2012 Certificate: 15


The path to the White House for young Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) takes in revenge for the murder of his mother by a Southern bloodsucker sect in Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov's deranged action thriller. Trained by Dominic Cooper's vampire-hunter, Abe's literally got an axe to grind with Rufus Sewell's band of toothsome parasites and their infernal plans to take over the good ol' US of A. Impressive action sequences and a deadpan delivery distinguish a horror hybrid that provides bucketloads of hokey fun.


  • Timur Bekmambetov


  • Benjamin Walker

  • Rufus Sewell

  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead

  • Alan Tudyk

  • Dominic Cooper


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has the same off-kilter ring to it as David Cameron: Dragon Slayer or Ed Miliband: Bus Conductor.

And it's this mismatch between the role of elder statesman and bonkers comic book hero that provides the fun in an action caper so daftly insane it ought to be sectioned and banged up in Broadmoor.

After young Abe (Walker, who has the look of a young Liam Neeson) sees his mother fatally attended to by vampiric Jack Barts (Marton Csokas) he swears revenge on the undead community.

Critically ill-equipped to take on a bloodsucking mob, it's only when vampire hunter Dominic Cooper teaches him how to physically and mentally challenge the rhesus-swigging nasties that he and his silver-plated axe truly get into the swing.

By day he works in a general store and studies the law...but at night, acting on info supplied by his mentor, he cuts a swathe through vampires hiding in respectable walks of life, from frothing pharmacists to leech-like bank managers (ouch).

After reuniting with childhood buddy and freed slave Will (Anthony Mackie), the trail to the undead leads to English popinjay and vampire leader Adam (Sewell), a slave-owning monster with plans to subjugate the country after the Civil War with his hellish compadres.

Seth Grahame-Smith's source novel was barking enough...but, in director Timur Bekmambetov's hands, the story spins off into a dizzying maelstrom of madness.

Screwy setpieces include a stampede scene where Barts literally lobs a horse at the pursuing Abe and there's a chilling plantation mansion ball thrown by Adam where the white waltzers bare their fangs and fall on their unwilling black dance partners.

The major failing is that it takes itself a little too seriously but you can forgive much in a movie where Mrs Lincoln (Winstead) ticks off her tardy husband with: "C'mon Abraham - we'll be late for the theatre..."

Tim Evans