Van Helsing

dir. Sommers

Opens Fri May 7

Various Theaters

First of all, only babies believe in monsters. Either babies or the Victorian dipshits who invented boogiemen like Dracula and Frankenstein. Maybe they dreamed up monsters because they were scared of what science could do, and what God couldn't. But you know what? I'm no baby and I'm no fancy-pants Victorian. I'm a 21st century motherfucker who ain't scared of anything--except maybe cancer and Dick Cheney. So why am I expected to crap my pants over of a handful of computer generated Victorian monsters, being chased around by longhaired Nancy-boy Hugh Jackman?

In Van Helsing--which is clearly the DUMBEST name for a movie I've heard since that idiotic Ya-Ya Sisterhood flick--Jackman plays the titular long-haired Nancy-boy, who is paid by the Vatican to run around Europe and kill monsters. Unfortunately, after being killed, the monsters revert back to human form, leaving the rotten-toothed townsfolk to assume Van Helsing is a murderer. What does this tidbit do to forward the plot? NOTHING. However, when you have a script as bereft of substance as this piece of syphilitic donkey carcass, you gotta cover the sores somehow.

Anyway, Van Helsing is sent to Transylvania to kill Dracula (Richard Roxburgh)--who, by the way, is somewhat less convincing than a kid with Down Syndrome wearing a cape and rubber teeth. On his journey, he meets up with a sweet piece of ass (Kate Beckinsale) who also wants to kill Dracula because--surprise!--he killed her family. BUT! Unbeknownst to them, Drac has an evil scheme in mind! He plans to hatch a bunch of baby vampires by kidnapping other monsters--like the Wolfman and Frankenstein--and drain them of their life force using a method so overly complicated I'm afraid I'll have to kill myself if I'm forced to explain it.

Okay, so here's the thing: Van Helsing was directed by Stephen Sommers (The Mummy, The Scorpion King) who's clearly never had an original idea or a screenwriting class in his life. Much like Dracula--the real kind, not the Down Syndrome kind--he's sucked all his cinematic ideas straight from the jugular of Raiders of the Lost Ark. And yet, unlike Raiders, he refuses to imbue his characters with any likable attributes. The plot is nonsensical, the monsters unbelievable, the action computer-generated, and it's neither scary, funny, nor exciting. And did I mention the title was stupid? If you're looking for a scary time with monsters, trust me--you'd be better off staring at a box of Count Chocula for two hours.