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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on November 27, 2004
Ok ok I went into VH with my head lowered in shame but once this guilty as charged cheez fest kicked into high gear I couldnt help but enjoy myself.
Stephen Sommers has allways been a so/so director and his Mummy and Scorpion King films have never really warranted any praise from me but I faithfully went to see all three of them hoping that his craft would reach a high point.
Van Helsing is not that movie but it did bring me to the conclusion that the man loves his Universal Monsters and thats allright too I guess as long as he doesnt try his hand at romantic comedies or that would be scare me.
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on July 10, 2005
Can you say: AMAZING?!!!? This must be one of the best SFX movies ever made. It flat out rocks! Sure, some people say the plot is corny, the characters are corny, but, those who say that, I disagree with very, very strongly.
The movie's pace is good, and the story flows well. The characters: Van Helsing, Dracula, Frankenstein... they're good twists from the originals, and, come to think of it, I like this version of Dracula ten times better than numero uno. Trust me, you will love this movie. So, what are you waiting for? BUY IT! NOW!!!!!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 1, 2012
Van Helsing(released May/04)stars Hugh Jackman as Van Helsing and Kate Beckinsale as Anna Valerious.This production was sure a roller coaster ride,but not in the good sense.I found it quite uneven,with the two stars playing it right on,with other characters sabotaging their work,thus weakening the whole;down to poor writing.The CGI,as far as creatures go,was also terribly weak.
The story opens in Transylvania and Dr Frankenstein is bringing his Monster to life.The castle he works in is owned by Count Dracula and Dracula wants the doctors creation for his own uses.An argument ensues and the good doctor dies.The Monster takes the doctor to the top of a windmill,which is set on fire by the towns people.They end up crashing down through the structure when the floor beneath them gives way.
A year later we find Van Helsing in Paris tracking down Mr Hyde.He finds him in a bell tower,struggles with him and ends up killing him.He is summoned to the Vatican,who bankrolls Van Helsings exploits.They reprimand him for failing to bring Mr Hyde back alive.His next job will be bringing the Count down.Van Helsing,along with sidekick Friar Carl,travel to Romania to find the Count.They meet up with Anna,the last member of the Valerious family,who have fought the Count for generations.Just before his arrival Anna's brother had been bitten by a werewolf and was now being used by the Count to bring his vampiric children to life.However it doesn't succeed,so the count looks for the Monster to use.
Anna and Van Helsing find the Monster first and spirit him off to the Vatican.Along the way Annas brother attacks the carriage and Van Helsing gets bitten,but not before Van Helsing kills him.Anna is taken captive and Van Helsing must travel to his castle to rescue her.In the attempt,the Monster is captured and taken by the Count to a secret lair.Anna,Van Helsing and the Friar discover a secret portal that takes them directly to the lair.The Monster is rescued but the Counts children are brought successfully to life.Dracula,and a now turned Van Helsing,fight to the finish,with the Count biting the dust.Van Helsing turns on Anna and kills her,but not before she injects him with a serum the Count had to undo the werewolf curse.The Valerious family has now been cleansed and purified.
The problem with a movie,especially Sci Fi/fantasy films like this where the suspension of disbelief is paramount,if you don't grab your viewers attention and pull them into your world right off,or cannot get them back somewhere along the line,then you are in trouble.And if your plot is such that it doesn't seem to know what it wants to do exactly,then you are in even bigger trouble.Does this film want to be serious,or is it sending up the monster genre,or is it a light drama with serious overtones,or....?
The Count played by Richard Roxburgh,to me was almost played in a send-up kind of style.He seemed to be doing a poor impression of Bela Lugosi,not only speech wise,but his entire body language and look was slightly over the top and unconvincing;about as scary as a box of cereal.Then came the monster of Mr.Hyde.Van Helsing's first encounter is in a bell tower,and the huge Mr Hyde is hanging upside down looking at him.Again,giving off no menacing vibes whatsoever,and the CGI being too obvious and cheap.Then we have the character of Friar Carl.If I hadn't known what movie I was looking at,I would have sworn I was looking at a James Bond film,and this was "Q".Carl is the equivalent of that Ian Fleming character,showing Van Helsing around the workshop,chock full of hi-tech gadgetry.Carl also becomes a source of the film's lighter moments,with his naive and meek and mild manner.Trouble is,he didn't add to the story,just detracted from it.Then we come to Dracula's children.These things were like small gargoyles and again the CGI again detracted from their menace.Finally we have the Monster.At Dracula's castle,as he is being taken on the table up to the tower,he starts spouting bible passages.I have never seen a more erudite monster,than the one that appears in this film.It's weird and I found it so out of type as to be totally unbelievable.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 1:85:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include bloopers,commentary,two featurettes and a you are in the movie short.
All in all a totally disappointing outing for me.The writers had a virtual cornucopia of ideas here to work with,but in the end blew it.Some of the characters were played weakly and went against the film dynamic,the film itself not knowing exactly which way it wanted to go.And it had unconvincing creature CGI effects.Therefore,this picture had no where to go but down for this reviewer.The stars,Beckinsale and Jackman,both played it the way I thought the whole film would be played,but other characters sabotaged it.2 1/2 stars.Not recommended.
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on December 20, 2004
This film has everything, great horror icons, great effects, loads of action and the fighting scenes are amazing, a top notch movie, a great horror/adventure
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on September 3, 2014
I just love this movie! I'm starting to like Hugh Jackman in these action type roles, and I simply love Kate Beckinsale in any role! The story is good, the soundtrack doesn't drown out the dialogue, and the special effects are top-notch! It's funny, sad, and suspenseful all rolled into one. Take some of a dozen classic horror flicks, mix in a bit of martial arts mayhem, a touch of James Bond wacky inventions, wrap it up with a twisted mystery in high definition with dialog worthy of overpowering the music, and throw a cow into a second storey window, for good measure and you've got Van Helsing! I watch it about once a month just to remind myself what a good movie is supposed to be!
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on June 19, 2003
One of the most anticipated films of 2004 is the Universal Pictures release: Van Helsing. Hugh Jackman stars as the Bram Stoker character Prof. Abraham Van Helsing. Though many people remember the vampire killer from the Dracula novel to be a bit older and less active, director Stephen Sommers (of movie series The Mummy fame) is revamping the role to a more youthful and energetic age with a no-nonsense dimeanor. Set in the late Victorian age, Abraham Van Helsing is dispatched to investigate strange reports coming from dark eastern Europe. A world-renown monster hunter, this Van Helsing is a killer not to be triffled with. With a huge array of weapons, he appears to be a cross between Indiana Jones, Batman, and Attilla The Hun. Not only does he confront Dracula (played by Richard Roxburgh) on his mission, but also Frankenstein's Monster (played by Shuler Hensley) and the Wolfman (played by Will Kemp) as well. And these aren't your grandfather's monsters either. Universal Pictures has taken their classic horror monsters and beefed them up with modern heirs for the movie. The Wolfman is no longer a man with a hairy face. THIS version of The Wolfman would give the werewolf in An American Werewolf in London a run for his money. The same can be said of the other monsters shown, which Universal has announced you will be seeing all of. As even the movie's narrator proves to be Dr. Jekyll, you can be sure other Universal creatures as Mr. Hyde, Igor, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the Invisible Man won't be hard to find either. Buckle your seatbelts, Universal Picture's Van Helsing is gonna prove to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the year!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 13, 2013
With the exception of very brief and perfunctory moments of exposition, this film is little more than one long action sequence. It's entertaining enough in a frothy sort of way, but that's about as much as you can say of it. Some might consider it horror, but for myself I would rather say that it's more of a pure action film that just happens to be set in a horror-themed landscape.

Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale both deliver the goods in their respective roles. While hardly performing Shakespeare, they do what's required to make their characters work. My only real complaint on the acting front is that Richard Roxburgh wasn't really up to the task of portraying Count Dracula. This is a role that positively demands that magnetism and presence be oozing from every pore. What we instead get is a rather wishy-washy sort of chap.

In the end, I can only say that the title I gave this review - "Little More Than One Long Action Sequence" - sums up my take on this movie. At times I almost felt as if I were just watching a video game, albeit one with really cool graphics.

It's light entertainment with a High Gothic aesthetic. But it's nothing more than that.

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on October 12, 2006
I like the opening in black and white! If you want a good superhero chases monsters kind of movie then buy this one. It's not bad at all. Matter of fact I like the movie over all. But I thought it annoying in the special features how they showed Kate Beckinsale frothing at the mouth over hugh jackman and making the comments about him (She is married to Len Wiseman right?), thats the world for ya. As well as Hugh Jackman showing off to her. I dont want to see that in special features of a movie I just bought. Good thing she wont be in the second one! Maybe we will see Hugh Jackman showing off to one of the creature from the black lagoons wives!! Down boy!!, she's got fish virus!! Most notable qoute from the special features, "Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you, VAN HALEN!"
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on October 31, 2004
First of all, this is not a horror. This movie is a non-stop action, adventure romp which Sommers has proven time and again that he can provide successfully to his audience. Don't try to analyze this film. Don't try to dissect the relationship between the characters. Just hunker down with a bowl of popcorn, turn down the lights, turn on the surround sound system and enjoy 2 hours of pure visual delight, edge of your seat action and Alan Silvestri's bombastic score.
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on May 18, 2014
I have been a fan of horror scifi and action movies since the 60s this combined some of my favorite creatures and modernized the old tales in a fun entertaining manner and I was very impressed with the actors that performed as Dracula and Frankenstein they were toe to toe quality right there with the lead stars. Over the years I will watch this gem again and again! And the steel book was a nifty bonus.
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