Sunday, May 16, 2004

Van Helsing (IMDB) (Netflix)
Hugh Jackman is a 19th century 007 working for an inter-denominational religious group fighting evil, which includes Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, werewolves, flying witches and of course, Count Dracula. Wasn't there an Abbott & Costello episode like this? Joining Hugh is unrecognizable Kate Beckinsale, her usual sunny goddess-next-door persona traded in for an Eastern European accent, Transylvania chic leather corset and proto-Spandex.

The theme of this picture seems to be more — more monsters, more special effects, more action, more time — giving it a sequel's I-must-have-missed-the-first-one feel. As with most sequels, more is less, so you're left somewhat drained by the experience rather than energized. The comic relief provided by The Friar is a bright spot, but maybe not enough to make this work for anyone over 30.