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Starring: John C. Reilly, Josh Hutcherson, Salma Hayek
Writers: Paul Weitz/Brian Helgeland
Director: Paul Weitz

The Plot

Source: The Internet Movie Database

A young boy named Darren Shan meets a mysterious man at a freak show who turns out to be a Vampire. After a series of events Darren must leave his normal life and go on the road with the Cirque Du Freak and become a Vampire.

The Review

I don't know you know this, but vampires are very in right now. With every book series being turned into films (Twilight) or shows (whatever True Blood is based on), it seems like everyone is trying to get their thumbs into the pie before it's too late and something else needs to be oversaturated. Cirque du Freak is the latest series to get a movie adaptation, and the latest vampire movie. Yay.

The casting in The Vampire's Assistant saved this movie. John C. Reilly, when not doing Step Brothers or whatever Will Farrell tells him to do, is a damn fine and versatile actor and he plays the main character of the tale, a vampire named Crepsley. The Reilly humor is still there, but he actually gets to play a character with a brain and to do some action-oriented stuff, although you know his agent told him to do this because vampires are "OMG COOL LOLZ" (his agent is 12).

Reilly's passion and dedication to the movie elevates it and makes it way more enjoyable and watchable. Ditto for the rest of the cast. Chris Massoglia (who plays Darren) does a passable job and is likeable enough, and Josh Hutcherson as his friend (or is he?) Steve does a damn good job playing evil. Willem Defoe shows up to chew scenery (and take a break from ejaculating blood in Antichrist) and be awesome, and even Patrick Fugit doesn't suck as the snake guy, which is shocking because he has something about him that makes me annoyed.

The characters of Cirque du Freak are more a background to the vampire story, but they all have their little sideshow quirks and are awesome in the scenes they are in. If I had it my way, I would watch a movie about them, not about the two sides of vampires going to war with each other. And kudos for Orlando Jones getting another acting gig again. His penance for Time Machine has been paid.

The movie itself is entertaining, but doesn't really make sense. There's a lot of mythological stuff, and a fat villain named Mr. Tiny who apparently controls life...or something. This film pretty much is here to set up the characters and get it ready for the sequel, as we even get a cliffhanger ending. Judging from its box office performance though, we may never get it.

I can think of worse movies to watch, and since the actors and actresses are so good, you forget the jumbled insanity presented to you in the story. This is purely a rent though, especially if you like the books because I'm pretty sure you'll hate it because it's not a word for word adaptation.

Oh, and it's better than Twilight...but that's like saying crack is better than meth.

Final Verdict:
C

 


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