You know, I’d really been looking forward to this film, mostly for the shlock factor. I walked out of the theatre completely neutral towards it. Story threads were clumsily handled; I never reached a point where I sympathised with any of the characters, heroic or villainous; and the pacing seemed off somehow. I didn’t care about anyone during the final fight scene, but then, CG beating the tar out of CG usually doesn’t grab me.
Two hours of Kate Beckinsale’s costumes, and Hugh Jackman in a long coat and hat with flowing hair did a lot to offset my lack of involvement, though. Mmm.
I’ve heard a friend described the film as everyone being in a campy B movie except for Hugh Jackman who was in an action flick, but I disagree. Van Helsing seemed bemused by pretty much everything, and relied on his skills as a mercenary for the Church to get him through every situation. He was as one-dimensional as Dracula was, sticking to what he knew without exploring any alternatives.
It wasn’t as good as Sommer’s The Mummy Returns, and that’s what I was really hoping for. The banter just wasn’t there, nor were the charming characters. The awkward set-up for further exploration of the story was just that – an awkward set-up, as opposed to a mystery. And where the heck do they go from here? They’re already eliminated Hyde, Dracula, Dr Frankenstein, and the Wolfman. Van Helsing versus Lestat, now there’s an interesting pairing. Especially Lestat after all his theological evolution. It will never happen, of course.
Overall, it was a diversion on a rainy Tuesday, but I’ve forgotten most of it already. With Van Helsing out of the way, though, I can focus on getting excited about Troy.