May 8, 2011

Movie Review: Dylan Dog - Dead of Night

Based on a graphic novel by the same guy who crafted the superb Dellamorte Dellamore (aka Cemetery Man) and directed by the guy who gave us that cool reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (remember TMNT?), Dylan Dog would seem to have the good basis for a movie. Add to that the fact that it is a tale that crosses noir with the supernatural, a hard boiled detective type dealing with an underworld involving vampires, werewolves, and zombies, and it would seem to be a can't miss. Unfortunately, the finished product is anything but a winner and is much more miss than can't.

I went in hoping to like the movie. I mean, if you are a genre fan how can that description not get you at least a little bit excited? Even if you are unfamiliar with the source material (as I am), this must seem awfully inviting. Believe it or not, I did go in with the best of intentions. I was curious, being a gene fan and a movie fan beyond that, this looked like a marriage made in heaven.

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night opens with an attack under cover of darkness. A man is attacked by a werewolf, his daughter (Anita Briem) witnesses the aftermath. Unfortunately, the police do not exactly believe her account of the events. So, said daughter goes to the offices of private investigator Dylan Dog (Brandon Routh) and his zombie partner (well, not to start, but never mind that). It turns out that Dylan is something of a peacekeeper between the world we all know and the supernatural world that co-exists with our own.

Anyway, Dylan takes the gig and goes on to investigate why the guy at the beginning, who collects/imports old artifacts, was murdered by the werewolves. It turns out that at some point in the past Dylan burned his good will with the creatures of the night, a fact that makes his investigation all the tougher, putting him directly in harms way when it comes to these creatures wishing to inflict some pain.

You know, the concept is a good one, it just strikes me as not one best suited to the big screen, at least in this format. I suspect it would have been better served as a television series, but then it would be called Angel. Still, a human PI specializing in supernatural creatures and their issues while keeping them out of the public eye would be a very interesting series, especially with the zombie partner. There are any number of stories that could be told. You can also consider the clunky back story told here as having a series to be told over, unfolding new details and changing the way we perceive our hero or how he is able to continue doing his work. So many possibilities.

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night for all the potential ultimately revealed itself to be a dull and uninteresting slog. Scenes just go on and on are followed by noirish voice over from star Brandon Routh before taking us into another dull and boring scene. The exposition was sloppy, the character development wasn't there, and the story was not all that engrossing. On the plus side, the practical effects were nice. Also, Peter Stormare is quite entertaining in his limited role.

Not Recommended.

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