Okay... you're talking to the wrong guy if you're looking for a comparison of an original comic book series to a movie adaptation in this case. I've never seen an issue of DYLAN DOG and have no idea how well this new movie reflects its source material. You tell me.
I do know that this is going to disappear pretty much without a trace in the U.S.A. I had no idea that this movie was being made, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the trailer pop up in my local multiplex just a few weeks ago. As for the actual opening? It was on the smallest screen in my local ARTHOUSE, and I was treated to a near-private screening.
I guess that no matter how many vampires, werewolves, zombies and special effects you can throw at an audience, you're going to have a hard time convincing anyone on these shores to see something called DYLAN DOG in the first place. Sure, you and I know that DELAMORTE DELLAMORE/CEMETERY MAN had something of a connection to that very same comic, but does the mainstream audience really know anything at all about this? And can you sell it to them with the star of the ill-received SUPERMAN RETURNS and the director of the animated TMNT (which I never saw)?
It's a shame, though, because I really enjoyed this movie.
The disappointment I felt over SUPERMAN RETURNS wasn't the fault of Brandon Routh--he did his best as a newcomer the same way Christopher Reeve had done. And Routh was an absolute riot in SCOTT PILGRIM. Now again, I have no real idea how his Dylan Dog compares to the character as depicted in the comic, but he's spot-on for the movie as a reluctant private investigator... the bridge between the worlds of the living and the undead.
We're spared the obligations of an "origin" story so that the movie can move along at a decent clip. Dylan Dog begins this story between two phases of his life--as we progress, we gradually learn about his previous career and how he came to be mistrusted by the undead he allegedly represented... and we see where his new life is going to take him. Long story short, he's approached by a pretty young client (Anita Briem from the Brendan Fraser JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, which I never did see) whose father has just been killed by a supernatural beastie quickly revealed as a werewolf. Dylan doesn't want to take the case, but when his sidekick Marcus (Sam Huntington) is killed AND revived in the process, what choice does he have?
Peter Stormare has a great supporting role as an Italian mobster/werewolf/patriarch, and Taye Diggs is great fun as the vampire tycoon (who sells vampire blood to human thrillseekers at his nightclub). Oh, and if you want to know just how disassociated I've become from the world of professional wrestling over the past few months? I had absolutely NO idea that Kurt Angle was going to turn up in this...
The movie works as an effective blend of comedy, shock, monster action and traditional detective story, invoking pleasant memories of all sorts of hybrids I've enjoyed over the years--some loved, some hated by the majority (think of DEAD HEAT, INNOCENT BLOOD, the first two BLADE movies (don't EVER remind me that there was a third one) and a touch of HELLBOY, among others). It's a PG-13 outing, so don't expect any action a la CEMETERY MAN, but it's still sufficiently messy (the rules and regulations of the undead diet alone will do their best to gross you out).
Okay, maybe it's a little overlong and maybe the climax is a bit underwhelming and incoherent (or maybe I missed something important). But the DYLAN DOG movie is still plenty of good fun and certainly worth catching on the big screen before it gets away--which it will. Fast.
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