Dracula Untold is the inevitable origin film about how Vlad the Impaler (Luke Evans) became cursed as the most infamous vampire.
It’s a deceiving title because this story has been briefly told before – 1992’s Dracula prologue, anyone? – but not with the flash CGI and other special effects developed over the last decade or so.
It doesn’t take much effort to reappoint Dracula as the misunderstood champion Prince of Transylvania who isn’t evil, he’s just had a tough life, and now has to make some tough choices to protect his people and keep them happy. Unfortunately those choices destroy his happiness, and ultimately, his mortality.
With only a hint of guano splattered throughout the dialogue, this film is much better than expected. Evans is well cast, portraying Vlad with a roguish intensity that he must have been saving for this, his first big lead in a blockbuster. The battle sequences are also suitably impressive, thanks to clever framing, filming techniques and those aforementioned special effects.
Although the inescapable ending can’t be much of a surprise if you know your Dracula, it’s still an enjoyable journey getting there.
(Review first published in City Hub for Alternative Media Group)