topfivefilms.com Wednesday 27th October 2021
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Van Helsing (12A)
Directed by: Steven Sommers
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

Famous for his role as Wolverine in the X-Men franchise, rising Aussie star Hugh Jackman plays the lead role in this souped-up, Hollywood horror flick. Van Helsing is a murderer working for the church, receiving orders directly from the Vatican to travel around 19th century Europe capturing and killing various monsters from folklore.

Kate Beckinsale tackles more vampires in Van Helsing
Kate Beckinsale tackles more vampires in Van Helsing

In this tale, Van Helsing is despatched to (where else?) Transylvania, to combat the dreaded Count Vladislaus Dracula (Richard Roxborough), who has managed to marshal various other creatures to do his evil bidding. The plot thickens when we learn that the Anna Valerious (Kate Beckinsale) and her family have been cursed, and will not be able to rest in the afterlife until one of them has killed Dracula.

David Wenham, who you might remember as Faramir from The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, makes an appearance as the bumbling academic sidekick, who supplies Van Helsing with various ingenious weapons throughout the film, in a manner reminiscent of James Bond's Q.

This film is an absolute roller coaster of action sequences and although it suffers many of the usual drawbacks of an action film, it's still damn good fun. You wouldn't know it was over two hours in length, as it whisks you along at a wonderful pace, much like Steven Sommers' previous film The Mummy. The setting is appropriately dark and gothic, the Count seems effortlessly cool, the monsters are scary enough and overall there's not much to complain about here.

Already a fair success at the box-office, there's no doubt that this film has been designed with plenty of potential for a sequel in mind, although as Van Helsing encounters Frankenstein's monster, Dr Jekyll, a werewolf, Count Dracula and his brides in this film, it's a wonder there is anyone left to fight!

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Length: 132 minutes
Certificate: 12A
Official Site: http://www.vanhelsing.net/
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338526/
Release Date: 7th May 2004

Top Five Rating: 80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0% (80.0%)
User Rating: 0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0% (0.0%)

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