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Van Helsing

The Diva's review of
Van Helsing (2004)

Van Helsing
Rated PG-13; running time of 135 minutes
Genre: Action / Adventure
Written by: Stephen Sommers
Directed by: Stephen Sommers
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh, David Wenham, Shuler Hensley, Elena Anaya, Will Kemp, Kevin J. O'Connor

WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW.

The Digest

It's the late 19th-century and Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) has been dispatched to France to deal with Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde. Once he finishes up there, he heads back to Rome for his next task.

He is being sent to Transylvania to help local vampire hunter Anna Valerious (Kate Beckinsale), stop Count Dracula (Richard Roxburgh).

Is bound by a blood oath to end the world of Dracula> This oath has been in existence as long as Dracula and Anna and her brother are the last of the Valerious'. She must succeed and it's not an easy task. Dracula has 3 brides and a Werewolf hot on their trail.

But this is not as troubling as what Van Helsing is after - Frankenstein's monster (Shuler Hensley). The monster is the key of life for Dracula's offspring. He is the only one who can withstand the electricity needed to spark life into the little vampires. And there are 1000's of them. If these babies hatch, it will be the end of the world.

Van Helsing must face Dracula, but in doing so, he must also face the truth of who he is - facts that have been wiped from his mind by amnesia.

The Dish

Wooo Lord! Let me say this, 60-70 years ago, this movie would be cinematic gold. The cheesy lines, the over dramatized pauses, the overacting, the under acting. All of this reminded me the oh so famous monster movies/ dramas of the 30s and 40s. I loved these movies! I was never scared and I couldn't help but laugh at the closeups and over reaching facial expressions. It was comedy and that is whatVan Helsing albeit unintentional on most occasions. But this isn't 70 years ago and regardless of what I felt about it, regardless of how much I liked it - I have to be honest. This is movie is bad - really bad. Now do not feel guilty if you loved it. With a box office take of 54.1 million so far, you clearly are not the only one. Hell, I said that I adored it myself.

Part of the joy (or pain depending how you look at it) of watching this movie is the horrible lines. Like Anna in the midst of a discussion with Van Helsing, looks longingly into space and utters, “I’ve never been to the sea.” Hilarious! About 30 minutes into the movie you realize that you are in an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and you just roll with the punches. And when the acting and dialogue gets to be too much, you’ve got really cool effects to make you forget it.

That said, some people will feel that they have wasted their money. If I take out the MST3K experience out of it, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh, and those 3 brides absolutely and completely destroyed this movie. Roxburgh may just be the worse Dracula that I’ve ever seen. Roxburgh seemed to be channeling Snidely K. 'Whip' Whiplash or The Duke from Moulin Rouge. I’m really uncertain as to whom he was trying to mirror. It was almost as if he was playing it for laughs. Maybe George Hamilton in Love at First Bite?

And Kate, bless her heart. I do like her and I think she is on track to be the next female action hero – which would make me very happy. BUT she was about as engaging as a ball of lint in fact, she was absolutely dreadful.

But my ire is saved for the 3 brides, each of whom decided to watch The Wizard of Oz and perfect the wicked witch’s cackle and use it over and over and over again. that is what just about sent me over the edge.

The Directive

You know, this movie is going to have a cult following and it might just be worth paying the 5 bucks to see it on the big screen.

 

 flashing red

  Despite the red light, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not because it was good, but because of all the future hours of fun during bad movie night.


Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2004
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