My boyfriend was always into monsters much more than me. To be honest, the only vampire books I have ever read, is Twilight. I will admit, my boyfriend was a bit horrified to realize that I had not read Dracula. I just don’t like blood, you know? Twilight is kind of cute little vampires… Bram Stoker’s Dracula is mean. I know, I saw the movie with Gary Oldman… And I saw Van Helsing, and lots of other vampire/lycan movies. I do love fantasy and the idea of buying eternal life at a terrible prize…
Anyway, when my boyfriend told me about Dracula Untold, he was kind of snickering, saying “look, it’s Orlando Bloom, but it could be cool anyway…” Don’t get me wrong, but we have watched a lot of Disney Chanel and Orlando is kind of a standing joke in most of the series, always the object of any teenage girls, teenage dreams. That, and he played in Lord of the Rings, and the massacre that is now the Hobbit… No, my boyfriend, who is a true geek, is not too big a fan of Orlando. To be honest, I am a bit of a teenage girl when it comes to it. I always liked him somehow, with his awkward body language, the way he tends to over act when he delivers his lines, and the way he went through the entire LOTR trilogy with one single facial expression. So, monster movie, or not, blood or not, I had to go see this one, just because it was Orlando Bloom. Yeah, I am that girl. Both Twilight and Orlando Bloom… I should grow up already.
Refusing to do so, I saw Dracula Untold today. It is really great.
I don’t often leave the cinema being this positive. It is a really good movie, and mostly so, because of Orlando. Or, should I say, Luke Evans, who plays Dracula… It’s not Orlando. I could have sworn when I watched the trailer, and the movie, that it wasn’t, but my boyfriend was rather stubborn about it… He did have me fooled for a while. Thank you, Evil Icequeen, for setting me straight 🙂
So, how did Dracula become a vampire? I haven’t read the book, but I always thought that Dracula was the first, the original, the one… In this movie, he is not. In this movie, he is a boy who has been taken away from home at a young age, handed to the Turks, and raised in their army. Beaten and mistreated, he still carries the scars on his back as a grown man, but he did become a great warrior. A man others feared greatly. Or so we are told.
Except, no one really does seem to fear him. His own men keep dropping snide remarks around him, which seems a bit odd, unless they were really close friends, which doesn’t truly add up with the introduction, but it is forgivable somehow.
And once the Turks come to claim a thousand boys, including Vlad’s own son, they don’t fear him either, at all. So really, he is a bit of a hollow legend at the beginning of the movie, but it is forgivable, simply because it is entertaining and kind of evil, considering that it is a Hollywood production.
Refusing to surrender his son, and let him be raised the way he was himself, Vlad seeks out the monster who lives in a cave nearby. He knows that the Turks will attack his people, when they don’t deliver the children, and so he must gain power somehow to defend his people.
All in a noble cause. Like he says, in a pretty cool scene, sometimes this world doesn’t need a hero. Sometimes it needs a monster.
True. And if he had been a monster, that would have been awesome! He just… isn’t.
He is in many ways, a classic modern hero, despite his fangs. He is forced to become what he is, he doesn’t embrace it and accept it, he fights it all the way, and in the end, he even tries to kill himself. I mean, come on, be the monster the world needs, then.
He does kill a lot of people, no doubt about that. He does have a brilliant scene where he is using bats to kill the enemy army. That is really cool and really awesome acting. That is a monster, embracing his power for a moment.
I like the idea of the power struggle, of the darkness in ones soul, taking over, don’t get me wrong. It’s just… he is Dracula. He is an unstoppable force. The one. The original. A monster.
Not another Hollywood unwilling hero, please.
I did find the vampire curse itself a bit strange as well. I mean, the guy who turns him into a vampire is bound to live in a cave and cannot leave until someone takes his curse. Enter Vlad, who is in desperate need of strength. I was thinking, but wait a second, if that other guy can’t leave the cave, why can Vlad then? Why is he not bound by the same rules as the original curse?
And then there is the sensitiveness to silver. Somehow, silver seems to drain vampires of their powers and even burn their skin. That’s a little too Lycan for me, but what do I know…
The scene where Vlad faces his old army body, the leader of the Turk army, in a room full of silver, is kind of… Hollywood again. Vlad has to become weak, even as this unstoppable monster, and in the end, he has to overcome his weakness to defeat the bad guy. Come on… its Dracula… You have to be Van Helsing to present a problem to him.
I do love how this is real vampires who cannot go out into the sun light, without burning and who cannot face a crucifix. None of that Twilight sparkle stuff. (As a true My Little Pony fan, I must giggle now. Twilight Sparkle… it’s a good thing I can always amuse myself…)
The scene where his wife dies is pretty cool. The entire fall is awesome. How he reaches for her, how she is just out of reach. Really well done, except for one thing. The sun has risen on the third day.
He will die when he reaches the bottom? Won’t he?
That was the rules for the game, when the old vampire changed him. If he could resist the blood lust for three days, he would have a vampires power for those three days, but by sunrise on the third day, he would return to being human. That would give him time to defeat his enemies and walk away unchanged. Perfect. Unless your wife falls off a tower and you go hunting after her as the sun is rising…
That is one of the things I hate about Hollywood movies these days. Everything doesn’t happen in the nick of time anymore, it is always too late and it violates the rules of the universe. “By sunrise.” We have been told that quite a few times. Why is the spell not broken by sunrise then? Why must it be that it isn’t broken until Vlad has had a chance to chase his wife down the tower, say goodbye and bite her, thus becoming a vampire in the end anyway, long after he should have missed his opportunity to make the spell permanent?
I expected him to die, all the way down, and it ruined the beauty of the scene for me. As a writer, such violation of the “game,” is something I find hard to accept.
So, should you watch it?
Don’t mind me. It is awesome.
It is not a movie you should think about too much, but it is entertaining, it is beautifully shot, loads of great scenes, great animations, (it takes a lot for me to say that,) lots of details in every picture.
And Orlando Bloom is brilliant as Batman… I mean, Dracula. And Luke Evans… oh snap, never mind…
I for one, can’t wait for the sequel. Which by the way, will be set in modern times? That old vampire who turned Dracula into a vampire has been waiting for quite a few years for the “games to begin,” as his catch phrase is… But never mind. It works, in its own, cheesy kind of way.
So don’t miss out, really. Go watch it.