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Van Helsing

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Netflix that I watched alone.  I kind of liked the previews to this.  I thought there was a chance it might be fun monster movie.  I enjoy those on occasion.

Right off the bat this movie was very similar in tone to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  They mixed and matched old monster stories.  This one starts off with a flashback to Dr. Frankenstein.  Then, in the opening battle where they introduce Van Helsing he's taking on Mr. Hyde.  And similarly to League, Hyde is monsterously oversized.  Only he's a bad guy here.  They battle it out and you get to see some Bond/Batman gadgets used by Van Helsing.  Like, little handheld spinning blades that somehow have enough torque to cut through inch-thick wood very easily.

After that first battle the movie gets very Bond-ish.  He meets up with a dweeb in a back room of the church "headquarters" who gives him various new gadgets to take with him.  Things like a fully-automatic crossbow.  And then the dweeb is dragged along for comic relief.  Another case of Hollyweird reusing characters even when it's fairly inappropriate.

Once they get to Transylvania, where they meet the hot love interest, the yummy Kate Beckinsale, they invoke another monster tale:  Werewolves.

Then they started throwing in odd variations and combinations.  For example, Dracula has an overly-elaborate faux-scientific setup reminiscent of a Bond bad guy.   Some babble-talk about using the information he gleaned from Frankenstein to make his "children" invincible.  The children he got from having sex with his subordinate female vampires.

Huh?  Where did that come from?

And then they take it further and it's similar to Aliens, with a bazillion pods holding the offspring.

Am I just old fashioned?  Mixing these stories and adding faux technology strikes me as horribly contrived and convoluted.  It dilutes the original themes to nothingness and turns the story into (surprise!) another vapid modern Bond movie, but in a slightly different setting.  Portions are mildly fun.  But mostly the impossible stunts and ridiculously lucky breaks just repeatedly grate on my nerves.

On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Pay Per View.  Vapid and overall disappointing.  It tried too hard to be fun and didn't pull it off.

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Last modified: October 19, 2005
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