Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5. USA/Czech Republic, 2004. Universal Pictures, The Sommers Company, Stillking Films. Screenplay by Stephen Sommers. Cinematography by Allen Daviau. Produced by Bob Ducsay, Stephen Sommers. Music by Alan Silvestri. Production Design by Allan Cameron. Costume Design by Gabriella Pescucci. Film Editing by Bob Ducsay, Kelly Matsumoto, Jim May.
Combining all the classic horror stories and coming up with something so boring isn’t what you’d expect could happen, but this movie proves that any manner of bad filmmaking is possible no matter what the source material. Hugh Jackman is perfectly bland as a newly revamped, pumped up version of Bram Stoker’s famed vampire hunter, a young Indiana Jones-like adventurer who travels the world helping slay otherworldly villains. After ridding London of the evil Mr. Hyde (formerly Dr. Jekyll), he is sent to a village in Transylvania to help save its citizens from an evil count named Dracula who preys on the villagers year in and year out. When Jackman gets there he meets a Romanian action babe (Kate Beckinsale sporting a stupid Eastern European accent) who has vowed to kill Dracula in order to avenge her family. They go on wild, computer generated excursions into the realms of evil, but they never manage to accomplish anything interesting. Most of this film is just a dull retread on the kind of action that you always see in Hollywood films these days, and it doesn’t help that Richard Roxburgh as Count Dracula would be more appropriate on a cereal box than in a horror movie. The effects are well achieved, but they have no spirit of fun behind them and so the film is a dreadfully tiresome affair.