When you were in high school history class, did you ever think that the story of Abraham Lincoln needed something… more? I mean, it’s cool that he led the nation through the Civil War and freed the slaves all while battling severe depression and dealing with a bat-shit crazy wife and possibly being ultimate dudefest, but I need something to really intrigue me. Hey, I know! Let’s pretend his parents were killed by vampires and he devoted his life to eradicating vampires from America! That’s the kind of grade A quality bullshit that pushes his life story from bland to must see cinema. While we’re at it, let’s turn it into a movie that’s about 45 minutes too long. Bonus points if we can include a way-too-bright scene where he’s effortlessly running across the backs of stampeding horses.
I joke, but really, I do see how a movie like this could be awesome. Take a person who’s arguably the greatest hero in American history and turn him into a vampire-killing action star, all during the height of vampire movie popularity? Yeah, I’ll buy a ticket to that one. I might even see it twice. The problem is that while this movie could be awesome, it isn’t. None of the actors stand out, although I do put my vote in for Mary Elizabeth Winstead for “Hottest Mary Todd Lincoln.” The storyline is worse, and it’s way too long. It is somehow a movie with nonstop action but feels really boring at the same time. It doesn’t even do a good job weaving in real history into it. There’s one scene in the beginning that really captures everything I hate about it. This random vampire/vampire hunter is teaching Abe how to harness his strength or some bullshit like that, and he goes from a normal human being to being able to chop down a fully grown tree in one swipe of an axe in like, thirty seconds. It’s supposed to be cool and awesome, but it’s just fucking ridiculous. The scene makes no sense and I don’t think it really served any purpose, just like a good third of the entire story. It’s when I knew that this movie was going to be crap, and crap is exactly what it was.
Ok, if you’ve made it this far, you know I don’t like this film. I’m not even going to talk about it anymore. Just do me a favor and don’t see it. Now I just want to talk about one of the central backstories of the movie, a backstory that is shared by too many shows and films right now. I am of course talking about this whole “vampires are real and very powerful, but nobody has any idea that they’re real” story. I’m calling shenanigans on this whole idea right now. You would think that if vampires have been around forever, somebody would’ve figured that one out. For instance, several people in this movie other than Abe found out that vampires were real. You don’t think that throughout all of history, one of these normal people would have told a bunch of others that vampires were real? If you counter with that they probably did but were called crazy by everyone else, I point to the Salem witch trials. People were fucking stupid back then and believed anything. All I’m saying is that one of these vampires would’ve been put on trial and their secret would be out.
The other big problem with this whole “vampires are real thing” is the vampire himself. Abe’s vampire friend in this piece of crap raises some suspicions. He’s a hundred years old or something, but still looks thirty. If I lived next door to this guy for forty years and noticed that he didn’t age a day, I’d think something was up. This guy in particular appeared to live in the White House for years with Lincoln. Nobody on his staff noticed that Abe’s “old friend from home” looked decades younger than him? And that he drank blood to sustain himself? Nope, don’t buy it.
I know what you’re thinking right now. I’m being too hard on this vampire idea. I agree with you. It’s just one example of several unbelievable ideas in movies that we choose to accept so we can be entertained. For me, it’s partly that this specific idea has produced a particularly large amount of garbage lately. The other reason I criticized it is because I just couldn’t write a whole review on this movie. It doesn’t deserve a whole review, nor does it deserve any more of my thought ever again.