Directed by Gary Shore, staring Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadon and Charles Dance. This is the story of Vlad the Impaler, when the Turks threaten Prince Vlad Tepes both with the kidnapping of the children in his town and the threat of war, he must become something more powerful to defend his people.
This film is best described as a spectacle, visually empowering with careful and correct choices given to how Prince Vlad flies and becomes physically more like a vampire. Carefully thought out on how to best show us how he controls his bats and utilises them to the best of his ability.
However, though glamorous it may be, the plot has a lot to be desired. From the start we are given a brief history of the land and how Prince Vlad was taken from his home along with many other children to be raised in a spartan style upbringing, he grows stronger and eventually becomes Vlad the Impaler to take back his home. From here we are told it has been 20 years since then and yet they have become no stronger as a country, they are aware the Turkish are a large threat to them and yet no defences are made, no tactics are devised which leaves no one in surprise when the exact same events reoccur.
The second larger issue I have, which is a common issue amongst American films depicting stories in foreign lands. The accents are very strange, the land in which the film is set is now known as Romania and yet everyone has an english accent.
While most of actors hold their ground in a somewhat predictable narrative, one character that needs to be considered is that of Charles Dances’ . Though his character is smaller then others his script leaves a lot to be desired. Physically his performance is one of the best examples of vampires, but I felt his script was cheapened with the constant use of the word ‘games’ which spoke to a cultural reference ‘Game Of Thrones’ for which, of course, he is a major character.
Though I will not spoil the ending, it made little sense it made to me.
OVERALL ** – visually interesting and compelling but poor narrative makes this a miss step in the various retellings of Dracula.
RECOMMENDATION – not much will be missed if this is not seen, as a spectacle is not enough to make a film powerful enough to be seen again.