Imagine someone made a porno about Abraham Lincoln. Replace the sex scenes with CGI action sequences. Throw in an undeservedly large production budget, and you’ve got Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Except the porno at least would have been funny.
Given the outrageous title and premise, you might expect a zany, campy romp through history. Nope. Not a laugh in sight. The non-action scenes are as dull and solemn as a documentary about the Pope – except it’s not educational, either.
Going into the movie I wondered how they were going to make such an crazy idea work. As it turns out, they don’t.
The secret-life-of theme works best when it adheres closely to historical reality, and then fills in the bits lost to history with speculation, ideally leaving you with a sense of plausibility, given the underlying premise. This movie doesn’t make the slightest effort to creatively fit the fiction to the fact; it just takes the lazy way out, rewriting damn near everything we already know about Lincoln and the Civil War to make room for its uninspired plot. Some examples:
-Lincoln’s mother and son didn’t die tragically of illnesses – they were killed by vampires.
-Jefferson Davis secretly enlisted vampires to fight for the Confederacy, and one scene even shows the charging rebels (who are actually vampires) turning suddenly invisible right before the astonished eyes of the soon-to-be-routed Union troops – leaving students of the Civil War to wonder why a force with immunity to normal weapons, superhuman strength and the power of invisibility didn’t go on to take Cemetary Hill that day.
-Lincoln never dated Anne Rutledge, but adhered to the life of monkish celibacy required to hunt vampires until meeting Mary Todd – at which point the celibacy requirement conveniently went away.
-Mary Todd Lincoln herself did not become an erratic, depressed neurotic after the death of her son, but a strong, Rosie-the-Riveter sort of wartime hero who by the way kicked some vampire butt of her own.
Oh, and as to how Abe discovered his inner Buffy powers: a little-known fact about humans is that Joe Average can chop down an 80-foot pine with one swing of an axe as long as he has enough *hate* in his heart to channel into the effort. (Well, at least the movie doesn’t commit the error of moral pandering.)
I won’t even bother getting into the poorly-scripted dialogue and equally poor acting. The cinematography is mediocre, about on a par with the old Dukes of Hazzard TV series. Honestly, the only thing that *doesn’t* suck about this movie is the CGI.
People watch pornos for the sex: lousy script, bad acting, who cares. This movie is like that. If you’re into CGI porn, go for it. If you’d rather see a decent movie, this isn’t one.