance but by the desire to free the world of evil and horror.
One cannot deny the brilliance of the work on screen as real life events in history are tightly woven in the imagination of Smith. The narrative is strong and clear and each succeeding scene progressively heightens drama and excitement, not to mention several quotable quotes from the protagonist. Visually, the movie is stunning: high action, superb cinematography and unbelievable computer-generated effects all coming together in the 3Dformat. The production design and artistic direction is a work of genius. Henry Jackman’s scoring is another element that easily stands out… not overpowering, not melodramatic but just perfectly in synch with each scene’s emotional requirement. Abraham LincolnVampire Hunter will be one of the movies you just need to watch.
As a movie, Abraham Lincoln easily stands out as a favorite but does it deliver enough positive messages amidst the gruesome violent action sequences. It does, but not for the young audiences. Some of the more salient messages include the effect of parental care and idealism on the child’s development. Because Abraham’s parents showed love, respect and concern for others, the same values remained inculcated in Abraham as an adult and as one of the most powerful man in the Americas.
Revenge seemed like a dominant theme at first as Abraham carried with him the pain of his mother’s murder. This may have fueled his valiance but through Henry’s mentorship, he realizes that there is more to it than just getting even. Justice for one’s self is always superseded by justice for the majority. As Abraham got to live his vampire hunting career, his motivation transformed from his mother’s death to a nation’s survival. Eventually, this led him into a deeper issue—one that is real in our world as well—emancipation of slaves. On the one hand, you can say that his foes and battles are in fact symbols of his desire to unite a nation that respects all men as equal. At this point, not even the death of his only son occasions another vendetta to push him to wipe out vampires, only his desire to show that all men are equal—regardless of race or color.
Even the scene where Henry offers immortality to Abraham so they can continue their mission against the vampires leaves us with a valuable lesson on being a person. Abraham replies that there are more things that last longer than immortality like living as a legend who has chosen to do good and protect the welfare of men for the common good.