Dracula Untold English Movie

Feature Film | 2014 | Action, Drama, Fantasy
It is neither bad enough to give you a migraine, nor is it good enough to warrant a watch. Stay at home and watch one of the many better movies it tries to ape.
Oct 16, 2014 By Piyush Chopra

No good deed goes unpunished. When Christopher Nolan made Batman Begins in 2005 (and later, The Dark Knight in 2008), he didn't know that he was opening a can of worms that would have a far-reaching effect. He revolutionized the mega-blockbuster style of filmmaking, by making it dark, cool and edgy.

A few years later, any person who can barely call himself/herself a director is still aping that formula, to less and less success. This week's exercise in style is called Dracula Untold, which aims to tell the story of Dracula's origin (another trend started by Nolan that has been used an unsettling number of times recently).

Instead of focusing on the immortality of the character and subsequent incidents that have been covered in Bram Stoker's iconic novel, this film spins a yarn about how he came to be a vampire in the first place, by borrowing liberally from ancient ruler Vlad the Impaler and twisting it all around.

The film's opening montage impressively sets up the back story of The Turks and their rule, while dazzling you visually. It's all downhill from there. Soon enough you realize that despite fictionalizing almost the entire origins story, the film hardly has a story to tell. It's just an excuse to throw explosions in your face, of which there are many.

But the bigger problem with the film is that it doesn't have a lick of originality. Although the explosions are really cool, they have already been done coolly by other films. Every single action sequence has been "inspired" by (mostly) better films. The elaborate action sequence near the halfway point is a carbon copy from a film that defined suave action, The Matrix. The penultimate battle looks a whole lot like 300 (the whole film looks like 300). The drama in between is possibly borrowed from The Vampire Diaries.

To be fair, though, it is a partly decent amalgamation of (mostly) better films. Even though you can tell that the director and the writers didn't have a single original thought while making this movie, it keeps time ticking bye nonetheless. You're never looking at the exit doors, trying to get them open with the power of your prayers.

Intermittently, the direction seems more amateurish than of the No Smoking advertisements preceding the film. The writers probably paid the producers hefty money to get their names credited as writers (win for all). Ramin Djawadi excels with with the background music, though.

Luke Evans is the definition of mediocre in the role of Count Dracula. Dominic Cooper, who had impressed one and all with his mature performance in The Devil's Double, is in the movie only for the money. Even a mention of the rest of the actors would be a compliment bigger than what they deserve.

Ultimately, the film is neither bad enough to give you a migraine, nor is it good enough to warrant a watch. It ends with a setup for a sequel, basically saying "haha, we'll be back, suckers!". Production houses have a habit of dishing out sequels till they've sucked you dry (vampire pun). You can make your contribution towards stopping the evil (film) corporations by not going for this movie and staying home with a DVD of The Matrix instead.

Piyush Chopra