Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6, Immortals) stars as Vlad III Tepes in this gritty retelling of Dracula’s origin story.
It is 1462 and the Turks are knocking on the doors of Vienna. When former Janissary Vlad is left with the choice between submitting to the will of the Ottoman Sultan or facing a war he cannot hope to win, he does what any self respecting monarch would do and becomes a vampire, harnessing the powers of darkness in a desperate attempt to save his people.
As an origin story Dracula Untold rather bravely attempts to portray Vlad (notorious for impaling his enemies) as a tragic hero with a troubled past.
Vlad is gifted vampiric powers by master vampire Charles Dance (Alien 3, Underworld: Awakening) in a sinister sequence where a wider conflict between good and evil is alluded to, if not explained.
Evans gives a strong performance throughout, but flat performances from Sarah Gadon (A Dangerous Method , Cosmopolis) and weak characterization of most central characters drain the film of any emotional impact. But this is almost certainly a good thing, as crisp special effects, solid sound track and impressive action sequences are definitely the film’s strong suit.
While it doesn’t succeed as an origin story Dracula Untold is a dark action romp fans of the genre are sure to enjoy.
Dracula Untold is available to view at Cineworld Rugby until Thursday, October 23.