7/10
Good Enough As Long As You Don't Think Of It As A Horror Film
10 December 2014
I remember the 1992 version of Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola and thinking that the best part of that version was the anti-heroic Prince Vlad defending Europe against the Ottoman invasion . I do believe there is a market for a historical epic featuring the true life story of Vlad the impaler . This version from 2014 does come close to it in some ways but let's be honest and say no one is going to watch any movie with Dracula in the title unless it features a vampire in the title role and one wonders how many people might have been disappointed by the marketing if not the title alone ?

One group of people who will be bitterly disappointed will be Turks . While the Persians are still recovering from their portrayal in 300 and its sequel the Muslim Turks might have just been lured in to a sense of false security after MIDNIGHT EXPRESS but low and behold along comes DU . The Turks aren't painted in a good light and one wonders if there might be a rather dubious subtext when the Sultan demands a thousand boys for his army ? That said at least Vlad himself isn't a noble traditional type of nationalist hero and the film does show him struggling against internal dilemmas . It's not really an actors type of character driven cinema but Luke Evans is suitably brooding while best performance is Dominic Cooper as Mehmed who doesn't appear on screen often enough here and is probably the film's trump card

DU isn't a masterpiece and again it's very important that you go in to this film with the knowledge it's more of a dark sword and sorcery type tale rather than a horror movie . It wasn't until after I saw it that I found out Universal Pictures might be using it to do a reboot of their monster franchise from the 1930s and 40s which explains the ending that jars with the rest of the movie . Do we genuinely want another reboot series ? As it stands this version of Dracula is more than adequate and maybe we should let Eastern European vampires stay dead
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