The story in a film, ladies and gentlemen, is the ONE thing that you do NOT want to fall apart on screen. You could have the most crap visual effects anyone has seen in their entire life, you could pick the worst actors anyone has ever heard of, but if you have a compelling and brilliantly written story - there is hope. Dracula: Untold, does not have that. It has a lack-lustre story that has hope welling in your chest one minute, and then dying the most painful of deaths the next as they bring the story right down to a low point.
One of its main redeeming qualities is its star, Luke Evans - but we'll save that praise for the review
I'm going to break down this movie for you bit-by-bit in true Christina style, so you understand what I mean.
Moviemakers: "WOAH! Hey guys this is the beginning of the film, we're just gonna dump this really cool visual scene on ya with a voice-over so you know what's up! We hope you like the movie! Voice-overs, YEAH!"
Audience: "Soooo, is he Dracula yet....or nah?"
Moviemakers: "Family Time. Here's the wife and kid."
Audience: "Talking. People are talking. There's a lot of talking isn't there?"
Audience: "Oh hey Tywin Lannister."
Turks: "*stomp into room* We are the bad guys!!!"
Vlad: "*death stare* I dislike you."
Turks: "GIVE US YOUR PEOPLE'S CHILDREN, NOW!!"
Vlad: "YOU WILL NEVER HAVE OUR CHILDREN!!"
Vlad: "I'm killing but I'm still Vlad. You guys need to know I was a badass BEFORE the cool Vampire powers."
The Middle - Part 1
Audience: "Soooo, is he Dracula yet....or nah?"
Vlad: "FEAR NOT, Moviegoers! I intend to save my people, but FIRST, I must visit Tywin Lannister. He has a debt to repay. He doesn't that's a lie, but I do need a chat."
Twyin *cough* I mean Vampire: "Yo, what up? You want power? You wanna be strong? Defeat your enemies? It's cool, I'ma hook you up. Here, drink my blood."
*hands over half a skull, filled with blood*
Vlad: "Uhh, this is a little weird, but sure, why not?"
Audience: "Dude, that's a skull you're drinking from..."
Twyin *cough* I mean Vampire: "So, I don't know if I mentioned this before, but this is like a Vampire crash course. After 3 days, you gon' be weak again, fool. Unless you drink."
Vlad: "Drink what?"
Twyin *cough* I mean Vampire: "BLOOOOOOOD!! muahahahaha!!"
The Middle - Part 2
Vlad: "Well, hot damn, I broke a rock with my bare hands. Hey, look, I turn into bats! Coool!! Holy sh*t! I'm a Vampire! F*ck YEAH!"
Audience: "Yasssss, he's Dracula!! Wait, he's Dracula right? He's Dracula, we're calling him Dracula."
Vlad: "Swish Swish Mother F**ker! I'm flying all up in your grill! BOOM! I punched you! BOOM! I punched you too! BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, swish swish fly, clash clash sword kill, death, murder, DEATHHHH. (*whispers in a tiny girl voice* no blood)."
Audience: "YESSSS DEATH! FIGHTING! ACTION!"
Audience: "Where's the blood? Why there's no blood? This film's a 15 right?"
*Vlad walks back to his people*
Vlad: "...I'm a badass. I just defeated an army of 1000. Don't ask how. Just know. I'm a badass."
Vlad's People: "Yeah...uh, sure ok. Whatever...*whispers* Duuuuude, there's totally something going on with Vlad."
The Middle - Part 3
Audience: "Sooo, no one's called him Dracula yet, I was just wondering..."
Vlad's Wife: "I'm still here too guys."
Vlad's son: "And me."
Vlad: "Yo Turks! I put a spear through every single one of your men that I killed. Then I stuck that in the ground for this creepy visual of your men's dead bodies spiked atop some really large sticks."
Vlad: "Yeah, if you look really carefully, it spells "Vlad is Dracula." I'm not really going public with it yet though. Kinda tryna keep it on the down low from my people. You know how it is, you get all famous, people start wanting autographs..."
Turks: "We will not stand for this!! He killed 1000 of our men, we will send 10,000!! WE are the true badasses!"
Turks: "And we shall train. Blind."
Turks: "We're going to train our soldiers, whilst they wear cloth over their eyes. Their training shall consist of marching. Only marching. If they can march in a straight line, they've got this in the bag. They cannot fear what they cannot see. #TurksToWin."
Audience: "Ya'll gon' die."
The Middle - Part 4
*Vlad and his people begin to flee to safer quarters. Whereby Vlad reveals himself to his wife. The conversation goes something like this*
Vlad's Wife: "...Why do you hide beneath the covers, my love?"
Vlad: "I'm a Vampire. I burn in the sun. Also you looking mighty tasty right now. I aint had a drop of blood in FOREVER."
*proceeds to stand in direct sunlight*
Vlad's Wife: "ERMAGERHD!! What've you done!?"
Vlad: "I told you. I'm a Vampire. I did it for us. Now leave, it is sunlight, you must get a head start, I shall follow at sunset."
*Vlad's wife and his people continue their journey to safety. They're attacked by a small group of Turks. Vlad kills them. Meets a creepy man who tried to offer him blood. He refuses to feed*
Audience: "Just drink the f**king blood you moron!!"
