Hugh Jackman’s first real bomb, “Van Helsing” was a movie that actually made a decent amount of money on the back of the on-the-rise actor’s reputation at the time. But considering its intentions as a blockbuster designed to launch franchises and birth sequels, it was a CG-disaster that felt like a horror film in more ways than one.
Jackman was cast as the famed vampire hunter in this Universal monsters-grounded cross-over film that reimagined Van Helsing as a slick, crossbow-wielding action hero
After hunting and killing Mr. Hyde, Van Helsing is sent to Transylvania to slay Dracula at the behest of a Holy Order. Of course, Killing Dracula is a far greater challenge than Van Helsing may have imagined. And vampires aren’t the only concern of the swashbuckling monster-slaying hero. Werewolves are ever-present, and Frankenstein enters the picture later in the film.
A would-be crowd-pleaser that somehow managed to please no one, “Van Helsing” is the sort of movie best enjoyed when you turn off your brain — and writer/director Stephen Sommers seems to have enjoyed himself too much. Critics didn’t find the substance they were apparently looking for in an action film about monsters, and Van Helsing flamed out fast at the box office, even if did manage to reach the beloved $100 million domestic metric.