It's very basic, really. Abraham Lincoln (played by Benjamin Walker) watched his mother die as the result of a vampire attack and immediately vowed revenge on the creature, powerful local businessman/vampire Jack Barts (Marton Csokas), who caused her death. However, years later a young adult Abe still isn't fully prepared to take down a bloodsucker, and his first attempt at murdering the vampire who killed his beloved mother nearly ends in his own death. Rescued by a mysterious stranger named Henry (Dominic Cooper), Lincoln now finally has a mentor who can school him in the fine art of vampire slaying. Henry teaches Abe how to best kill vampires after extracting a promise that he will follow Henry's orders and forget about revenge.
But revenge is never far from Abe's mind, and even after meeting the love of his life, studying law, and moving into politics - all while racking up an impressive dead vampire body count - Abe's lust for revenge is a fire constantly burning in his heart and soul that demands attention.
The Bottom Line:
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter should have provided a few hours of escapist fun. And there are a few genuinely funny moments as well as a couple of inventive fight sequences that seem to be there just to tease us into wondering how good ALVH could have been if Bekmambetov had been deprived of his 3D toys and told to focus instead on fight scenes the audience could follow without getting a headache. Bekmambetov obviously loved playing with the film's speed, but the results aren't what he was hoping to accomplish. Manic doesn't mix well with sluggish when fight scenes are forced to continuously rotate from one speed to the other. It's jarring and nearly nauseating, and isn't as clever as the director believes it to be. Honestly, even with a relatively short running time, Abraham Lincoln overstays its welcome.Visually, Abraham Lincoln looks sloppy. The digital effects aren't smoothly integrated into the film, and scenes still look rough around the edges. My eyes ached after catching this in 3D, and I'd suggest that if you have to see this one in theaters, do not pay extra for the 3D version unless A) you're into pain, B) you love to toss away your money, and/or C) you need to hide the fact you're sleeping through what was supposed to be one of the summer of 2012's best action films.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was directed by Timur Bekmambetov and is rated R for violence throughout and brief sexuality.
Theatrical Release: June 22, 2012