I won’t go into tedious detail. I’m really only writing this because the movie was so utterly atrocious that I couldn’t not write about it. The short-short version is: This movie hates you. Every one of you.
It’s corny. It’s overblown. It relentlessly offends the viewer’s intelligence. It makes up bits of monster-mythology out of whole cloth whenever the plot needs there to be a convenient bit of such. The music is an assault on good taste. The Brides are just plain badly done, especially when in “harpy” mode, which is what we’re treated (and I use that word very loosely) to more often than any other effect in the movie. Bits of utterly redundant exposition are thrown at us willy-nilly throughout. Bits of painfully anachronistic dialog are dropped hither an yon like so much smelly guano. Tropes from a dozen different movies are grafted together, much like Frankenstein’s monster was grafted together out of so many corpses of what used to be fully functional people. (Spotted: Aliens, Indiana Jones, any given James Bond flick, LXG, and that’s just what I can think of off the top of my head, many hours later.)
The acting is hard to gauge, mainly because the plot and dialog are so execrable that the actors aren’t really given anything to work with. I feel sorry for Hugh Jackman, pity for Kate Beckinsale, and mild chagrin for the rest of the players sucked into this sorry mess. One gets the feeling they thought they were involved in the making of a rollicking-good action flick, but… no, instead their names are forever attached to such a godsforsaken disaster.
What takes this movie from the level of just being a trite popcorn flick and directly into the realm of actual badness? Here’s an example, and I have no reason to avoid spoiling you on this bit: The Creepy Undertaker tries to cold-cock Van Helsing with a shovel from behind. V.H. spins and blocks the attack, then ducks aside as, get this, the werewolf V.H. was chasing leaps at him and instead catches the Undertaker right in the chest, knocking him partway across the cemetary, into an open grave. The shovel spins through the air and lands business-end down atop the Undertaker… and then the Undertaker’s hat flutters down atop the shovel handle, and spins there a few times, as if it was the icing atop some wonderful cinematic slice of cake.
A swallow of cinematic ipecac, is more like it. It’s way, way too trite, too overdone, too “look at me that was cool wasn’t it cool damn you know that was so, so cool.” The whole damned movie is like that.
Hateful. There’s no other way to describe it. I’m so very glad I paid no money at all to see this movie. I can’t even recommend it for a MST3K-style treatment, because any fun to be derived from making fun of it is vastly overshadowed by how much pain is involved in actually watching it. Again: Hateful.