DVD Review: Dylan Dog - Dead Of Night (2011)
Aubrey Ward III
I'm not telling you what to see. I'm not telling you what not to see. I'm just sharing my experience and opinion on the movie, tv show or play that I have seen. I'm merely an advisor. Ultimately, you will have to go with your own gut and decide if you'll buy the ticket or not.View all articles by Aubrey Ward III
Dylan is forced to return to his old gig when a new client named Elizabeth (Anita Briem) enlists the help of Dylan to investigate the murder of her father. As Dylan unravels the mystery it is clear that the man’s murder is just a small part of a greater scheme that will threaten both the realms of the mortals, immortals and abnormals.
Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night was in theaters for about five minutes. It just seemed destined for the rental circuit and that’s kind of a shame since the movie actually wasn’t half bad. Now, I didn’t read the original comic series created by Tiziano Sclavi so I don’t know what got altered from print to screen. I’m just reviewing the film itself. Capiche?
I was astonished to find that I was genuinely captivated by the story. It was intriguing to see Dylan interact with the various creature sects inhabiting New Orleans. The plot unfolded at a favorable pace with the murder of Elizabeth’s father gradually growing into a bigger and more malevolent plan that will threaten the whole world. Yeah, the apocalypse theme is nothing new but there was a surprising zest to the film’s approach on the subject.
The special effects were decent. Yeah, the big beasties like a muscle bound zombie thug, a fully morphed werewolf and the major baddie that shows up in the final act are impressive enough. I was actually digging some of the more subtle effects such as when Dylan interrogates Gabriel (Peter Stormare), a werewolf elder. Gabriel gets annoyed by the questioning and loses some of his composure resulting in his inner wolf peeking out.
In my honest opinion the only downer about Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night was Dylan Dog. Hey, don’t get me wrong. I like Brandon Routh and I still think he has the makings to be a major leading man in Hollywood. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t convinced by his portrayal of a grizzled private eye with a major resentment chip on his shoulder. Routh’s heartthrob looks worked against his performance, I think. His line delivery was too dry so that he came off bored rather than cynical. A killer example is when he recalls his lost love.
Thankfully, the supporting cast effectively compensates for Routh’s fumbled performance. Peter Stormare is his usually unsettling self as the werewolf leader “Gabriel”, Taye Diggs is quite suave yet sinister as the shifty vampire boss “Vargas” and even thought the werewolf “ Wolfgang” has a small role Kurt Angle gave the wolfen flunky a memorable presence. Anita Briem plays up the modernized “damsel” role pretty well as the willowy client, “Elizabeth”. I have to wonder if it was just a crazy coincidence that she happened to bear a striking resemblance to Kate Bosworth, Routh’s leading lady in Superman Returns (2006).
For me, the true lead in the film wasn’t Routh but his co-star Sam Huntington. As Dylan’s sidekick, “Marcus”, Huntington is rightfully written as the comic relief. But as a result of Routh’s bland performance Huntington steals all of the power from Routh’s star. Yeah, Marcus’ ramblings can get really annoying but at least his incessant whining kept me awake. Oh, and then Marcus goes through his, um, transformation and Huntington is given even more colors to play around with on his performance palette. I wish the scene where he attends a support group were a little bit longer. I would’ve loved to see Huntington bounce his sarcastic barbs off more members of the group.
Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night may have been too weak to sustain a box office run but it sure makes for a great rental. The murder case of Elizabeth’s father was fun to investigate and even a little startling at times. Though Brandon Routh strikes out as a hardened private eye the rest of the cast put their best game faces forward to compensate.
The rental DVD I got didn’t have any special features and, per my research, the DVDs Blu Rays for sale don’t have special features either. Perhaps there’s a director’s cut, 2-disc edition in the works? Yeah, I’ll hold my breath for that.
Rhymes With: True Blood (cable series) Buffy The Vampire Slayer (film / tv series), Blade (1998), Constantine (2005), Jennifer’s Body (2009), John Carpenter’s Vampires (1998), Van Helsing (2004), Ghost Rider (2007), Beetlejuice (1988), Monster Squad (1987)