Saturday, September 25, 2004

Van Helsing

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale
Category: Action Horror

Horror is was the last thing on my mind as I watched this movie. OK, maybe the horror that someone thought this was a good idea, maybe.

Van Helsing is supposed to be some sort of supernatural trouble shooter. Attached to some inter-religious order that detects and troubleshoots supernatural threats to the world. That's right people. Though the organisation may be based in the Vatican there were a whole lot of other religions represented. There was at least some buddhist monks in the background. What is it saying? Just believe in God, a God, any god?

Back to the story. WARNING: SPOILERS. Count Dracula supported Doc Fankenstien's research into animating the dead. He suceeded but like most scientist accepting money from dubious sources, he didn't expect the Count to have his own agenda. Anyway, scientist gets a backbone, losses it, literally, all within the space of 5 minutes. Fast forward to 14 years later. Van Helsing is sent to help Anna Valerious and her brother, to prevent them from going to hell. Apparently, grand-dad made a promise not to go to heaven until Dracula is killed and entrusted his generations to do the deed if he fails. Logic is that is that if Dracula is not killed, all of them will go to hell. Making a bet against the life expectancy of someone who is already dead seems a tad foolish. To make a long story short, Van Helsing kill Dracula and all is well.

If this movie is just a 'ride', then it probably is just ok. Despite the visual thrill, the director made no attempt to hide that they were CG. Absolutely none at all. Ridiculous camera angles and movement. Choosing to switch to CG at every available chance. All of that only adds to the disbelief.

And don't get me started on the plot. What plot? The only plots I saw in the movie were the one for the grave digger to fill in. If there were any, it was only to set up the next big stunt and CG fest. The storlyline is uneven and while Stephen Sommers did make the Mummy movies, I hate to be the one to tell him that although we liked the effects and all but what made the movies great were the characters and their stories.
So if you are using back ideas, take the good ones.