View Full Version : Van Helsing- What a Dissapointment!!! [SPOILERS]

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May 7th, 2004, 09:19 PM
Okay, I've just returned from seeing Van Helsing at the theater, and I'm more pissed off than Flint Fireforge would be if he was surrounded by Gully Dwarfs, so brace yourself for a pure hellfire-and-brimstone rant! :mad: Before I start venting my spleen here, however, I'd just like to point out that this is just my opinion/viewpoint, and I mean absolutely offense to anyone who enjoyed this movie, nor am I trying to ruin it for you. And if you're offended, just take my comments/criticisms on this movie like a grain of salt, label me a quack, and just forget I ever said them. :D
I'd also like to point out that there are some serious spoilers in this post so, you've been warned.

Let's see, where do I begin? Well, for one thing, it's extremely obvious that whoever directed this movie never read Bram Stoker's Dracula or Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. They simply took what they saw from the old Universal films, which by the way I thought were truly horrible adaptations. (Some people here are probably ready to burn me at the stake for that remark, but hey, as I said, it's only my opinion :cool: )
Another beef I had with the movie is that Van Helsing kills Dracula at the end, which is completely innacurate, because in Bram Stoker's Dracula, from what I remember, allthough Van Helsing knew very well who Dracula was, he was near 60 when he journeyed with Harker & Co to confront the Lord of Darkness, and even then, he wasn't the one who killed Dracula, Jonathon Harker and that other dude killed him (I forget his name). In the movie he looks to be only 35.
Also in the movie, his first name was Gabriel, when in the book, his first name is Abraham. Now normally something like this wouldn't bother me that much, but with all the gosh-awful innacuracies in this movie, it just seems to magnify its error.
I also found the comic-book style plot of Dracula using Frankenstein's monster to create an superarmy of werebats absolutely appalling and ridiculous as a plot device. And why is it that nearly every movie adaptation of Frankenstein accepts the bolts-in-the-neck/electricity thing as gospel? Nowhere was that used in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. And Igor as Dracula's right hand man, puhleeease!! And what the heck were with those little henchmen of Dracula's?!! They reminded me of demon-posessed oompa-loompas wearing arctic gear! And where in the heck did they get the ice-fortress idea from?!!
And another thing, it was said in the movie that werewolves have served vampires for millenia , correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't vampires and werewolves supposed to be mortal enemies?
Why I wanted to see this movie so bad was because, in a synopsis I read in in a magazine while the movie was still in production, it stated that this was a movie based on the Van Helsing character in Bram Stoker's Dracula, and his adventures battling vampires, werewolves, demons, and other creatures of darkness BEFORE he confronted Dracula. Emphasis on BEFORE! So as you can see, I was horribly dissapointed! The synopsis was completely untrue!
I could go on and on about the horrible innacuracies in this movie, but there's just too many to count (no pun intended :D )
So, did anyone else here dislike this movie beside me? Did anyone actually like this movie either?

May 7th, 2004, 09:59 PM
I haven't seen this yet, and can't wait til I do, but it's important to note that this movie has been made along the same tongue-in-cheek adaptive lines that A Knight's Tale and similar have been made. Of course there will be innacuracies - I think that's what gives movies like this their charm. I guess who ever wrote that incorrect synopsis you read is really to blame, as the innacuracies are his or hers. I knew all along that this was going to be a campy, comic-book type version, and I will judge it as such when I finally have a chance to see it.

May 7th, 2004, 11:46 PM
I'm not surprised. One review on a movie show I saw branded it a 'mish-mash.'

May 7th, 2004, 11:59 PM
I saw it today as well, and as I wasn't expecting much of it, I found it enjoyable. :D Granted, I have read neither Shelley nor Stoker, but as Erebus said, it wasn't meant to be accurate. I think there is going to be a sequel actually, as it seems quite obvious to me that Van Helsing was once Gabriel the angel, i.e. Left Hand of God, something that wasn't concluded in the movie, which means that if it is successful, they will make a sequel. That's just my take on the whole thing. But if you don't expect much, there are some grand shots, and cool action scenes. The music isn't bad either. :D

May 8th, 2004, 01:37 AM
Well, I had fun, enjoyed it pretty much, but have to admit to some real disappointment. It was pure camp, all the way, and must be taken as such.
I knew it wasn't going to be "accurate" from the moment I knew Van Helsing would be fighting Frankenstein's monster, plus assorted lycans.

Things I liked best:
the actor who played Dracula allowed himself to go way over the top with it, and it worked for me.......
David Wenham's odd little friar was rather delightful in most of his scenes......
Dracula's brides in their flying manisfestation were prety cool......
the ball sequence was very well done, with all those decadent touches.

Things I really disliked:
too much CGI shape-shifting......the one-way "mirror" reminded me too much of Stargate......suspension of disbelief was way strained when characters are falling from great heights and crashing into obstacles over and over on the way down.

May 8th, 2004, 02:28 AM
I agree about the "falling long distances". I also thought Van Helsing's machine-gun-firing crossbow was pretty cheesy. He must've expended more ammo than Rambo. The mirror was a cross between Stargate and The Matrix...

I also caught the reference about Gabriel and the "Left Hand of god"...

Overall, I went into the theater with low expectations, but it came out better than I had hoped. It was enjoyable for sure. I especially liked David Wenham as Carl. Kate Beckinsale's accent started to grate after a while, but Hugh Jackman was pretty darn good.

The ending, though, was a major disappointment and extremely cheesy to boot. I don't know whether it was intended to be deliberately campy, but I'll give Stephen Sommers the benefit of the doubt and take it as such.

May 8th, 2004, 04:09 AM
Did anyone read reviews? I haven't read one decent review of this movie yet. And the best I got was "typical summer action movie" so its definitely something I'm not spending money on. Just from the ads, the way Van Helsing was depicted plus the fact that they continually called Frankenstein's monster "Frankenstein" totally turned me off. Does it really take that much effort to depict the characters at least somewhat similar to what they were written?

Anytime a movie is depicted as "campy" to me that means, watch it when someone else rents it if you're drunk. That's the definition of campy for me.

Iskaral Pust
May 8th, 2004, 11:02 AM
A dissapointment? I'm surprised that anyone acually expected this to be good. I took one look at the poster and labelled it turd... then I saw the trailer and my opinions went further down (deeper undergroud would propably be a more accurate description).

May 8th, 2004, 01:26 PM
I certainly did read reveiws, but went with friends. I guess making fun of the movie sitting with them was a pretty good way to pass a couple of hours.

May 8th, 2004, 03:11 PM
Uh oh, I am going to see it with friends later this afternoon. I had heard a few bad reviews, but hoped they were wrong.