Thursday, May 28, 2015

This Story Should Have Remained Untold

I love movies. Really. Scary movies. Funny movies. Serious movies. Low budget movies. MOVIES!

Whenever I watch a movie, I want to be entertained. I never go in, hoping to be disappointed. I'm not looking for problems. But, sometimes, as much as I want to just relax and get sucked in, problems jump out and smack me in the face.

Before I get too far, I should probably mention that I am not a big fan of Vampires. I don't HATE them. One of my favorite horror novels, The Light At The End by John Skipp and Craig Spector, is about a vampire. I like the movies Near Dark and 30 Days of Night. I love Marvel's version of Dracula.

All of that being said, watching Dracula Untold was excruciating. My overall impression is that someone came up with a bunch of scenes that they thought would look cool, and found a way to shoehorn them into a movie. The story wasn't horrible, but so many things stood out as either bad or lazy storytelling. Some things WERE pretty cool, but there weren't nearly enough good things to outweigh the bad.

You may think I'm nitpicking, and that's okay, but these are just some of the things that bothered me.

Ahead be SPOILERS!

I'm not a huge fan of the film makers trying to make Vlad a hero, who becomes a monster to save his people, but that's not a deal breaker.

At the beginning of the movie, Vlad, and a couple of his dudes, travel to Broke Tooth Mountain, in less than one day. I thought this was a bit of a stretch, but, when Vlad leaves, he is on a horse, so I figured maybe they could have made it, if that's how they were travelling. BUT, later, when Vlad returns, looking for the ancient vampire, we see him scaling the cliffs. Now, first of all, if that's how he and his dudes did it the first time, I no longer believe that they could have made it in a day. Secondly, the entrance in the second scene looks nothing like the entrance in the first scene. Are there two entrances? If so, Why does Vlad assume that the second would lead to the same place as the first? (Okay. This one does seem really nitpicky.)

Vlad is selfish. He keeps saying that he is doing these things to save his people, but it's actually only about his wife and son. SO many of his people die, while he's focused on his family. Yes, family is important, but don't tell me it's about more than that, when it obviously isn't.

When the Turks attack Castle Dracula, they have hundreds (thousands?) of soldiers. To keep things simple, lets say they have 20 ranks of 20 men. That's 400 soldiers. Vlad flays through the middle of, let's say, 15 ranks, taking out three or four men in each of those ranks. That leaves at least 240 men, that Vlad has already passed by, who, instead of continuing on to the castle, turn around to fight Vlad. All 400 (again, it could be many more) soldiers focus on one man. Not a single one thinks "I should keep going, and do the job I was sent here to do."

Watching the scenes in which Vlad and his people are camped out, on their way to the monastery, there is NO WAY that much sunlight could reach Vlad's tent.

When the citizens of Castle Dracula are schlepping to the monastery, and are attacked by the Turks, Vlad turns into a bunch of bats, and quickly takes out some bad guys. BUT, when his wife and son are in danger, he DICKS AROUND with the guy who is threatening them. Of course, this means that that guy lives, so that he can come back to kill Vlad's wife.

Speaking of a dead Mirena, she falls from an incredible height, and there is no indication that Vlad caught her before she hit the ground. (I watched it over and over, looking for some sign that he did.) She would be nothing but a huge red stain on the ground. BUT, not only is she still alive, she TALKS to Vlad! No. Just no.

Oh, yeah. Right before that, Vlad is talking to his wife, and says something like "It's almost dawn. If we don't defeat the Turks before the sun rises, I will be helpless." Uhm...ALMOST DAWN?! What the fuck have you been doing all night?

The timing of many events is this movie seems to be pretty wonky.

An army marching blindfolded? I call bullshit.

How freaking long did Mehmed have to set up the silver trap, in his tent? And, again, why does Vlad dick around with Mehmed? Just swoop in, as bats, and kill him!

Why does the sun burn Vlad more slowly than it does the other vampires? Maybe it's because Vlad fed from the ancient vamp, and the others fed from Vlad, but it's never made clear.

Dracula can control the weather?

You know what would have been a great ending? If Vlad had listened to his buddy, and killed his own son, completing his transformation into a monster.

In the very last scene, the ancient vampire is following Vlad and Mina, in 2015, and he says "Let the games begin." waited over 500 years to begin your vampire games? Sure, this is a set up for a sequel, but I can't see myself watching it, so I guess I will never know why he waited so long.

That's less than half of the things that popped out at me. I really wanted to enjoy this movie, but when things like this are so obvious, I can't let it slide. (Don't get me started on The Dark Knight Rises.) I wasn't looking for problems; problems found me.

There. I've vented. Do you agree? Disagree? Am I being a douchebag? Let me know.