I know it's based on a novel whose reason for being is the title as well, and I haven't had a chance to check it out yet. As a summer blockbuster, though, Abe proved a pleasant surprise.
Check back with me after I've mulled it over a little, but I may decide I like it better than Prometheus, which I liked quite a bit.
Benjamin Walker is one key, delivering a likable interpretation of the young Lincoln as well as the older version we're most familiar with from paintings, coins and monuments.
He's backed up by a cool-looking Dominic Cooper as his mentor and Rufus Sewel as the key vampire opponent, who's, well, Rufus Sewel.
The alternate history of vampires as a factor in the Civil War doesn't seemed as forced as I'd expected either, and what real events that wind up getting utilized weave nicely with the fabrication.
Escalating set pieces are really the focus, however, and they're well conceived and fun beginning with Abe's first attempt to off the vampire responsible for his mother's demise. That's how the whole vampire-hunting business gets injected.
When a pistol shot fails to defeat his opponent, deft action and visuals follow, especially when Cooper's Henry Sturgess, who has vampire-hating cred of his own, begins to train Abe to wield a rail-splitting ax as a weapon.
That inspired touch and the fight choreography that goes with it keep things moving, and horse stampedes, vampire battles and more soon follow.
Train sequences are a cinematic corner stone, and ultimately a train battle delivers a fun, visual and energetic conclusion.
While it sounds a bit like a front office decision for a film, don't dismiss Abe too quickly. If you can allow yourself to slip into the right frame of mind, it's a blast.