I have a bit of a weakness for Dracula/vampire movies, from Dracula 2001 to Blade Trinity, and with these low expectations, I was still disappointed in this movie. It was hollow, lacking a storyline and even worse, it was just no fun.
Dracula: Untold starts with Vlad the Impaler and his guards searching a cave on Broken Tooth Mountain for Turks but finding a “Nosforatu looking” Charles Dance. The guards get used like chew toys, but Vlad escapes. He returns to his castle, full of people saying what a nice guy he really is and how much they love him. Laying it on a little thick with, “He’s a nice guy really; he impaled all of those people for a good reason”.
The Turks appear and demand an offering of 1000 young boys for their army, including Vlad’s own son (Rickon from Game Of Thrones). Having been given to and trained by the Turks himself as a child, Vlad is reluctant to do this, so he decides to slaughter the Turks rather than hand over the children.
To be able to combat the Turks he decides to go back to Broken Tooth and make a deal with Nosforatu Dance. He is endowed with vampire power for three days, but if he gives into the bloodlust and chows down on anyone in those three days he then becomes a vampire and the servant of Nosforatu Dance forever. And so begins about an hour of Vlad throwing about and running through roughly 20,000 faceless soldiers, all by himself.
Luke Evans is a bit dull as Dracula as he has no real charisma or personality, but he didn’t really have anything to work with so I don’t know if he can be blamed for that. The bat transformation looked pretty cool, and some of the camera angles looked good, but there were a lot of shaky cam action and fight sequences, which can make me think the director is trying to hide the bad fight scenes.
The idea of this movie seems to have been to turn Dracula into a Superman. He’s not a nice guy, doing horrible things for the good of others; he’s a sadist that enjoys running people through. In trying to make him likeable they flattened the character and the whole movie.
Sadly, Dracula: Untold was a big miss for me. It is meant to be the first of Legendary’s monster movie revivals, and that has me very worried.