Dracula 2000 (2000)

Posted: April 21, 2012 in Movie Review
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Dracula 2000 (2000)

Directed By: Patrick Lussier

Starring: Gerard Butler, Christopher Plummer, Jonny Lee Miller, Justine Waddell, Danny Masterson, Omar Epps, Jennifer Esposito, Sean Patrick Thomas, Nathan Fillion

Subgenre: Vampires

Synopsis: Dracula’s corpse is stolen by a band of thieves and brought to New Orleans, where Dracula is resurrected.

Dracula 2000

Thoughts: On the surface, Dracula 2000 has all the ingredients it needs to be a hit.  It was produced by Wes Craven, Directed by a genre veteran (although this was only his second time behind the camera), and also boasted a very impressive cast (including a pre-300 Gerard Butler).  Even though Dracula has appeared in 272 different adaptations, Dracula 2000 came up with an original and rather surprising twist on his origin as well.  Somehow, all these factors failed to come together to deliver more than a somewhat enjoyable movie.  I’ve seen far worse than Dracula 2000, but what killed me was that it had so much potential that it didn’t live up to. 

I mentioned that this was produced by Wes Craven, which doesn’t always mean much, but he hand chose Director Patrick Lussier to helm this movie after Lussier did quite a few jobs as Editor on Craven’s movies, as well as others.  Lussier did a fair job, and has gone on to direct a handful of additional genre flicks, including two direct to video sequels of Dracula 2000. 

The cast should have been fantastic, and it was in some spots.  One of the best roles in the movie was that of Van Helsing, played by Christopher Plummer.  It’s no surprise that a legend like Plummer would nail this role though.  I thought that the gang was well put together with noticeable young faces such as Omar Epps and Danny Masterson and there was plenty of eye candy as well, thank you Jennifer Esposito.  Nathan Fillion also has a small supporting role as a Priest. The two weak spots in the cast were, in my opinion, Jonny Lee Miller as Simon and Gerard Butler as Dracula.  Miller has had a hit or miss career and is probably most well known for being married to Angelina Jolie, so it shouldn’t be too shocking that he couldn’t carry the lead hero role all that well.  Butler also disappointed me as Dracula, but this role was early in his career and seven years before his breakthrough role as King Leonidas in 300.  He just didn’t seem to bring anything to the role and let Dracula play him, rather than him playing Dracula.

The film also boasted a pretty thumping soundtrack featuring Linkin Park, Disturbed, Slayer, Monster Magnet and more, and is actually one of my favorite aspects to the movie.  If you are a fan of this sort of music, it’s a nice little compilation of songs you probably already own, but worth checking out none the less.

As I mentioned, Dracula’s origin here differs greatly from Bram Stoker’s, but it does a wondrous job of explaining Dracula’s aversion to silver, crosses and religion.  I don’t want to go into details, as this is revealed in the third act, but from what I read, this seemed to be a dividing point among watchers.  Some people hated the change and others thought it was original and well thought out.  You can count me as one of the people that thought it was original and well thought out, but I can’t help but think that maybe this story would have been better served with an original vampire, or maybe even one that preceded Dracula.  That may have been a better route to take than screwing with such an icons past.

Dracula 2000 is often a movie you can find in bargain bins.  I happened to pick up this and the two sequels for 5.00.  Tough to turn down at that price.  I would recommend this for horror fans based solely on the original take of Dracula, but it is also a pretty decent watch.  There is more to like here than there is to hate.

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