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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 

You think it's a joke, but it's not.

click to enlarge A completely serious scene in this very real movie.
  • A completely serious scene in this very real movie.

With a title like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, one might expect a tongue-in-cheek movie, obsessed with its own one-joke irony. Refreshingly, and confusingly, director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) treats the absurd premise with intense seriousness. Not that that makes it a good movie or anything. Based on the same-titled novel by screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith, AL:VK follows the life of Honest Abe as he takes personal time from his political ascension in order to fight the nefarious plans of undead, anti-abolitionist monsters. Historians may balk at the Civil War, slavery and even the death of Lincoln's son to be the direct result of an eternal war with vampires. Film fans should likewise contend with sentences like those being a lot more exciting on paper than stretched to feature-length. Some brutal action scenes brighten a few spots up, but overall the screen remains drenched in unnecessary gravitas.

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