Right from the moment I first saw the trailer, I knew that Dracula Untold wasn’t gonna be a great movie. Bolstered by news of its release being changed four times (postponed each time) just so it would have a decent chance with those in the Halloween mood, what little confidence I had in the movie had pretty much withered by the time it hit screens locally. Being the vampire fan that I am, however, faith preserved my anticipation and I was pretty glad that the international market still received the movie well ahead of the US.
Simply put, Dracula Untold isn’t very good… but it isn’t very bad either. The fate of the movie would be that of this year’s I, Frankenstein—forgotten due to being neither impressive nor atrocious.
With a jarring amount of American accents for a movie set in 15th century Eastern Europe, Dracula Untold jumps from a now-mandatory 300-style narration to a hurried introduction of the movie’s take on vampire mythology. This is followed by an unfairly truncated first act that does little more than establish the story’s bad guys (and Luke Evans’ cheekbones) and hurriedly pushes the protagonist into becoming the anticipated demon.
While it would be unfair for me to conclusively state that the movie sinks into mindless action from this point on, what little development that is given to the characters is somewhat rushed and predictable.
The movie’s climax, however, does deviate from the typical (despite suffering a little from the “convenient plot tool syndrome”) and delivers a conclusion slightly more satisfying than predicted.
As is common with all movies in this day and age, Dracula Untold closes with an epilogue that promises a sequel. And while I may not necessarily think much of this instalment, a sequel does hold the interesting possibility of Dracula as a protagonist against a very Nosferatu-styled villain.