‘The Wolfman’, ‘Dracula’, and Frankenstein’s Monster, are three characters that Universal Studios has repurposed and combined into a single storyline A monster hunter by the name of ‘Van Helsing’ is the link that sews these horror characters all together. These modern monsters seem to distance themselves from the classic monsters brought to life by Lon Cheney, Bela Lugosi, and Boris Karloff and create a new brand of monster that Universal can exploit at theme parks and convenience stores everywhere.
The Helsing action anti-hero is played by Hugh Jackman famous for his role as the Wolverine in the ‘X-Men’ series of movies. Jackman comes with plenty of shiny accessories to sell with his action figure available at a toy store near you. You can line him up next to kick-action Kate Beckinsale, whose lace up corset and boots almost make up for her horrendous accent and ridiculously maintained hair.
To be fair, I’ll have to admit that there’s plenty of eye candy to look at and see during 'Van Helsing', so much so that at times you can feel your eyes rot away. The Wolfman’s transformation is spectacle to behold, and there’s plenty of laugh out loud moments filled with dialog disasters from writer and director Stephen Sommers hacking away at the storyline.
But any redeeming qualities that 'Van Helsing' may have had as an effects laden hokey action flick are completely destroyed in the closing frames of the movie. The sunset shot is so embarrassing and awkward it had the screening audience squirming in their seats, but by how goofy the scene is.
Hold the soft focus, and spare us the superimposed tears, 'Van Helsing' is supposed to be a monster movie and ends it like this? Its bad enough that writer / director Stephen Sommers made Frankenstein’s monster a bible thumping grammatically correct whiner, but to force us to endure the closing shot nonsense that’s the real horror.
So what is supposed to be an adventure movie about fighting monsters turns into sappy hallmark card goo. Waiting for the summer movie season to really begin for Movie Magazine this is Purple.
© 2004 - Purple - Air Date: 5/11/04
USA / Czech Republic - 2004