Dracula Untold

Let the Games Begin

In university I wrote my thesis about how a good fight is more often than not actually just a dance scene. Ok, I know strictly come dancing doesn’t have people getting punched through windows – although maybe it should. Fight scenes, like dance scenes, need to have to have a rhythm to it, it has to be fluid, dynamic and perfectly timed to keep the viewers interest.

I had high hopes for Dracula Untold because the visceral trailer captured my attention due to the twirling movements displayed on screen. I knew this wouldn’t be an Oscar winning film but figured it would be thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless.

What we get instead of a danse macabre is cheesy melodrama. It’s a shame that the film didn’t fully embrace the action genre in the same way that Boris Johnson fully embraces bonkers because it actually has a lot going for it.

The sets are good, the cinematography is great and the costume design is brilliant. The casting of our anti-hero Vlad, played by Luke Evans is also spot on. There is something about him that makes him a highly believable Dracula. A focused look in his eye that shows a weird, morally ambiguous, compassion for friends yet hatred for his foes.

The action sequences are of course great too but they are no more numerous and are barely any longer than what you have seen in the trailer. What we are left with in between these sections is soppy drama.

The saturated lighting and overacting in these scenes mixed with some crappy romantic twinkly music reminded me of parts of twilight. It ends up almost being a satirical version of itself.

The plot is simple enough; it’s how Vlad became Dracula whilst trying to protect his town and people. The only thing you are left guessing is will he or won’t he become the Lord of darkness… only you know he will because: Dracula.

The light plot makes the supporting cast mostly irrelevant with perhaps the exception of Tywin Lannister… sorry, master vampire (Charles Dance). Apart from Dracula the other characters aren’t really given much life but actually the film gets away with thanks the films aforementioned plus points.

If the trailer for this film has put a glamour on you then by all means go see it just be aware it lacks that killer bite to make it a great film.

Go See

  • Action scenes are still good fun
  • Beautifully shot
  • Beautiful costumes and scenery

Avoid

  • Soppy romance sections
  • All the best bits are in the trailer
  • Lacking in story development

Overall

3-stars

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