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Movie review: 'Dracula Untold'

Dracula Untold
U/A; Action-Fantasy
Dir: Gary Shore
Cast: Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadon

Marvel took the entire filmdom by storm by launching the Iron Man, Thor and Captain America movies to lead up to the Avengers. Everyone wants to copy them now. DC is busy churning out Batman vs Superman movies, and now Universal wants a piece of the pie.

In shoehorning all the action computer-generated imagery, the film loses its thrill and sense of dread
In shoehorning all the action computer-generated imagery, the film loses its thrill and sense of dread

Sadly, this piece of pie isn’t particularly palatable or even easy to digest. Dracula Untold is supposed to be the first installment in the Monsters Universe, but the film, unfortunately, is as hokey and humdrum as they come. Starring Luke Evans as the titular character, the film chronicles the early days of Vlad the Impaler turning into the creature we know and love. Director Gary Shore tries to mix things up with rock music and edgy visuals but the story is painfully generic, as is the execution.

We follows Evans’ journey through a Game of Thrones style kingdom which attempts at showing the political side of things in his life. It, initially, seems like an interesting diversion from the clichéd ‘impaler’ persona that we know of Vlad. The film also makes Vlad sort of the sympathetic character, and ultimately an antihero who has to resort to becoming a vampire to defend his kingdom.

But the film never goes into the depths of how his choice makes him a melancholy being, but instead focuses on the 300 style action sequences where Vlad uses his demonic powers to win battles. A couple of such scenes are fun, but the element of surprise is missing. You can smell the ending coming from a mile away, and the attempts at positioning this film as the first piece of the Monster series is ham handed, to say the least. Worse, the film isn’t the least bit frightening — the makers seem to forget that this is supposed to be a horror film, and in shoehorning all the action computer-generated imagery, the film loses all its thrill and sense of dread.

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