A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this comic book-based detective story about a human in charge of keeping tabs on a community of vampires, werewolves, and zombie in New Orleans has both horror and comedy elements. There's strong monster violence and fighting; scenes include guns, knives, dead bodies, and blood. There's a bit of minor sensuality (characters kiss and wake up in bed together, but no sensitive body parts are shown) and some swearing (including "s--t"). A fictitious drug, vampire blood, is part of the plot, and viewers see minor characters going through withdrawals and "shooting up."
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What's the story?
Dylan Dog (Brandon Routh) is a detective working on infidelity cases in New Orleans alongside his wisecracking assistant, Marcus (Sam Huntington). But his true calling is to keep tabs on the city's secret community of monsters (vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc.). A gruesome murder committed by a werewolf and a stolen artifact -- not to mention the murder victim's pretty daughter, Elizabeth (Anita Briem) -- reluctantly bring Dylan out of retirement. He must re-enter the underworld, re-connect with his old contacts (Peter Stormare, Taye Diggs, and more), navigate a complex mystery, and hopefully find a solution before an even bigger, deadlier monster is unleashed.
Is it any good?
It kicks off with a great idea -- combining the old-style detective genre with popular monsters -- but for having such an inspired start, the movie feels oddly uninspired. The mystery isn't very hard to figure out, the comedy isn't very funny, and the monsters aren't very scary; even the visual effects show little imagination. Munroe never conjures up anything remotely scary, and his action scenes are lumpy and sluggish.
Routh is slowly beginning to demonstrate some of the personality he was lacking in Superman Returns, and his character is mostly interesting, despite some bumps in logic; Dylan begins the movie as a slob but quickly changes over to a sleek, black wardrobe once he takes on the new mystery. Perhaps a better movie could have done some justice to this potentially appealing character, but this isn't it.
Talk to your kids about ...
How successfully does this movie combine three genres: the detective movie, the horror movie, and the comedy? Was the mystery intriguing? Were the monsters scary? Was the movie funny?
Is Dylan a good role model, or is he more of an antihero? What are his good traits? What could he do better?
- In theaters: April 29, 2011
- On DVD or streaming: June 21, 2011
- Cast: Anita Briem, Brandon Routh, Sam Huntington, Taye Diggs
- Director: Kevin Munroe
- Studio: Freestyle Releasing
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 107 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sequences of creature violence and action, language including some sexual references, and some drug material