Film: Dracula Untold
Director: Gary Shore
Writer: Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless
Starring: Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper and Sarah Gadon
This film begins with a voice-over narration giving us background of the time period and what is going on. We learn that the Turks rule over Transylvania. They required 1000 boys that would be trained into warriors that would never give up and fight to the death. One of these was a prince that after he served, has returned to his native land to rule. He was a fierce warrior and known for impaling his enemies. There has been peace for some time.
The prince is played by Luke Evans. He is married to Sarah Gadon and they have a son, played by Art Parkinson. Evans is out with Diarmaid Murtagh and some of his other men. They find a Turk scout’s helmet that has deep gouges in it. Evans shows his knowledge of the land as well as in combat. He knows that the helmet came downstream so they go up into the mountain to see where his body is or the rest of his unit.
They end up finding a cave where a bunch of bats flee from. These soldiers go inside and are attacked by a creature. The only who makes it out is Evans.
He goes to a monastery where he meets with Paul Kaye, who tells him the creature he saw was a vampire. Evans decided to keep this quiet to avoid panic and he returns to his castle.
During a feast, the emissary from the Turks shows up. He accuses Evans of killing the Turk patrol and tells him that the tribute is not good enough. They also require 1000 boys like they did in the past. Evans doesn’t want to do it and his people do not either. He decides to meet with their leader.
Their leader is played by Dominic Cooper, who turns out grew up with Evans and they feel like they are brothers. This doesn’t change what Cooper wants and he ups the ante when he also wants Cooper’s son, much like Evans did when he was a boy.
It looks like he is going to give his son over, much to the dismay of Gadon. He changes his mind though and kills the unit. His advisers think he is crazy, stating that Cooper is going to destroy them now. Evans has other plans.
Evans seeks out the cave and the vampire living inside of it. We see that this creature is played by Charles Dance. Dance is interested in Evans, since he came back and no one has ever gotten out alive, let alone returns. Evans tells him that he wants his power and that he will release him from his curse. Dance lets him drink of his blood and tells him that he has three days to feed on blood or he will return to human.
Evans wakes up in the river to find that he has new powers. He tries them out and then realizes that his castle is under siege. He speeds toward the battle. One of his new skills is that he can become a bunch of bats. He uses this to get into the castle and see his family. He then goes out to face the army, alone.
He doesn’t take him long to decimate their numbers. Everyone is awe and he tells them not to ask. He decides that he needs to move his people to the monastery. Cooper is shocked to find out what has happened. He sends his army to finish off Evans and his people.
Evans’ people begin to notice that something is going on, but how will they respond? Will Evans be enough to hold off this army or will they fall to the superior numbers? What sacrifices will Evans have to make? Will he drink blood or give up his power? Can he protect those he loves?
I have to say that this film was quite interesting. I’m a big story guy and I found this film to have an interesting one. I like the idea that the Turks were a formidable opponent and that Evans would go to whatever lengths he needed to protect his people. I thought the acting was good as well as the battle scenes. I will say that the realism goes out the window a bit with this film, but what would you expect from a vampire movie.
I did have some issues though. I am not going to put this one down for not be historically accurate, because the film did take some liberties to make things work. Now I did have some issues with the powers that Evans had at one point and then seemed to lose. The final fight scene should not have been as in doubt as it was. Even while fighting on the silver coins, he still should have his powers since they technically were not touching him. I get they had the fight closer to build suspense, but it shouldn’t have been. There is also a question of how Cooper knew Evans weakness to silver, as it was never stated to him. It could be that Cooper knew vampire lore though. I also am shocked as to how everyone in this film is pretty calm about there being vampires. I will say that during the time period this takes place it, which could be possible and even logical to them.
With that said, I would recommend giving this one a viewing. This one has good acting, a solid story and some nice fight scenes. I will say that you need to come in with some what of an open mind with the subject matter, as it is a vampire film. Don’t come in expecting this one to be historically accurate either, because in truth it is not. This is still a fun film to watch. Not the best Dracula film, but definitely worth a viewing.
My Rating: 6 out of 10