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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Review: Dracula Untold (2014)
Luke Evans ... Vlad
Sarah Gadon ... Mirena
Dominic Cooper ... Mehmed
Art Parkinson ... Ingeras
Charles Dance ... Master Vampire
Vlad, as the prince of his people must maintain peace with the feared Turks, but when the Sultan demands 1000 boys for his army and Vlad's son, he can no longer pay the tribute. Instead he goes to the monster living in the mountains and makes a bargain to give him the strength to defeat his enemy.
I really enjoyed this film. It could have done with some more female characters who actually had lines, but it was still entertaining and had a good story line.
There are no surprises as far as how the plot goes because we all know this is about Vlad becoming Dracula so he has to make certain choices and go a certain way, but I really liked how they did it. It was exciting even though we all knew where it was heading. This is not a film with grey areas and the good guys are good and the bad guys are bad, in this case good guys are Vlad's people and bad guys are the Turks are bad. Charles Dance might be the monster in the mountains, but he's more of chaotic neutral as far as the plot goes.
One of the things I really enjoyed was how Vlad is the hero all the way through. It doesn't matter that he's a monster, he is still the hero and it is awesome. Luke Evans does a great job in the part. He's sexy and tormented and wild around the edges; just what you want of Dracula.
Then you have the rest of the cast. Sarah Gadon is vital as Mirena, Vlad's wife. Her passion for Vlad and her need to protect her son come through so clearly. She is strong and a force to be reckoned with without ever picking up a weapon. Dominic Cooper is delightfully nasty as Mehmed, ruthless in his demand for Vlad's people and son. He is a character designed to be hated and Cooper makes you want to stab him between the eyes the moment you first meet him. Then we had Ingeras, Vlad's son played by Art Parkinson who is brilliant. He is a loyal son and brave, but still a child - a great balance.
And, of course, we have Charles Dance as the Master Vampire. He is delightfully evil and yet the lesser of two when it comes to the Turks. The scene where he and Vlad meet properly for the first time is so beautifully filmed. I do hope they make the sequel the whole film points to, because I would love to see more of him.
The rest of the cast is like spot the actor and then you have to work out if you saw them in Midsomer Murders or Game of Thrones :). I exaggerate, but this is a cast you will recognise from all over the place and they stand up well.
The film is only 92 mins long and I think this is perfect. It has action and enough character building that it's satisfying and any longer and parts would have dragged. There are plot points I have not seen used before in Dracula and it was a refreshing take on his legend. This is by no means a perfect movie, but it is good. I hope they make a sequel because I think that will be even more interesting and I will definitely be adding this to my collection as soon as it turns up on Blu-ray.