Country: United States
Director: Patrick Lussier
Starring: Gerard Butler, Christopher Plummer, Jonny Lee Miller, Justine Waddell, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Esposito, Jeri Ryan, Shane West, Nathan Fillion,
Music: Marco Beltrami
Dracula 2000 (or 2001 as it appears on the screen as the movie starts – it wasn’t released in Australia till March 2001) is perfect popcorn fair. It has laughs, chills, action and as you have no doubt guessed, vampires. What more could you want on a lazy afternoon? No, no, don’t answer that – I don’t want to see any comments that suggest that this movie would have been better with a trio of naked ninja roller-babe zombies – okay!
The film opens in London, with a hi-tech robbery at the offices of one Matthew Van Helsing (Christopher Plummer), who is a well-to-do antiques dealer. Inside his office block there is a well-protected vault, which is the target for a gang of thieves, who believe it must contain vast riches. Inside, all the thieves find is a collection of skulls with oddly pointed teeth and a sealed silver coffin. Displaying a goofball logic that could only exist in a film like this, the thieves believe that Van Helsing is a crackpot and the coffin is only there to serve to scare them away. Meaning that even though it is a coffin, the criminals still believe it is full on treasure. So they steal the coffin and then fly off to the United States. As you will have no doubt guessed, the coffin actually houses the body of Dracula, and the crims are in for quite a shock when the pry open the coffin.
Dracula 2000 almost succeeds due to two factors. The first is Christopher Plummer. Even in the lousiest films – and Plummer has been in some doozies – he always puts on a good show. Here, he is utterly convincing – and this is just what the film needs at the start. The vampire, horror and modern culture aspects of the story were always going to take care of themselves. What the film needed to succeed was a heart, and Plummer gives the film it’s heart as the weary Matthew Van Helsing. The second element that helps lift this film, is ‘the twist’ towards the end. I won’t reveal it here for those who haven’t seen the film, but it concerns who Dracula was, before he became a world famous neck biter. When watching the film, as ‘the twist’ was revealed, I thought that makes sense. Later. Of course, I thought about it a bit more and realised that it only answered half the questions about Dracula’s history – and they aren’t the important ones. But while I was watching the film, I was impressed with what I thought was a new and unexpected slant on an old story.
Dracula 2000 is by no means a classic, but it certainly entertained me over its running time.