Drac­ula Un­told

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Cinema -

Bat- man be­gins

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

15 | 92 min­utes Di­rec­tor: Gary Shore Cast: Luke Evans, Do­minic Cooper, Charles Dance, Sarah Gadon, Art Parkin­son

In most Drac­ula sto­ries, the Count is the bad­die. He sleeps in a cof­fin, can’t look in mir­rors, and oh yeah, he mur­ders peo­ple by drink­ing their blood. So this story – which paints Drac­ula as a ro­man­tic hero – may not have been told be­fore, but there’s a good rea­son for that: it doesn’t re­ally make any sense.

Us­ing the first ten min­utes of Cop­pola’s Drac­ula and the life of the real Vlad Tepes as the ba­sis for its ac­tion, Drac­ula Un­told starts in the 1460s, when Prince Vlad has man­aged to put his im­pal­ing days be­hind him to set­tle down in a nice cas­tle with his wife and kids. But the Ot­toman Em­pire is call­ing for war, and with­out an army to de­fend his king­dom, Vlad’s only hope is a creepy cave- dwelling blood­sucker.

Un­for­tu­nately, the idea of turn­ing to a vam­pire to solve your diplo­macy prob­lems is one of the least im­plau­si­ble plot el­e­ments in this film. March­ing to war blind­folded? Sure. A three- day re­turns pol­icy on damna­tion? Well, if a flock of bats can take out an army, any­thing ’s pos­si­ble. By the time Drac­ula’s fight­ing the vil­lain­ous Sul­tan Mehmed II ( Do­minic Cooper) in a booby- trapped tent, you’ll have stopped try­ing to make sense of it all. It’s just a shame it doesn’t have enough hu­mour to be fun.

Maybe Drac­ula will never again be as ef­fec­tive a vil­lain as he was in Bram Stoker’s day, but this al­ter­nate ver­sion is just a rub­bish su­per­hero – one who’s go­ing to be re­ally an­noyed when he finds out some­one else has al­ready claimed the “Bat­man” name. Sarah Dobbs

“Tepes” means “the im­paler”; “Drac­ula” means “son of the dragon” or “son of the devil”. Af­fec­tion­ate nick­names, then.

At least he doesn’t sparkle.

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