Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA/Australia, 2002. Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, NPV Entertainment, Material, WV Films LLC. Screenplay by Scott Abbott, Michael Petroni, based on the novels The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. Cinematography by Ian Baker. Produced by Jorge Saralegui. Music by Jonathan Davis, Richard Gibbs. Production Design by Graham ‘Grace’ Walker. Costume Design by Angus Strathie. Film Editing by Dany Cooper.
Enjoyable adaptation of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles (specifically the second and third books, The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned) is beset by a tedious middle section and an extremely lame ending that tries to cram too much plot in before finally ending. Book-ending the events that took place in Neil Jordan’s Interview With The Vampire, the film gives a small glimpse of Lestat’s past before meeting Interview’s Louis, than jumps ahead to present day where his candour towards modern-day citizens about his true nature awakens the ire of fellow vampires who choose to remain anonymous. What’s worse, he awakens the wrath of Akasha (late pop singer Aaliyah), the one and only original Vampire who now wants to get a closer look at this annoying simp who presumes to take on all of bloodsuckerdom for the sheer fun of it. Stuart Townsend is marvelous as Lestat, his youthful preening and androgynous sexiness a complete opposite view of the character from Tom Cruise (and more suited to this film’s post-apocalyptic, heavy metal look). Aaliyah was a gifted and beautiful young woman who was sadly taken away from us too soon, but she is miscast and comes off more silly than scary. Lena Olin is much more effective as a mysterious vampire with a family story that is skimmed over too quickly and never properly explained.