Dracula Untold (2014)

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It is no secret that I will watch a movie just for the actor starring in it. (In the case of Sam Worthington, I avoid that movie like a plague.)  Yes, even if it gets lackluster to bad reviews from old men critics. They might see themselves as "authority" but we don't have the same tastes and/or reasons to watch and appreciate a film. They certainly do not watch a movie just because there's a hot guy in it. XD

Well, I'm not above that and have done it before and do it again. This time, it's for Luke Evans. He's the Will Turner doppelganger also seen in The Hobbit movies and Fast & Furious 6. He's also a musical theatre guy. There's something about him that I like so much. I met him in person in the red carpet premiere of Desolation of Smaug and boy, hopefully I can meet him again, and probably ask for a photo. He seems so nice!

I also like the whole vampire topic. Not just the blood-sucking lore but also the factual part about Vlad The Impaler. And yeah, all the other "vampiric" serial killer types like Elizabeth Bathory. That's why I am drawn into historical fiction novels and movies. I'm interested in seeing how they mix historical facts with the creative liberties they take. I'm not always sold but there are times when I enjoy myself so much that I don't even nitpick... much. ;-)



Suffice to say, I was so excited for this movie. Luke Evans plays Vlad the Impaler but he is not portrayed as the worst man ever here. He's a gentle king, even though he impaled his enemies on sticks and let them bleed out on the fields. Apparently, he did that for revenge and to protect his people. He then establishes his family and kingdom until one day, his sort of childhood friend, Sultan Mehmed II (played by Dominic Cooper) decides to change the rules of the agreement. As in the old times, he required 1000 boys for his army, including Vlad's own 10-year-old son as royal hostage. Betrayed, Vlad offers his own self as hostage but was denied. He then seeks the help of an ancient power, a legend in the mountain of something unspeakable and evil.

A Master Vampire (Game of Thrones' Charles Dance) gives Vlad a taste of that power. For three days, he'll be one of the undead and if by that three days he does not consume human blood, he will go back to the land of the living. Here lies the biggest change from popular lore... Vlad does want to go back. He just needed that three days to defend his kingdom. No matter what happened, he never used that power more than he intended. I loved Luke Evans' portrayal of that confused, hesitant, but determined king who only wants the best for his people. Yes, there is implied violence and bloodshed but it falls within the PG-13 rating of the film. So yeah, for a vampire movie, it doesn't have a lot of blood on screen.

For some, it's hard to view a vampire as a good guy; that all the bloodshed is for a greater good. I can see that point. On another day, I might agree with it. But I didn't mind it that much in this movie. I genuinely enjoyed the graphics, the acting, the flow of the story, and music. I admit, I want more blood and gore but as it is, it's not a bad contribution to the vampire genre.