In 1442 a horrific battle is fought yet one young boy emerges to one day grow into a leader of a small kingdom in Transylvania. Known as the dragon, Prince Vlad (Luke Evans), years later has kept his kingdom under ten years of peace with the Turks a mighty army led by a fearless leader named Mehmed (Dominic Cooper). While out in the forest the Prince and his soldiers spot what they think are some Turks hiding in a cave located on the side of a cliff yet what they find are only the bones of Turks and a demon (Charles Dance) bound to this darkness for life. Or so we think! Yet when Vlad escapes alive little did he realize at the time he would return one day in search of help.
Back at the kingdom in the arms of his wife Mirena (Sarah Gadon) he greets his young son Ingeras (Art Parkinson) yet when the Turkish army shows up at the castle accusing Vlad of killing his soldiers and breaking their peace he demands one thousand of their boys. These boys would be taken and trained to fight in the Turks army with no exception to Vlad’s son. Yet when the transfer occurs things don’t quite go as planned and Vlad returns to the cave of the demon in search of hope. Apparently the world does not need a hero but rather a monster and when Vlad drinks the blood of the demon his life would possibly be cursed forever yet in return could also unleash the beast from his dungeon.
If Vlad can control his hunger for blood for three days he will maintain the powers needed to fight the Turks and save his kingdom but if he fails he will be doomed to life as a vampire and the demon in the cave will be set free to seek the revenge on the one that made him what he is. In the three day battle Vlad discovers the strength of one hundred men, the vision of an animal and the transformation to travel as a group of bats at shear speeds. Yet in the end when the sun shines through the son of the devil realizes his true name as Dracula one with a strong heart reborn. Overall in the end, let the games begin.
I happened to really enjoy this film. Yes it is a bit over the top at times but there is truly never a dull moment. I liked the direction for the most part as well as the writing although it seemed to have a few holes here and there. A nice dark score to match the horror that takes place throughout the story and some great wardrobe along with some awesome special effects and this film becomes a perfect eyeful for the male demographic. The only loss is the lack of some character development but for the most part many of them don’t stick around for long anyway.
Evans is spot on and I really enjoyed him as the prince of darkness that can kick some extreme butt on the battle field. Gadon does well as his wife and Parkinson as his son. Dance is superb as the demon and by the looks of things if this film does well at the box office he will be back for more games in the future. Cooper along with many of the supporting characters all make this story come to life so I must say I’d personally recommend it to see on the big screen. Written and enjoyed with two and half paws out of four by Jon Patch.