Exactly as I thought it would be "Dracula untold" offers an interesting take on the titutal character but it is not fleshed out enough while disappointing with the lack of creativity.
|Luke Evans is doing his best but...|
The cast: Luke Evans makes a fine Dracula but he is not given enough material to work with. Even during the action scenes while convincing as a force of nature, he does not get the chance to truly shine. It is such a shame that "Dracula untold" is not the vehicle that it was supposed to be. Dominic Cooper hams it up completely as the Turk Soultan with eyeliner(!) lacking any characterization and dramatic moment to establish his persona. The rest of the cast are pretty forgettable with uber bodyguards againt Vlad the Impaler and friends that protect him with an onion being able to display more charisma than these roles. Saving grace is Charles Dance as an ancient vampire who is able to generate tension with that Tywin Lannister look (you know about what I am talking about), buried under lots of make up that makes the most of it in the limited screentime of 5 minutes.
|Vlad's wife....zero characterization|
Story: Biggest problem of the film so far. While the idea of exploring the character of Dracula from the beginning in a prequel form and suggest him as a rather heroic personality from one perspective (Transylvanian one) and a monster from another (The Turkish one) is intriguing, it is not fleshed out properly. In fact it just been barely recognized and acknolwedged through the main characters so we can get the plot going. Any supporting roles bare limited or no gravitas so any occuring death comes without the generation of the slightest emotion to the viewer. Although there is a quite fast pace for this sort of film, at the end everything is just empty and lacks depth as the filmmakers seem to be enthusiastic to finish the film. Any dramatic substance even in the most crucial moments is being ignored for the sake of the next scene and the application of the produced consequences is never seen or felt.
Action: For a trailer that heavenly showcased special effects and huge battles, "Dracula untold" disappoints a lot. Pretty much everything is in the trailer. Vlad's powers are not fully explained and his fight with the Othoman hordes is rather brief and frnakly not impressive. Since the film has its main fights taking place during the night, the dark cinematography and a crazy edit from the early 00's school, do not help to establish who is fighting who. When you get to see some, it is rather blunt and unimpressive and no different than other straightforward blockbuster movies that spent limited time to conceive impressive swordfights. "Solomon Kane", a film that passes in similar fields of "Dracula untold" contains some truly impressive swordplay with clear and brutal choreography.
|Dominic Cooper continues the string of bad guy for no reason roles|
Rating: The rating basically is a joke. While we are off from a rather upsetting and gothic start, soon "DU" descends into PG-13 level category with a bit of bite. It's like as the director decided to make a hybrid of horror action with emphasis at the latter. Suffering for not showcasing how brutal that era must have been and jeopardising the violence to secure a more friendly rating, "Dracula untold" is too dark for the young ages and too kid friendly for the older ones.
Everything else: Pretty much the average standard things you expect. Special effects are ok but not groundbreaking. Cinematography ranges from good (daylight scenes) to terrible (nightime), costumes are sufficient and so on. It all just looks ok but nothing to be worthy of remembering or at least having fun with.
Overall, "Dracula untold" is not a terrible film but it is a terribly average one. It could have potential with a sharper script, strong focus on the horror aspect and the torment of this classic icon and the gothic setting. Instead a get a watered down version of one of the most famous monsters of all time. Is this really what we wanted?
+ Luke Evans doing his best
+ Charles Freaking Dance scene stealer
- Dominic Cooper - blunt performance
- not enough action...
-...and not thrilling enough...
- watered down version
- terrible edit
- no dramatic substance
- less than one dimensional characters