FX, Evans and Dance's performances are the only things to save in this movie.
If you think Dracula becoming a hero and a martyr is a good idea, you will like it. Otherwise, like in my case, you will think that it was the worst idea in quite some time.
So, Dracula is not the most evil creature in the world any more ... :(
That the so called “critics” at Rotten Tomatoes screws this movie over is not really a surprise. Said “critics” are usually out of sync with both my opinions and the opinions of most of the viewers which can be seen again from the fact that these people give this movie a 23% rating whereas the actual viewers give it a 60% rating. At lot of “purists” also seem to take a disliking to this movie. Well, the movie is named Dracula Untold so it should be no surprise that the story would be a new one.
Personally I found this movie quite enjoyable. Yes it is not the original Dracula story but it is not straying too far from the basic origins and it is really a quite decent story unlike some of the disastrous Hollywood rewrites. The original story claims that Dracula became a vampire during his battles with the Turks and this movie picks up on that and tells the story of how that happened. Unlike most (all?) Dracula movies, Dracula is not really the bad guy but rather the inverse and the movie tells a story about sacrifices and Dracula’s quest to keep some of his humanity, moral and sanity.
It would not be a Dracula movie without some blood flowing and this movie delivers without overdoing it. Actually the actual bloodsucking stuff is quite played down until the end of the movie. There are a fair amount of fights against the Turks (who are the real bad guys in this movie) though and blood as well as various body parts no longer attached to their proper places does float around quite a bit. The special effects are not forgotten and I quite liked the bat swarms that Dracula commanded during the final fights against the Turks.
I found Luke Evans performance as the prince and unwilling Dracula to be quite good. The rest of the characters were also well played. I am sure that none of them will be nominated for Oscars due to their part in this movie but I have nothing negative to say about their performance.
On the whole I found this movie quite enjoyable and I definitely disagree with all the people blasting it. I did also quite like the last couple of scenes in modern time at the end which teased of a follow up movie. I would definitely like to see that happen.
Dracula: The dark Superman
RELEASED IN 2014 and directed by Gary Shore, "Dracula Untold” tells the origin of Dracula: In the 15th century Prince Vlad the Impaler (Luke Evans) must protect his small kingdom of Wallachia (in modern-day Romania) from a Turk warlord (Dominic Cooper) who demands a thousand boys from Wallachia & Transylvania, including Vlad’s son. Threatened by the unsurmountable Turk army, Vlad desperately makes a dubious pact with a formidable caged vampire in order to acquire its dark powers and save his family & kingdom. Sarah Gadon plays Vlad’s winsome wife.
The producers flirted with the idea of “Dracula Untold” being part of Universal’s Dark Universe; and the epilogue of the movie, set in the modern world, suggests this, insinuating a franchise. This idea was dropped, however, and “The Mummy” (2017) became the first official film in the Dark Universe. In any case, “Dracula Untold” was fairly successful at the Box Office, making $56.3 million in North America and $217.1 million worldwide against a cost of $70 million.
My title blurb pretty much tells you all you need to know: “Dracula Untold” is basically the dark Superman of 15th century Eastern Europe where Dracula wields the power to defeat a thousand-man army. If you like the great prologue to Coppola’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992), you’ll probably like this movie, which gives several nods to that forerunner.
The film LOOKS awesome and has a fine cast. But unlike “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” it’s rapidly paced and doesn’t leave much room to breathe; so the characterizations aren’t quite deep enough. It’s good, but somehow hollow and forgettable. “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” was perhaps a little too slow while “Dracula Untold” is too hurried. I wish the creators found the happy medium between the two because, with just a little bit more time and attention to detail, it could’ve been great.
THE MOVIE RUNS 1 hour, 32 minutes and was shot entirely in Northern Ireland. WRITERS: Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless.