US (dir. Patrick Lussier)
Cast: Christopher Plummer, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Danny Masterson, Gerard Butler, Jennifer Esposito, Jeri Ryan, Jonny Lee Miller, Justine Waddell, Lochlyn Munro, Nathan Fillion, Omar Epps, Sean Patrick Thomas, Shane West, Tom Kane
Synopsis: A group of thieves break into a chamber expecting to find paintings but instead they release the count himself, who travels to New Orleans to find his nemesis’ daughter, Mary Van Helsing.
Review: I really enjoyed “Dracula 2000” when it first came out as it fit nicely into my personal vampire obsession as a teenager. I even ended up purchasing the soundtrack (which still rocks, by the way, and has some awesome tracks by Static-X, Pantera, Slayer etc.). Upon re-watching it some nearly 10 years later, I find it doesn’t have the same impact as it once did. It’s still a pretty fun movie, and it remains as sexy, if not sexier than when I first saw it. Can you really make an argument deriding a vampire Gerard Butler? I can’t! Even moments like this, as utterly cheese as they appear to be (floating curtains, strobe lights, and epic Gerard Butler expressions), are still sexy.
“Dracula 2000” is essentially a modern re-telling of the original Dracula story, but with a biblical twist (as Gerard Butler would say: “It’s going to be biblical” – “Law Abiding Citizen” reference, LOL). So you get the same old, same old, with a Van Helsing character (a surprisingly energetic Christopher Plummer), a wannabe Jonathan Harker (Johnny Lee Miller), a virginal Mina/Mary (the beautiful, under-rated actresses, Justine Waddell) and Lucy (played by… uhh… Colleen Fitzpatrick, better known as Vitamin C (LOL) in the late 1990s).
Actually at one point there’s even a scene where Lucy (Vitamin C) is stocking her own CDs at the Virgin Records Mega Store where she works. How did I manage to catch that? I have no life.
Rounding out the cast, and providing more boob for your buck, are Jeri Ryan and Jennifer Esposito who comprise two-thirds of Dracula’s harem of women. There is also a bevy of other 90s actors that pop up here and there in the film, including the guy who plays Hyde on “That 70s Show”, Shane West, Sean Patrick Thomas, and one of the guys from the very first “Scary Movie”. Surprisingly absent, or somewhat incognito, is Gerard Butler’s butt-cheeks which almost always show up in his films in some shape or form. In the scene where he bangs Vitamin C on the ceiling, you can just see the shape of those famous cheeks, but alas… we don’t get the full view.
Before this review delves too much into Gerard Butler’s ass… let me get on with the actual movie. Ahem.
At times the acting can be a tad… well, bad, and Gerard Butler’s Scottish-trying-to-be-Transylvanian accent can be a bit embarrassing to sit through, but I think for the most part the characters are pretty well fleshed out. I think the less Gerard Butler says in the movie, the more believable his performance as Dracula is. It’s probably exceedingly difficult to imagine someone with a Scottish accent attempting to conceal it with a Slavic one, but damn, does Gerard Butler ever give it the old college try. The final product sounds more like a South African accent than anything else, but hey, at least he’s still pretty easy on the eyes.
I found it hilarious how Dracula manages to seduce any woman by just an outstretched hand. He’s like the Chris Hansen of vampires in terms of suggestive ability. So essentially any scene with Dracula extending his right hand to a woman is a good predictor of trouble ahead for that particular woman.
Despite the thick layer of cheese and sex Gerard Butler brings to this film, there are astonishingly great special effects to be seen, however the film focuses less on effects and cool stuff and more or Dracula and his super-seductive outstretched hand, seduction process. This could have made for a more solid action horror film than a romantic action horror film had they focused more on cool effects, especially like the one where Dracula transforms from vampire, to wolf, to group of bats in a seamless fashion. More of that and less cheese, please!
Unfortunately, despite my undying (lol) love of vampire films, “Dracula 2000” doesn’t really stand the test of time and I really doubt I’ll return to watching it again any time soon. However it is worth checking out if you are interested in seeing an updated version of the same old same old Dracula story.