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Lincoln the ripper

Lincoln the ripper
Abraham Lincoln is probably turning in his grave. But the director, Timur Bekmambetov, without a care, has turned Lincoln into a serial killer — of vampires — for fun. And for a change, the vampires are not brooding and invincible heroes, saving damsels in distress. In this latest vampire tale, they are out there in America, playing plantation overlords down south, feeding on ‘Negroes’ mostly.

An old vampire myth is reinforced: have a piece of silver and you can pierce them to death. In Lincoln’s case, it’s an axe with a silver blade — that could turn into a rifle shooting silver bullets. A new myth is propagated: vampires can turn invisible at will. It seems, with every new film or book on vampires, another dimension is added to the already fattened vampire lore.

Benjamin Walker, who plays Lincoln, looks the part. No complaints there. But the premise that the so-called powerful immortals could so easily be chopped into pieces by a mere man, the president title notwithstanding, is ridiculous. Definitely requires you to suspend your logic and subscribe to the old-fashioned film grammar — where the ‘hero’ doesn’t have to wear a cape to be a superhero; he could bash up an army.

Gore and violence sneak their ugly heads in every now and then, but nothing compared to the violence being promoted in video games these days. Before you could blink — at the falling object or knife or axe or bullet aimed directly at you, enhanced three dimensionally — it’s over. It’s clear the director has aimed at stylish. Unfortunately, he’s no Quentin Tarantino.

Bits and pieces of history have obviously been manipulated — Americans are appalled apparently at this no-brainer that turned the life of their 16th president into a parody. But then the rest of us, who learned about Lincoln in brief — and the American Civil War even more briefly — could happily munch through popcorn, watching violence freeze-framed in three dimension. As vampire films go, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is neither bad, nor good.
Jemima Raman

Jemima Raman

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