It’s easy to discuss a movie when it elicits an emotion, whether that emotion be positive or negative. When it falls somewhere in the middle, succeeding enough to not be outright terrible, there’s little that could be said beyond that. Dracula Untold falls squarely in that category. The only thing that could really be said it that it was utterly boring.
Dracula is from Transylvania, he was Vlad the Impaler, yaddy yaddy. But how did he become the dark vampire lord of mythology? Why? What sort of hair product does he use? All these questions you’ve never asked, and more, will be answered, if you can pay attention long enough see them through. Instantly noticeable is the unrealistic veneer of manufactured modern fantasy films. The characters, their clothing, their locals were too neat and clean. The downtrodden inhabitants barely had a speck of dirt on their pristine, though plain clothes. The hair obviously styled. The beards, of which there were many, had nary a hair out of place.
Aesthetics aside, the story was lackluster as well. The first act, leading up to his murder of the Turkish garrison (a scene shown in the trailers), moved by in quick clips, everything occurring as the script demanded, rather than organically. The partially omniscient monk Vlad (Luke Evans) visited after his encounter with the cave monster (Charles Dance), set the tone for exactly what sort of movie this was. The monk knew nearly everything about the monster, though he was the first of his kind, and never left his confines. Exposition heavy narrative. Sigh.
Random thoughts: Why does everyone in Romania have vaguely English accents? The slightly more distinct Turkish accents were nice. Why was the army blindfolded? They gave a ‘reason’, but it was dumb and didn’t amount to much. Is it a requirement for Vlad’s right hand man to have a beard? When whoever he trusted died, a nearly identical nameless bearded man would take his place. How would the Turks take 1000 boys when there wasn’t that many people? Who were the subjects at the end, didn’t they all die? How did the rogue know what Dracula was when he was the first of his kind? Why did he want to serve him? How did everyone know the vampire’s weaknesses even though he was the first of his kind? How did Mirena (Sarah Gadon) not explode when she hit the ground?
None of these logical issues broke the movie necessarily. The summation of these few bits, along with the general mediocrity of the film ultimately did it in. Whatever potential this had was instantly squandered. This isn’t a bad movie, nor does it have anything redeemable either. Every bit is ho-hum. This isn’t either worth a rental, or a Netflix viewing.
Did you do something better with your time than watch this? Was it fun? I bet it was. Comment below.
In addition to THN’s Saturday Morning Cartoons and Nerd at the Movies, Tony writes for his own site, thecredhulk.com, about comics, video games, movies, TV and more, six days a week. You can follow his updates on Facebook or Twitter. Drop by and tell ‘em hi.
Considered walking out.