Worth A Look: 15.34%
Pretty Bad: 18.4%
Total Crap: 49.08%
16 reviews, 230 user ratings
by Dawn Taylor
There’s a moment about two-thirds of the way through “Van Helsing” that sums up the entire film beautifully. Puzzling over just one of about a hundred plot points that make no sense whatsoever, our hero, played by Hugh "Wolverine" Jackman, looks at his comely leading lady and asks, “Wait -- why does Dracula have the cure for the werewolf?” Her answer: “I don’t care!”And that, Gentle Reader, perfectly describes writer-director Stephen Sommers’ attitude toward the story he puts forth on screen -- utter apathy for anything even remotely approaching logic.
"Is there a word for "so bad it's hard to even describe how bad it is"?"
Q: Why is Dracula a crazy mad scientist?
A: Who cares?
Q: Since when do werewolves cling to walls like geckos?
A: Wouldn’t you like to know!
Q: Ummm, don’t you have to stake vampires through the heart to kill them, rather than the solar plexus? And doesn’t the stake have to be wood, rather than a shiny silver spike? And wouldn’t silver be too soft to drive through chest bones anyway?
A: Shut up! Stop asking questions!
So, here’s what this reviewer was able to figure out about “Van Helsing.” The hero's is a cross between James Bond, Indiana Jones and Roger Rabbit, and a mighty killer of Evil Things on special assignment from the Vatican, to boot. He wears gorgeous costumes that include lots of leather and about a million useless buckles that look really cool.
He heads for Transylvania, to kill Dracula (Richard Roxburgh) -- who’s hijacked Frankenstein’s monster and is doing terrible experiments on werewolves. Van Helsing then hooks up with a beautiful woman (Kate Beckinsale) who defies gravity like a kung fu master while battling monsters in high heels, skintight spandex and fabulous chandelier earrings.
Q: Did they have spandex in the 1880s?
A: What difference does it make?
Oh, I skipped the part where Van Helsing fights a huge, computer-generated Mr. Hyde that’s a cross between Andre the Giant and Shrek, complete with bad Scottish accent. But that segment doesn’t have anything to do with the rest of the movie, so ... never mind!
Anyway, Dracula has spawned these thousands of gooey egg-sac undead babies via his three “brides,” who wear glittery genie outfits that magically vanish when they turn into grotesque flying vamps, and he needs the Monster to conduct electricity so his “cheel-dren” will “leev.”
Wait -- did I mention that Van Helsing has some sort of a mysterious past, just like Wolverine? And that not one but two horse-drawn carriages crash and then explode as if they’re filled with napalm?
Q: Are you confused and bored yet?
A: Who cares?Mashing together all of Universal’s classic scare flicks may have initially sounded like a good idea, but Sommers (“The Mummy”) is such an awful storyteller that “Van Helsing” is 47 kinds of terrible. There are bad movies, then there are really bad movies -- and “Van Helsing” is even worse than that. Lacking in taste, dignity or even decent storytelling, this one is a true horror.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=9518&reviewer=413
originally posted: 11/08/06 18:37:53