Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg, Richard S.Wright, Robert Bernacchi (executive), Terry McKay (executive), James McQuaide (executive), Skip Williamson (executive), Henry Winterstern (executive) for Lakeshore Entertainment, Laurinfilm, Subterranean Productions
directed by Len Wiseman
starring Kate Beckinsale, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, Bill Nighy, Scott Speedman, Erwin Leder, Sophia Myles, Robbie Gee, Wentworth Miller, Kevin Grevioux, Zita Görög, Dennis J.Kozeluh, Scott McElroy, Todd Schneider, Sándor Bolla, Hank Amos, Zsuzsa Barsi, Richard Cetrone, Mike Mukatis, Sándor Boros, János Oláh, Andreas Patton, Danny McBride, Jazmín Damak, Atilla Pinke, Judit Kuchta, Vanessa Nagy, Ildikó Kovács
screenplay by Danny McBride, based on a story by Kevin Grevioux, Len Wiseman, Danny McBride, music by Paul Haslinger, Billy Howerdel, special effects by Gentle Giant Studios, creature and animatronic effects by Patrick Tatopoulos Design, miniature effects by Fantasy II Film Effects, visual effects by Framestore CFC
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A secret war wages between werewolves & vampires in modern day
Budapest, with modern weapons like semi automatic guns & a bit of
martial arts, & with the vampires being the good guys. One of their
supreme fighters is Selene (Kate Beckinsale), who, after her whole
family was slaughtered by evil werewolf leader Lucian, was taken up by
vampire leader Viktor (Bill Nighy) - & one day she finds out that
the werewolves are at present actually hunting down a human being, but
when she tells interim vampire leader Kraven (Shane Brolly) about this,
he shows only little interest, making her undertake some investigations
of her own & even hunt down the human in question, a certain Corwin
(Scott Speedman). The werewolves though, are also on Corwin's tail &
in the ensuing fight about him & Selene's rescue he gets bitten by a
werewolf. Back at the vampire's mansion, Kraven is less than pleased
that a human is inside the building - but Corwin soon escapes anyway -,
while Selene does some research finding out that - contrary to legend -
Kraven has never killed evil Lucian (Michael Sheen) but is in cahhots
with him to gain control over all vampires, & in her desperation she
prematurely awakes Viktor from his hibernation. He seems interested in
what she has to say but has her incarcerated nevertheless. Of course she
manages to escape & soon comes back with proof for both Kraven's
treachery and the role of Corwin in all this - unbeknowest to him his
genetic code holds the key to the cross-breeding of vampires &
werewolves, an idea Viktor, a vampire of old beliefs, strongly rejects.
He now sends Selene out to save the vampire race - by killing Corwin,
who she has since fallen in love with. But Corwin has since become a
prisoner of Lucian & Kraven is also mighty interested in him ...
the final shoot-out everything is turned upside down: Lucian is not the
villain everyone thought him to be, but was once madly in love with
Viktor's daughter - but Viktor detested cross-species breeding, thus
killed his daughter, & he himself started the Werewolf-Vampire war,
blaming it on Viktor. Kraven kept Lucian alive to serve his own ends,
but now shoots him in cold blood as his plans didn't work out the way he
wanted. And Selene's parents were not killed by Lucian after all but by
Viktor himself, who only let Selene live because she reminded him of his
daughter. In the end, Corwin in werewolf form is killed by Kraven, but
gets a new lease of life when bitten to a vampire by Selene, thus
beconming the first of a new werewolf-vampire-breed, & together they
finish off both Kraven & Viktor.
Very stylishly made Neo
Gothic vampire action movie, but this quality does turn out to be the
movie's major flaw, as the director did put way more attention into the
fall of the folds of his actors' coats & the right reflection of the
light on Kate Beckinsale's spandex costume than he did in infusing the
plot with much needed blood - in both the metaphorical & the literal
sense -, thus making this a bit of a stale actioner. Can anyone by the
way remember when vampire-movies used to be horror-movies ?
However, I have seen way worse, at least Budapest works pretty nicely as
the film's backdrop & Beckinsale looks incredibly cute throughout
the movie - even though her role is anything but cute & her
performance does work. But compared to somewhat similar urban Gothic
vampire fare like Razor Blade Smile this movie definitely falls
flat on its nose.
review © by Mike Haberfelner
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