Dracula Untold is a 2014 American dark fantasy action-horror film directed by Gary Shore in his feature film debut and written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. A reboot of the Dracula film series, the plot creates an origin story for the titular character, rather than using the storyline of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel. In this adaptation, Dracula is the monster alter ego of historical figure Vlad III “the Impaler” Drăculea. Luke Evans portrays the title character, with Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, Art Parkinson, and Charles Dance cast in supporting roles. (Wikipedia)
There was a time Dracula was portrayed as a monster. Nothing suave or romantic about him, for sure. But of course, in these modern times, the vampire has become a sex symbol and Dracula is the King of Vampires! Eschewing any reliance on Bram Stoker’s classic storyline, the producers of Dracula Untold have opted instead to create an origin story for Dracula set in the 15th century. A good idea that has seldom been examined in the movies but sadly, the execution is an absolute letdown.
To sum it up, the story seldom makes any sense whatsoever. The characters are one-dimensional and the acting is passable. Luke Evans is getting a decent profile now and his range of emotions as Vlad is acceptable with Dominic Cooper gleefully hamming it as Sultan Mehmet and Charles Dance providing an excellent cameo as Vlad’s maker. But the trio deserved a better script than what they got. Main problem is that the producers tried too hard to present Vlad/Dracula as a sympathetic character who becomes a monster to save his loved ones and thus, the story had to bend and twist to fit this requirement.
Basically, Universal Studios is trying hard to reboot Dracula as a dark superhero and thus the angst is obligatory. As for powers, it did seem that Vlad/Dracula could do virtually anything he wanted – some of those fight scenes are hilarious as Vlad/Dracula constantly pulls one rabbit after another to win the battles – the scene where he orchestrates a impossibly large swarm of bats is just stupid. Expect more to come from this franchise as well as the other Universal monsters (Frankenstein, Werewolf, Mummy) will be grouped together as a horror-themed Avengers of sorts!
Watch Dracula Untold on Amazon.
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