|Look at his awesome hat.|
Adventure DOES live forever, man that tagline has a really good point. Welcome back folks, as always I am your host on this breathtaking tour of the underworld of cinema, and today I'm going to be digging deep into the past to 2004, with the release of Van Helsing, a kind of Universal Studios monster orgy that happened somehow and was gifted with an absolutely insane 160 million dollar budget. Yeah that's right, watch that movie and try to guess where they dumped 160 million smackaroos, because I can't quite figure it out. Anyway Van Helsing is not about Abraham Van Helsing, the character from Bram Stoker's Dracula, but it does involve Dracula prominently. In this iteration Hugh Jackman is Gabriel Van Helsing, an agent of the Vatican who is dispatched to kill Dracula. That seems pretty reasonable, because I'm sure that no one in Rome is a big Dracula fan, on account of him being a vampire and all. So Van Helsing travels to Transylvania with his loyal ammo monk in tow (the guy who played Faramir in the Lord of the Rings no less!) to try and deep six Drac. The Holy Order also charges Van Helsing with helping ensure that the Valerious family doesn't end up ever getting stuck outside of heaven's gates, because I guess they don't get to go to heaven unless they kill Dracula or something who fucking even knows. Of course Dracula isn't the only thing that can kill you in Transylvania. There's also werewolves, and Dracula brides, and... gross baby vampires that explode because they need different kinds of batteries or something... stay with me here guys.
|Look how sexy Dracula is! Oooh vampires.|
So I don't know if... the pope... or whoever told Van Helsing, but the only Valerious left in T-vania is Anna, who is a smokin' hot Kate Beckinsale decked out as a corset-clad ass-kicker, whose brother has just been attacked and killed (?) by werewolves. Meanwhile Dracula's three awful brides come to fucking kill everyone, especially Anna, but thanks to Van Helsing and his arsenal of improbable, anachronistic weaponry, their attempt is unsuccessful. I mean, I guess you could have crossbow that was somehow drum-fed and loaded with like 100 bolts. Okay maybe just improbable, it's supposed to be 1887 so things like gatling guns DID exist. I don't know if they were blessed by higher powers, but you know anything's possible. Anna discovers her brother is still alive, but infected with lycanthropy, and has been kidnapped by DraCULA. Now I'm going to summarize some nutsy cuckoo shit in the plot that I don't want to outline all the way. So as mentioned, Dracula has spawned an army of horrible bat children with his nightmare vampire brides. They won't come to life though without a specific power source for Dracula's nightmare birthing machine. That power source evidently is Frankenstein's monster? Who is a gentle giant, naturally.
|That's... one hot bride huh.|
So like... Van Helsing is the left hand of God or something, and has amnesia... and Dracula is like, a super vampire who made a deal with the devil to come back after Van Helsing killed him for some reason, and Dracula is related to Anna which makes his sexy advances towards her super duper gross. It'd be like if your great grandpa was hitting on you, but also was Dracula. For an action horror movie about Universal Studios monster movie characters, this movie has a really bizarre and complex plot that spins yarns and sort of meanders in an indirect course that eventually reaches a somewhat coherent conclusion. I wouldn't call it a GOOD conclusion, but it at least makes sense...ish. The long and short is that this movie got ripped apart by critics, and not without good reason. It is a spectacle sure but the plot is somehow entirely banal and also needlessly convoluted, as if someone were having a competition to see how many cliches they can fit into a single movie. Congrats guys you've done it.
|Yeah no denying she's damn good lookin...and might kill you.|
That said, this movie grossed a miraculous 300 million, and all in all it isn't terrible to watch, it's just not good. I imagine if you're a teenage boy its probably pretty exciting to watch Kate Beckinsale with a sword and who wouldn't want to watch Hugh Jackman in a nifty hat with a crossbow. Also vampires and werewolves because who ever gets tired of THOSE two things fighting against each other. ME I AM THE ONE WHO IS TIRED OF IT EVERYONE IS. If you want to switch your brain off for a little while and watch a bunch of special effects, this is your ticket. That's all there is for that! Join me again next week for I really hope some kung fu!