Dracula 2000, Not Quite Bram Stoker
Dracula 2000, despite its sci-fi sounding name, is a contemporary rendition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It is dark, religious, surreal, and sexy (painfully so), to say the very least. While it could have very well been the resurrection of the vampire movie genre, it did have some sharp shortcomings that managed to anchor it away from glory.
We begin with a heist, in which several smugglers break into the vault of Abraham Van Helsing, hoping to make away with something of value to sell out of country. Unfortunately, all they can find inside are dusty books, furniture, crucifixes, and an ominous coffin surrounded by traps. Figuring that the coffin contains whatever treasures they’re hoping for, they blow the vault and escape.
A disorienting leap into a vivid nightmare of a bland looking girl named Mary nearly derails the suspense of the last set of scenes, but the save goes to Dracula for making a micro-appearance. Just an introduction interlude leading up to the Vampire Lord’s grand return while the smugglers fly him back. Gerard Butler shirtless. Right on.
Dracula then proceeds to haunt Mary’s waking dreams while slowly accruing “attractive” (yucky) female followers via the bite of night, I’ll call it. He only gets guy followers because of his initial bloodthirst, and they die quickly anyway. It’s all about the sexy girl vampires, right? Besides, Gerard Butler! He don’t need no competition.
Abraham books a flight to follow the smugglers, leaving his partner Simon to ponder just what the hell happened. Instead of running the business in Helsing’s stead, he follows him to find out just what. His travels cause him to cross paths with Mary, whose nightmares have been worsening because Dracula’s out and searching for her. Their connection (Mary and Drac’s) remains unspoken until the final parts of the movie, and they do register as quite the spoiler, so I’ll leave you in the dark for that one.
After a while, the plot spirals downward into one great vampire hunt, and Abraham Van Helsing winds up dead, one of the more disappointing parts of the movie. Simon and Mary face off against Dracula and his vampiress trio, discovering his origins and just how to destroy him. But with his power returning so quickly, do they stand a chance against him? Well, I don’t know, you watch the movie and tell me.
A few words on actors, then I’ll leave you to it. Christopher Plummer makes an excellent Helsing. I found that I preferred him out of all the other characters. Justine Waddell is probably the low point of the cast, by my speculation. Her performance is dull, almost lifeless, and clashes with that of Plummer and Butler. Hell, even Jonny Lee Miller (Simon) manages to overshadow her. Basically, if not for Mary, Dracula 2000 would actually be a pretty okay Dracula spin-off..
Oh, and one final thing. Omar Epps, who plays Marcus, the head honcho of the heist brigade, is hilarious as a vampire. He goes from cold, calculated criminal to fangly standup comedian instantly. Absolutely brilliant.
According to James Berardinelli of ReelReviews, Dracula 2000 is basically a butcher job of every last aspect of the original Dracula, Gerard Butler doesn’t do his part justice, and everything else fails just as badly. I suppose you could say my review was a mite lenient because I (don’t hate me) have yet to see the original Dracula. Here, distract yourself with this before they start throwing rocks at me: http://www.reelviews.net/movies/d/dracula2000.html