Don't get me wrong, I have several reasons why you should watch this movie. Ready?
- It looks awesome. From the costumes, to the sets, to the action scenes on amphetamines, it's stunning.
- Vampires. These are your sun-up, rock-star variety vampires, but fortunately they don't sparkle. They often wear these hip-looking sunglasses that make them look very steam-punk. In fact the entire movie has a steam-punk feel.
- The bow (and it's more of a slight nod of the head) to history can be amusing. Lincoln's weapon of choice is a silver-headed axe.
- You get to erase the image of Mary Todd Lincoln as an overweight, vapid, shopaholic and reimagine her as an attractive, sensitive, stand-by-your-man vampire killer.
- Tim Burton is a producer and you can't miss anything Burton has his hand in.
I had planned to read the book by Seth Graham-Smith (he is also the screenwriter) when it first came out, but never got around to it. Now I'm a bit glad I didn't. I enjoyed the visuals much more than the story. If it had been purely a work of fiction I probably would have liked it better. I couldn't get the real history out of my head and felt like it gave slave-holders a break. As if it wasn't their fault because vampires were really in charge of the South. That doesn't sit well. Maybe this is prominent in my head because I'm currently watching the new PBS series Mercy Street about a Union hospital during the Civil War. What's even weirder is that Mary Elizabeth Winstead who plays Mary Lincoln is also a main character in Mercy Street, playing the head nurse, Mary Phinney.
I like the idea of Abe Lincoln being formed in his youth by becoming a vampire hunter. I just wish the story had ended when the politics began. But hey, if you don't care about the details it's a fun movie.