Van Helsing | Chicago Reader

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The road of excess leads to the palace of boredom in this overblown monster epic by Stephen Sommers (The Mummy, The Mummy Returns). The title character, played in earlier Dracula movies by crusty Edward Van Sloan and elegant Peter Cushing, is now a buff, long-haired adventurer (Hugh Jackman) battling not only the wicked count (Richard Roxburgh) but sundry other vampires, a werewolf, Mr. Hyde, and the Frankenstein monster. (Abbott and Costello are mysteriously absent.) Sommers makes no pretense of developing characters, much less a story—this is 145 minutes of nonstop thunder, lightning, flames, wailing banshees, rotting flesh, and horrific transformations. It has all the stuff I loved in horror movies when I was a kid, but now that there's no dinner, the dessert sucks. PG-13.

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