13 June 2011

Movies: Dracula 2000

Dracula 2000 (2000) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0219653/

Horror/Action film. As implied by the title, it's Dracula. In the year 2000.
Thieves break in to a vault at an upscale antiques store expecting riches. Instead they find a collection of seemingly worthless antiques and another vault inside, a vault that contains a silver coffin. They steal the coffin, only to find a surprise they weren't expecting. Guess who's coming for dinner?
By the way, the store is owned by Van Helsing's grandson Abraham.  Dracula escapes to New Orleans, where he seeks out Abraham's daughter Mary. So of course Van Helsing goes after him  (he is a Van Helsing) as does one of his trusted antique-store employees, newly introduced into the reality of the situation. Van Helsing's daughter Mary just happens to have a roommate named Lucy. If you recall the film "Bram Stoker's Dracula" you can't miss the Mina-Mary parallel and the Lucy-Lucy parallel at this point.

Stars an almost unrecognizable (pre-300) Gerard Butler as Dracula, Christopher Plummer as Van Helsing, plus a couple others you might recognize like Jennifer Esposito, Jeri Ryan, Omar Epps and Danny Masterson. For the most part the cast did well, although Masterson seemed almost out of his depth.

Sort of a continuation of the traditional Dracula story. At times one can also spot parallels to the original Dracula story, but they are superficial. It seems to start with the traditional vampire rules (decapitation, wooden stakes, sunlight destroys), incorporates the more modern lore addition of silver having a negative effect, then adds a new twist that the very things that kill normal vampires doesn't work on Dracula. Thus the explanation why a Van Helsing is still sitting on an imprisoned Dracula in the year 2000.  And the film also presents a new version of Dracula's origin.

Over all it's pretty much an average quality production.  An odd thing about the film was that even though the bulk of the film takes place in New Orleans the film feels claustrophobic. Although not physically cramped, it takes place within a small space confined by the main and supporting cast. Even as Dracula is chased around town everyone ends up exactly where they need to be for whatever happens in the film. Which is a really odd thing to feel while watching a film that takes place in multiple locations and isn't at all like "Buried".

Watched it on a whim. I avoided it when it came out because my "Internal Movie Prejudgement Engine" indicated "don't bother with this". It wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be, but wasn't especially good either. Probably hits the level of about as good as "Fantastic Four", or just slightly under.  By the end of the film I was in full facepalm mode. I should've listened to the IMPE analysis. 

I won't discourage watching the film, but I certainly won't encourage watching it either. I suppose if you're a vampire film aficionado you probably have no choice. But chances are the aficionados have already watched this one.

If you've not seen 1992's "Bram Stoker's Dracula" by Francis Ford Coppola, I recommend you see that instead.  If you have seen it and are pressed to watch a vampire film tonight, just watch Dracula again.

No comments:

Post a Comment