*His people discover he's a Vampire and try to burn him to death*
Vlad: "You can't kill me, b*tch. I am Dracula!"
Audience: "....you can't even muster up a slight accent to say your own name?"
(WATCH: How Dracula should be said. Skip to 2:10 for the actual line.)
Vlad's Wife: "I shall not desert you! I don't care what you are, I shall fight with you!"
Vlad's Wife: "I-I said I shall fight with him!"
Dracula: "No wait!! Guys, don't go anywhere!"
Dracula: "Look, cool visuals!! I'm conjuring bats!!"
Audience: "....that's pretty badass. What'd you plan on doing with those there bats, huh Draccy? Can I call you Draccy?"
The End - Part 1
*more cool visuals. Ridiculously large flock of bats, flying through an army of blindfolded men and knocking them around like Domino's. Also dubstep bats*
Dracula: "DIE ALL OF YOU DIE! Where's the lead bad guy, I must have the satisfaction of killing him with my bare hands!"
Other bad guys: "Yo Dracula, we got your wife and child on the edge of this really tall castle."
Vlad's wife: "Son, get behind me as we back up further towards the edge and continue to do absolutely nothing in this movie."
Vlad's Wife: "OMG I'VE FALLEN OFF THE EDGE, I'M HOLDING ON FOR DEAR LIFE!"
Audience: "Can you just die already? Damn. Just when this was getting good."
Dracula: "I MUST SAVE MY WIFE AND CHILD!! BATS, FLYING! FAST FLYING!"
*Dracula then proceeds to turn into a flock of bats, fly to the top of the tower, and instead of grabbing his wife off the edge and saving her, he flies straight into the Turks to defeat them first. Resulting in his wife falling off the edge*
*Dracula then proceeds to turn into a flock of bats again, and fly down as fast as he can to catch her. A scene so remniscent of Gwen Stacy's death in 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' this year, that I very nearly pulled out my ticket to check which movie I was watching. Regardless, Dracula does not catch her. But wait, for she is not dead, and as the sun rises on this third day and Dracula's powers threaten to dissappear forever, his wife miraculously stays alive long enough to beg him to drink her blood and keep his abilities forever. He does so, in the tamest neck-biting/blood-drinking scene you will ever see, in your entire life.
Upon remembering that the Turks aka "The Bad Guys" have his son, Dracula makes an executive decision.*
Dracula: "...I have decided...that I...will turn...every single one of my surviving people into Vampires, with the promise of revenge. And they shall ALL Agree."
Audience: "AN ARMY OF VAMPIRES!? SO.FREAKIN'.BADASS!"
Army of Vampires: "*werewolf sounding growling* we're badasses now, YEAH! We bite necks and feed on people....and you see NOTHING. No blood. No fang-to-skin. No blood. A lack of blood. Hey did you guys notice, that for a film about Dracula, there's curiously very little blood?"
Audience: "...We noticed."
*The Army of Vampires then proceed to defeat the Turks as Dracula spends entirely too long getting beat up by the lead Turk in a room full of silver coins that burn him, and rays of sunshine bursting through. The army of Vampires, having defeated and killed every single Turk, turn on Dracula and threaten him and his son, if he does not let them kill him (his son). Dracula refuses, until he is saved by an unimportant holy man from earlier, who holding a cross up to the children of the devil, i.e the Vampire Army, proceeds to take Dracula's son away.
Dracula, uncaring of the fact that his son by this point has seen him walk through flames as a Vampire, violently kill and feed on a man (the lead Turk), be burned by the sun and by silver, then proceeds to open up the heavens (i.e remove the clouds from obstructing the suns view) and burn himself and all the other Vampires to death.*
Audience: "Because you couldn't have waited a couple of seconds until the child had turned his back. smh."
Vlad's son: "This is where I have a stupid and boring voice-over about how much I idolize my murdering monster of a father, and how I became king. I say other stuff too, but no-one's really listening."
Moviemakers: "Hey guys look modern Dracula! Isn't he cool!?"
Audience: "Is this a Calvin Klein ad? Or a perfume ad? Is this even part of the movie?"
*Stuff happens. Barely*
Audience: "Oh. Hey Twyin's back. He sure survived a long time."
Audience: "...Ok. Umm, is that it, or...?"
That, folks, is it. The film is massively disappointing, and is one of those, "When it's good, it's pretty damn good, when it's bad, it's pretty damn awful" movies. I expected a lot more from this, and the thought that this is supposed to be the beginning of a shared monster universe, doesn't give me much hope for said universe.
Yeah it had really cool visual effects, but the story was lack-lustre, and brilliant visuals can't hold up a lack-lustre script.
Man of Steel, is living proof of that.
In any case, this isn't my full review, or even a review. That'll be up soon with a star rating out of 5, so I'll end with my final statement.
Dracula: Untold is a movie that in its 92 minutes, brings you huge highs, and terribly low lows. It's a movie that can't seem to decide whether or not it wants to be a visually & cinematically epic masterpiece, or a compelling and thrilling fantasy film that leaves you hooked and on the edge of your seat. Ironically, the film achieves neither of those things.