I’ve just finished watching Dracula Untold and I can safely sum it up in a word: lame.
Hollywood just can’t resist turning villains into hidden heros.
Exibit A: Wicked the musical
In the musical, the Wicked Witch of the West (Elphaba) is a witch who really, really wants to be good, but the world won’t let her:
From the wikis:
In the musical, Elphaba is framed by the Wizard and Madame Morrible for crimes she "committed" on the Wizard's orders, and because she refused to turn her powerful magic to the wizard's sickening cause. Therefore, the public turns against her. Later she truly turns wicked because she is depressed and frustrated that she could not save Fiyero, decides that "no good deed goes unpunished" and vows never to do another good deed.
Puke. I liked her better as a power-hungry, bitter woman as ugly on the outside as she was on the inside.
Exibit B: Maleficent the movie
Again, from the wikis:
the film presents Maleficent as a good fairy who protects the Moors, a realm of supernatural beings, from the neighboring human kingdom. Having befriended Stefan when they were children and slowly became something more, Maleficent was betrayed when her former lover used her weakness to iron to burn off her wings so that he could ascend the throne himself by proving his skill to the dying king.
Again, a villain who once was good, but through no fault of her own was made bad.
And that brings us to Exhibit C; the Dracula of Dracula Untold the movie.
Because the wikis don’t lie:
Dracula was always a bad dude. He majored in badness in prep school:
Details of his early life are obscure, but it seems that Dracula studied the black arts at the academy of Scholomance in the Carpathian Mountains, overlooking the town of Sibiu (also known as Hermannstadt) and became proficient in alchemy and magic. Taking up arms, as befitting his rank and status as a [warlord], he led troops against the Turks across the Danube.
Unfortunately, the movie focuses on Vlad the Impaler, an actual person on whom Bram Stoker based the Count Dracula character. In the movie, our budy Vlad was a family man with high morals and values, but he didn’t get the name “The Impaler” because of his Jamaican daggering skills.
One more time, you know where I get the quote:
In a letter to some prince, the family-man Vlad wrote this:
I have killed peasants men and women, old and young, who lived at Oblucitza and Novoselo, where the Danube flows into the sea, up to Rahova, which is located near Chilia, from the lower Danube up to such places as Samovit and Ghighen. We killed 23,884 Turks (most probably Tatars) without counting those whom we burned in homes or the Turks whose heads were cut by our soldiers...Thus, your highness, you must know that I have broken the peace with him (Sultan Mehmet II).
As if that isn’t enough:
It has also been said that in 1462 Mehmed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, returned to Constantinople after being sickened by the sight of 20,000 impaled corpses outside Vlad's capital of Târgoviște.
So spare me the hidden hero crap, Hollywood and give me back my wicked, nasty, vengeful, evil villains!