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July 7, 2012

Weekend Reviews: Abraham Lincoln, the newest Buffy

Daily Star

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One of the summer's biggest box-office crazes is the film that follows our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, on his journey to destroy the blood-sucking demons troubling the country.

In 2010, Seth Grahame-Smith wrote a book in which Abraham Lincoln fought to abolish not only slavery, but the existence of vampires. The story was such a wild success due to its fantastical plot, one that was so exciting in its unrealisticness, that it was put into development as a film, produced by Tim Burton.

As with many, I was unaware of this story until I saw the trailer and began to hear major buzz as its premiere approached. Many of my friends were highly anticipating going to see the movie, and so I became interested in going as well.

The film develops Lincoln's deep-seeded vengeance against vampires: at 8 years old, he watched as his mother was attacked by a vampire, his father's cruel ex-boss, Jack Barts, in her sleep and slowly died from the venom.

For the next 10 years, Abraham, played by Benjamin Walker, harbors heavy resentment toward the man but is unable to fight back. Eventually, he meets a vampire hunter named Henry (Dominic Cooper), who teaches him how to effectively kill vampires.

In all honesty, there are several parts of the movie that are quite laughable. For example, halfway through, Lincoln returns to his native Indiana from Illinois to finally kill Barts. After he locates Barts at his business, the two men wind up in the midst of a fleet of wild horses. Neither of them gets trampled, jumping from horseback to horseback, getting into fist fights, and at one point, Barts swings a horse around by his leg and launches it at Lincoln, who narrowly avoids the flying animal.

At that point, my friends and I all laughed out loud.

All in all though, I was very impressed that I did not find the movie more ridiculous. It is admittedly a very wild plot in the first place, but because it takes itself more seriously than just that, I was able to take it more seriously as well.

There were several aspects that I really appreciated.

First, the visual effects and transitions were very well done. Although I found the plot to be jumpy in several points, jumping from locations and plot points, the way that the scenes were tied together were seamless and interesting.

Also, I enjoyed the way that the plot intertwined with actual history. I felt so clever when I knew what would happen to Lincoln's son before it happened, basing my guess on the history I actually knew.

One of the major points in the film is that vampires will die if they are touched with silver. Therefore, Lincoln carries an axe with a silver edge so that he can more directly kill vampires with one swing.

During the Civil War, the Confederacy joins forces with vampires because the vampires are vicious fighters and can turn themselves invisible, which is no doubt a huge advantage while fighting a war. Once Lincoln discovers this, the North sets forth to collect as much silver as possible in order to make into weapons and destroy the Southern forces.

While "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter" is obviously a story that is fictional and as unrealistic as it gets, it is extremely entertaining and serves as a great summer escape.

My friends and I saw the movie in 3-D, which I don't usually do, but I felt that the 3-D added a nice touch to the visual effects, and added a bit more thrill to the movie.

I highly recommend that you see this movie with some friends that like to laugh at movies that don't necessarily need to be highly intellectual or serious; after all, that is not what makes this movie so good.

Abraham Lincoln has just been given some major cool points, and it's all thanks to some vampires and a silver-edged axe. Go Abe.

Maggie McVey is a 2012 graduate of Oneonta High School. 'Teen Talk' columns can be found at