16 September 2012 | BA_Harrison
A frustratingly mediocre Dracula movie.
There's a pretty cool idea at the heart of Dracula 2000: that Dracula is none other than Judas Iscariot, who committed suicide after his betrayal of Christ, but was refused the oblivion afforded by death—a clever set up that neatly explains the vampire's hatred of both the cross and of silver. With director Patrick Lussier at the helm—who certainly knows how to handle his special effects and action, and who has no qualms about dishing up plenty of gnarly violence—this had the potential to be a hugely enjoyable updating of the Dracula mythos, but the film rarely lives up to its promise.
It all starts well enough, with a bunch of ruthless criminals breaking into Van Helsing's vault and stealing the silver coffin within, convinced that it contains something of immense value. Instead, they discover that they have unwittingly freed the legendary Dracula, who proceeds to search for Van Helsing's daughter Mary (Justine Waddell), with whom he shares a supernatural connection. Unfortunately, once the wheels are set in motion, matters quickly go downhill.
Most of the blame can be placed on the lousy casting/weak performances: Butler makes for a dreadful Dracula, his goofy grin and rugged looks more suited to Jennifer Aniston rom-coms than horror films; Johnny Lee Miller is about as emotive as a fish; and Waddell is too ineffectual to believe that she could be related to Van Helsing and infected by the DNA of Dracula. Matters aren't helped by some REALLY cheesy dialogue ("Sorry sport. I'm an atheist"—groan), a script that meanders aimlessly for much of the running time, and some of the most blatant 'product placement' I've ever had the misfortune to witness (even if it is slightly amusing that the company being advertised is Virgin).
The inclusion of three really hot vampire brides (played by Jennifer Esposito, Colleen Fitzpatrick and Jeri Ryan) compensates slightly for the film's crappier elements, as do a few choice moments of gore and a satisfyingly spectacular demise for Dracula, but on the whole Dracula 2000 proves to be a frustratingly mediocre movie.