Movie Review: Van Helsing

Posted by Arlo on Jun 20, 2004 under Movie Reviews

Van Helsing Movie PosterWhat is there to say about Van Helsing? I can tell you this: Right from the previews, I expected that it wasn’t going to be a good movie. I can’t pinpoint exactly how I knew that, but it sure turned out to be true.

Maybe it was because I knew that it was written and directed by Steven Sommers. He was the guy responsible for The Mummy, the Mummy Returns, and The Scorpion King. I’ll admit that The Mummy was an okay movie… once I realized that it was going for camp, I actually started to enjoy it. I liked The Mummy Returns… not so much. Would you blame me if I told you that I skipped The Scorpion King altogether?

Van Helsing was destined to be the epitome of a special effects laden summer action movie. I went in with low expectations and it was only because of that that I wasn’t completely disgusted. The best thing I can say about the movie is that often the special effects were amazing (if not totally convincing). We’ve come a long way in the 25 years or so since Star Wars. I’m anxious to see where Hollywood will be 25 years from now!

The worse thing I can say about Van Helsing is… hold on. Let me think. There’s a lot to choose from. Okay, I guess it’s that the plot was obviously tacked on as an afterthought. I’ll grudgingly admit that there was a plot there – one that definitely wasn’t difficult to follow. It’s just that the characters were barely given enough time to say a few story-propelling lines before being hurled back into yet another fight with a computer-generated beastie. (For what it’s worth, I might have chosen another aspect of the film as being the worst part of Van Helsing, but for an interview I read with the writer/director. He was so proud of the story he had crafted, cunningly able to bring together three Hollywood monsters of yore! Let me tell you, Mr. Sommers desperately needs to learn the difference between “an idea” and “a story.”)

Trivial Thought: Werewolves are apparently unaffected by the laws of gravity.
What did I find worthwhile about the movie? The special effects. Plus Kate Beckinsale and the lead vampiress were very hot!
Would I recommend the movie? Probably not.
Will I buy it on DVD? No.