Saturday, May 08, 2004

At the theatres: Van Helsing

With vampires, werewolves, Frankenstein and an Igor, Van Helsing couldn’t help but be deliciously campy. Hugh Jackman plays the mysterious Van Helsing, monster-assassin hired by Rome. Both revered and hated by the very people he tries to save, Van Helsing walks the lonely road. Until he teams up with medieval Q/sidekick Friar Carl (David Wenham!) and hot babe/gypsy princess (Kate Beckinsale) to hunt down some poor dead guy with a piranha-like overbite (Richard Roxburgh).

I’m not sure whether the movie was intentionally funny but I sure did laugh my head off throughout the entire movie. The campy performances of Dracula’s brides took the cake. It was great to see David Wenham in such drastic role from his hero-like Faramir, in of course, Lord of the Rings. Let’s pause for a moment and feel the love I have for all actors involved in LOTR…

Erm, well anyway, Hugh Jackman can sure hold his own, especially when he’s in tattered rags.. Drool.. And then there’s Will Kemp running around, also in tattered rags. Double drool.. Not complaining, that’s for sure.

It was hard to take this movie seriously (although when was the last time I took a vampire movie seriously?) when the performances were over the top (love Richard Roxburgh but his interpretation of Dracula brought out the giggles in me) and the CGI effects were rather cartoonish. Ach, where those cables in the last final scenes actually tied to something or where they swinging happily in the air? And then there was the Fight of the Sidekicks that could have gone much longer in my opinion. Hilarious! Wished there was more of David Wenham screen time. He was gold, baby.

Van Helsing was directed by Stephen Sommers who is responsible for not just one but TWO, count ‘em two Mummy movies (will not make crack of Mother’s Day here, must not…). Hmm, that explains a couple of things.

I really did enjoy this movie, if perhaps for the wrong reasons that the director intended. Definitely worth seeing it in the theater.

One weird fact about the Kuching movie audience. Practically more than half the audience stormed out of the theater before the movie actually ended. It was rather bizarre and very distracting. I didn’t think the movie was that bad. Ach! Hugh, baby, you can be my oversized puppy anytime.