Crash Analysis: VAN HELSING (2004 USA/Czech Republic)

Van Horrible

The doctor takes on Dracula – and every classic monstosity known to horror.

Yikes! What a bombastic, over-the-top, third rate CGI fantasy ride.

I’m not sure what Jackman and Beckinsale thought they had signed up for, but when they sat back and watched the film, after all the “special defects” had been worked out in during post-production, I’m sure they whimpered and felt as cheated as future audiences did.

Besides a ho-hum storyline, the tale was plagued by clichés (including a cookie cutter sidekick that was intelligent, yet meek as well as goofy), and extraordinarily weak matte paintings and CGI. Hell, some of the CGI almost mirrored the Claymation of old in its unrealistic stiffness (hadn’t anyone on staff learned from visionary special effects master Jon Dykstra’s dragon in DRAGONSLAYER?).

Most scenes, however, were drawn out to the point where they lost any hold on the viewer. Even worse, many of the human characters, no matter how much pain and suffering they endured at the hands of vampires, werewolves and such, brushed themselves off with barely a scratch and moved on. Please. Vampires and such are supernatural. We’re natural and break easily.

Weak, trite, boring and not worth watching except for maybe a laugh if you like throwing your money away.

1/2 out of 5 stars

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