The mysterious monster slayer, Van Helsing is sent by the Vatican to slay Dracula on behalf of an old Transylvanian family so that they (the old Transylvanian family, not the Vatican) can get into heaven. Do accessories to murder get to go to heaven? Unfortunately, Dracula proves to be not-so-easy to kill. Moreover, it appears that Dracula and his posse of crazy vampire biatches, pasty manservant, Igor, and a werewolf prove to be up to no good. More specifically, they’re using Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein monster and some old fashioned lightning to make up for Dracula’s impotency and bring to life his horde of cocooned baby vampires. “What?” you ask. “Exactly,” I say.
If you are an international spy and someone threatens to make you watch Van Helsing until you reveal some top government secret, I suggest that you spill the beans. The safety of your country is not worth the excruciating ridiculousness that is Van Helsing. If you dare to watch the movie despite my warning, you will notice a hint of sadness in the eyes of the films lead actors, Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale. It is sadness that comes with the knowledge that you have just made one HUGE mistake.
First of all, you have to wonder why the director forced two actors to drop their completely adorable British/Australian accents for the likes of Count Chocula and a wimpy John Wayne. Perhaps a dialect coach wasn’t in the budget, but the least Beckinsale could have done was watch a few episodes of Sesame Street and take a few hints from Count von Count. The movie is so bad that I think they have to stop calling it a “movie” and re-market it as a how-to video, Van Helsing: A How-to-Guide on Over Acting and Bad Accents.
Van Helsing epitomizes what NOT to do in a movie. The wardrobe is something out of a high school drama department. The dialogue basically consists of clichés and overly dramatic cries of revenge or pain. The CG visual effects, although someone probably worked very hard on it, look like graphics out of a Saturday morning cartoon show. The fact that the costumers had to resort to massive Beckinsale cleavage exposure is telling of how disastrous the film actually is. Not since Much Ado About Nothing (co-starring Keeanu Reeves) have they had to resort to such level of cleavage. I’m not going to go into further detail, but commenting on Van Helsing is what I imagine it’s like for veterans to relive their time in ‘Nam. It’s best no to dwell on the experience. Just move on.
My recommendation: Do not waste your time. Do not let the mediocre acting talents of Hugh Jackman or Kate Beckinsale lure you into this disaster of a film.