Saturday, May 22, 2004

Movie Review(Van Helsing)...

Van Helsing

The year is 1887. Van Helsing is in Paris in pursuit of Mr. Hyde. Upon accomplishing his mission there, he returns to Rome, where he is assigned a new task from the Vatican; to help Anna Valerious and her brother Velkan, to finally destroy Count Dracula. They must visit Transylvania, where they fight alongside Frankenstein’s monster, against Dracula, his three brides and a werewolf.

The concept of teaming up three of Universal studios’ most famous monsters and pitting them against a legendary vampire slayer, is so great it makes one wonder why it hasn’t already been done. Director Stephen Sommers seems to have a sort of infatuation with the monster genre, his previous two films being ‘The Mummy’ and ‘The Mummy Returns’. The cost of Van Helsing has been rumoured to be in the region of $200 million, and it shows.

Portraying Gabriel Van Helsing (originally Abraham) is Australian actor Hugh Jackman. Jackman has starred as Wolverine in both ‘X-Men’ movies and as a computer hacker in ‘Swordfish’ alongside John Travolta. He brings a much needed mysterious quality to the role, even when charged with the task of spitting out some of the worst written dialogue ever put to paper. Kate Beckinsale (Pearl Harbor, Underworld) stars as Anna Valarious, Van Helsings’ trusty sidekick and eventual love interest. Her performance is utterly forgettable and pales in comparison to Jackman’s star turn.

Despite paper thin characterisation and a convoluted plotline, Van Helsing is the most fun to be had at a cinema in a long time. When you hear of a movie rated 12PG involving Vampires, Werewolves and Monsters, you don’t go in expecting a dramatic masterpiece. You want to be entertained, and in this respect Van Helsing delivers.

3.5 out of 5