“Van Helsing” was enjoyable enough and the effects are mostly really neat-o. The story is…well…it’s hard to say. It’s not like the story sucked or anything, it was just kind of sort of there to show monsters. So, as far as showing monsters goes the story accomplished just what it was supposed to. Beyond that it was pretty snoozy.
Hugh Jackman was good. Kate Bekinsale was good. Everyone was good. Except the guy playing Dracula. He was a bit dissappointing. I guess when so many people have taken a stab at the character there’s just so much to hope for. Kind of like Henry VII, or Hamlet. The character is such an archetype. Dracula is such a familiar presence in the world that he seems to have substance beyond any time he’s been performed, and always seems lacking when an actor offers their interpretation. For my money, Gary Oldman is an exception (Brahm Stoker’s Dracula, 1992), and really did some cool shit in the part. Too bad the rest of the cast made the movie feel like the “Beverly Hills 90210 Senior Play.”
The DVD extras were pretty cool. Some mildly funny bloopers, behind the scenes looks at the creature creation, and an interesting experiment in something that they call “You’re in the Movie.” They strap little cam all over the set and on cameras and then show you different “behind the scenes” views of scenes as they unfold. It could have been better and seemed like someone had the great idea an nobody followed through in post-production.
Pet peeve #678: Referring to Frankenstein’s monster as “Frankenstein,” especially after acknowledging the difference earlier in the movie.