Okay, we went to a matinée showing of Van Helsing, scalding reviews notwithstanding. We didn’t expect brilliance, just shiny special effects and pretty people. Which is what we got.
Kate Beckinsale is drool-worthy. Or her outfit is. Or her boots. I don’t care. The whole package was stunning. I want that corset. And that bolero jacket. And those boots. Did I mention the boots? Ahem. She was an absolutely stunning Anna Valerious. Also worth noting was the actor who played her brother, especially as he was mostly shirtless through all of his scenes. Purr.
Then there was Hugh Jackman. More drool. Amazing the floor in front of my seat at the theater wasn’t all soppy wet. I would have liked more shirtless scenes with him in them, though. But that is a pretty, pretty man. Rowr.
And the brides of Dracula with their diaphanous gowns that metamorphosis into leathery wings. They too were lovely eye candy. And I liked how they morphed from winged bat furies to seductive vampesses.
Okay, those were the main highlights. There were other good bits. But then there were the shortcomings, the copious shortcomings.
Other positives were the James Bond homage opening. Although the opening music should have started after VH had dispatched Mr. Hyde. But I liked the weapons scene. Steam punk goodness there, though I had to knock unto unconsciousness my disbelief, not just suspend it, to swallow the machine-gun crossbow and the “sunlight grenade.” Plus some of the dialog was cute, especially from the goofy sidekick, Carl. Oh, and the ballroom scene was way cool. Very elegant and eerie. Nicely done with some excellent camera work.
But, predictably, the writing sucked. Sucked big. There was a ridiculous dependency upon coincidence and unbelievable happenstance (like the Frankenstein Monster swinging through the exact window into the exact room that Anna is desperately embattled with a bride of Dracula, just in time to knock the blood-lusty vampire off) that permeated the “storyline.” My clubbed, out cold disbelief whimpered and roused, the poor thing, with many complaints. It required a healthy kicking to subdue it again.
The “writers” left all of the possibly interesting questions unanswered, like who was Van Helsing? Yes, yes, he’s Gabriel. What exactly does that mean? What’s his history? Why’d he lose his memory? Dammit.
And the whole breeding of vampires thing. I’m having a hard time envisioning how so much egg sac goo could come out of one of those slender vampire-bride women. Do they turn into mountainously fat piles of blubber come breeding season, like some sort of vampiric ant queen? Ugh. And what’s all the big deal about breeding anyway? It’s not like Dracula can’t make more bloodsucking creatures of the night, as we see from the ballroom scene (although those got neutralized way too easily).
This movie was like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen mated with Underworld. It was great fun, pleasingly attractive eye candy, and totally vacuous and lacking in the writing department. But, I had fun as it was pretty much what I expected. And Kate Beckinsale is quite the hottie.