Urban Cinefile
"I'm so happy that it's a sore point with you . . . I love it! This guy - we're gonna have some close ups of you in my next movie! - "  -Arnold Schwarzenegger to Andrew L. Urban about End of Days messing with the millennium date
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday, December 5, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

DRACULA 2000

SYNOPSIS:
Antique magnate Matthew Van Helsing (Plummer) hides a great secret in the basement vault of his London gallery. When his gorgeous secretary Solina (Esposito) and a roughneck team of thieves crack the vault – hoping to find hidden riches – all they can steal is a single silver coffin. Little do they know Van Helsing has been guarding the crypt of Dracula himself for 100 years. Not only is Van Helsing now on their trail, they unwittingly unleash Dracula (Butler) on New Orleans, where Van Helsing’s virginal daughter Mary (Waddell) lives. Only his trusted assistant Simon (Lee Miller) has the guts – and the weapons – to protect Mary from the Dracula’s dreaded dripping fangs.

"After Sherlock Holmes and Napoleon, Count Dracula is the most frequently portrayed fictional character in motion picture history. But wait a minute, what if it's not fiction at all and Bram Stoker's novel was based on terrible true circumstances just waiting to be repeated. That's the idea behind this miserable attempt to bring Drac into the new millennium. With its already stale title (Hammer Films had the same problem when Dracula AD 1972 hit most markets the following year), Dracula 2000 tries a couple of twists on the legend but can't overcome a clunky script, shonky special effects, dire casting decisions and terrible performances. Looking like a washed up rock star from the 80s, Gerard Butler is one of the least sexy Draculas ever seen. Try not to giggle as he saunters through the Virgin (get it!) megastore in New Orleans while the pretty young things swoon at the raw power (!!) of his sexuality. The object of his affections is played by similarly charisma-challenged Justine Waddell, who's done splendid work in Mansfield Park and Anna Karenina but is sorely miscast here as Drac's dream date. Even the "brides of Dracula" trio disappoint with their less than alluring demeanour and wardrobe selections. The worst offender is Jonny Lee Miller who is embarrassing as Van Helsing's loyal assistant. In his defence it does look like editor-turned director Patrick Lussier has told Miller to play it straight in some scenes and camp it up in others, leaving us with a hero who one moment is firing silver bullets (from Van Helsing's very impressive custom built gun it must be said) and dumb one-liners the next. The only dignity is offered by veteran Christopher Plummer whose previous experience playing Van Helsing equivalent Catalano in Nosferatu In Venice (1986) adds a touch of class missing everywhere else. There's certainly no class in the make-up effects; the veins on the vampire's faces looks suspiciously like blue ballpoint pen and their fangs resemble those novelty shop plastic teeth that cost about a dollar. This film is advertised as "Wes Craven Presents". The key word is "presents", because he has presented his long-serving editor Patrick Lussier with a reward for loyalty dating back to A Nightmare On Elm St. Unfortunately he also presents us with a dull interpretaion of a classic tale that made me wish those pesky kids had never raided Van Helsing's vault in the first place."
Richard Kuipers

"Vampire movies are on the comeback. But like any genre, the offerings to hit our screens vary in quality. Recently we saw the terrific Shadow of the Vampire; now producer Wes Craven brings us the patchy Dracula 2000. This is a feeble updating of Bram Stoker’s legend, marked by pedestrian direction and a screenplay that offers little new. The familiar vampire excesses (fangs, blood and sultry acolytes) are here in abundance; while originality, wit and real chills are sadly lacking. Even the big "ta-da" ending is not all that hard to work out; and the film’s attempts at humour are sadly misguided. Example – the character Mary works at Virgin; geddit? Director Partick Lussier and writer Joel Soisson just don’t know when to stop, piling stupidity on inanity in what appears to be a vain search for a resolution to the clutter they’ve created. The cast have so little to work with, it’s difficult to gauge the performances; but they’re hardly outstanding by any measure. Christopher Plummer plays it deadly serious as Van Helsing, but his stay is short-lived. Jonny Lee Miller’s performance is patchy at best, while Gerard Butler is often a hoot as Dracula. At least Justine Waddell is convincing as Mary, but the script soon overwhelms her attempts at plausibility. There are a few scary moments in Dracula 2000, but these are soon forgotten as this dumb project unfolds. On this occasion at least, the filmmakers haven’t been able to suck any life out of poor old Drac’s corpse."
David Edwards

"In the umpteenth celluloid version of Bram Stoker’s nightmarish novel, the neck nipper is loose in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. It would seem a perfect time and place for Dracula to roam around without standing out in a crowd, but director Patrick Lussier fails to take the opportunity to have some fun here. Then again, his resume (Prophecy III, editor of the Scream trilogy) doesn’t suggest a genius at work, and the story by Joel Soisson (who also wrote the lame Highlander: Endgame) has more holes than Swiss cheese. We start with an atmospheric but narratively useless prologue at sea, and soon realise that "Dra-cool-ahhh" – (as Christopher Plummer's pronounces it) is at work. But who is this Dracula? It’s the relatively unknown Gerard Butler, a hunky beefcake bloodsucking bore who fails to frighten you. Jennifer Esposito and Star Trek Voyager’s stunning Jeri Ryan make nice vamp-ets, but hopeless heroes Jonny Lee Miller and Justine Waddell don’t elicit a single shred of empathy. It all combines to make Dracula 2000 a missed opportunity. Anne Rice made him more of a sensual stud, and since then, vampirism has held more carnal cravings than a Parisian nightclub. Lussier, Soisson, and their cast could have had so much fun here. Instead, they resort to simple formula; people are bitten, showdowns brew, and much Christian symbology is seen. The only interesting thing about it is a nice link to The Last Supper and Jesus’s crucifier, even if it’s spoilt by a laughable representation of God as a giant neon picture-crucifix. This Dracula needs a stake in the heart. I for one think Buffy does it best!"
Shannon J. Harvey

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 3
Mixed: 0

DRACULA 2000 (MA)
(US)

CAST: Christopher Plummer, Omar Epps, Sean Patrick Thomas, Jonny Lee Miller, Justine Waddell

PRODUCERS: W.K. Border, Joel Soisson

DIRECTOR: Patrick Lussier

SCRIPT: Joel Soisson (story and screenplay), Patrick Lussier (story and screen story), Bram Stoker (novel Dracula)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Pau

EDITOR: Peter Devaney Flanagan, Patrick Lussier

MUSIC: Marco Beltrami

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Carol Spier

RUNNING TIME: 99 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: BVI

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 15, 2001

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: BVHE

VIDEO RELEASE: May 8, 2002







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017