Dylan Dog

Poor Brandon Routh. After the flat and lifeless “Superman Returns” (in which he was actually pretty good at playing Christopher Reeve playing Superman), he’s just not been able to find a role to make a similar impact and has had to content himself with a recurring role on the TV series “Chuck” and cameo appearances in “Zack and Miri Make A Porno” and the the under-appreciated “Scott Pilgrim Versus The World”. Unfortunately, “Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night” isn’t going to do anything to change his career trajectory and may just have made things worse. A neutered adaptation of an edgy, darkly humorous and surreal Italian comic book, the movie dispenses with much of what made the comic stand out and converts it into a run of the mill monster yarn.

When a man is brutally murdered by a mysterious, beastly attacker, his daughter Elizabeth (Anita Briem) seeks the assistance of Dylan Dog (Routh), famed paranormal investigator, but he declines her case because he has left the arena of the supernatural behind and now concentrates on petty domestic dispute cases with the help of his sidekick Marcus (Sam Huntington). When Marcus is attacked by the same creature who killed Elizabeth’s father, Dylan is forced to take her case and becomes embroiled in a turf war between the werewolf, vampire and zombie populations of New Orleans to find and control a mysterious artefact known as The Heart of Belial, a cross-like relic that holds the blood of Belial, an ancient and powerful vampire demon who is effectively invulnerable unless its master (whoever holds the Heart) is killed.

The movie itself is heavily influenced by both “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and “Blade” with healthy doses of “True Blood” and “The Monster Squad” thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, Routh is badly miscast and lacks the charisma and world-weary charm to breathe life into the character of Dylan Dog. It needed someone with the wry, worn down heroism of Nathan Fillion or even the lackadaisical gravitas of Bill Nighy to give the eponymous detective the history and depth needed to carry the rest of this well put together but utterly unoriginal film. We are told Dylan Dog has witnessed some terrible things in his time and suffered the devastating loss of his fiancee, driving him out of the supernatural detective business but there’s simply no sign of it from the impossibly pretty Brandon Routh who often aims for melancholy and haunted but just looks bored and disconnected. Sam Huntingdon, working with Routh for a second time after playing Jiummy Olsen in “Superman Returns”, tries to do a whiny Shia LeBoeuf as Sam Witwicky impression with unwelcomely successful results and so we’re saddled with a hollow pretty boy and a whiny sidekick for the whole of the film. At least the supporting cast provides some relief with Taye Diggs as vampire Vargus, the great Peter Stormare as Gabriel, father and head of the local werewolf family and WWE wrestler Kurt Angle as his son Wolfgang (subtle!).

There are some good ideas in the film, such as the thriving marketplace for zombie spare parts and a monstrous uber-zombie henchman. But the Superzombie is disposed of too soon and too easily and the rest of “Dead Of Night” is an artless blend of ideas and concepts which have been done before, and done better than they are here.

With its story of feuding vampires, werewolves and zombies seeking a powerful talisman to resurrect a demon, it’s a seasons worth of “Buffy” condensed into an hour and forty minutes. Ditching what little remains of the Dylan Dog comic and with some minor rewrites and cast changes, it would have made a pretty decent feature length “Angel” movie. It might also have succeeded as the pilot for a TV series where the underwritten characters and setting could have developed and grown over a number of episodes but as a standalone supernatural comedy horror noir-esque thriller, this tepid and uninspired undead movie is D.O.A.

4/10 

logo

Related posts

Son Of Dracula (1943) Dractober Review

Son Of Dracula (1943) Dractober Review

Dractober’s keeping it in the family as we follow up “Dracula’s Daughter” with another story in a filial vein.Swapping the mountains of Carpathia for the swamps of the Deep South, Count Alucard (Lon Chaney Jr) arrives to visit Dark Oaks, the plantation owned by the wealthy Colonel Caldwell...

Dora And The Lost City Of Gold (2019) es una obra maestra. Can you say una obra maestra?

Dora And The Lost City Of Gold (2019) es una obra maestra. Can you say una obra maestra?

In a summer crammed to the rafters with tentpole franchises, sequels and high concept remakes, emerging from the jungle with an irresistible charm comes this note-perfect big-screen adaptation of beloved classic kids show "Dora The Explorer". With autumn waiting in the wings and the summer days...

Loki Episode 5: Journey Into Mystery Review

Loki Episode 5: Journey Into Mystery Review

*SPOILERS, MAYBE?*Given just how many presumed-pruned resurrections we’re reunited with, it’s curiously fitting that JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY is absolutely packed with Easter eggs and, seeing as LOKI’s debut season is entering its own endgame that Loki himself references his ultimate...

Evil Dead Rise (2023) Review

Evil Dead Rise (2023) Review

Evil Dead Rise sets out to Make Horror Grate Again!After the perennially troubled franchise failed to get a direct sequel to either ARMY OF DARKNESS, or THE EVIL DEAD (2013) or even a fourth season of ASH VS THE EVIL DEAD off the ground, the Deadites finally managed to return to...