Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

Released 10/23/09                              Rated: PG-13

I’m going to be up front about this: I have not seen this movie. However, I am a HUGE fan of the books, so you can guess which direction this post is going to take. (And if you’re interested in the post I made on the series, check it out on my other blog right here.)

I can’t even begin to figure out how they made such a mess of the plot line. Let me put it this way: it’s as if someone said “Okay, we’re going to turn the Harry Potter series into a movie. This fifteen-year-old doesn’t have the best life, finds out he’s a wizard, blah blah different world, Dementors attack on his way to Hogwarts, he gets there and there’s this giant snake roaming the school petrifying people, and all the while Sirius Black is looking for Harry. That takes care of the first movie; hey Frank, you wanna figure out the sequel?” There’s too much going on with this kid at once! I get that this is the first three books (and then http://www.joblo.com/movie-posters/cirque-du-freak-the-vampires-assistantsome) of the twelve-part series, and that’s fine, but they tried to put it all within the time frame of the first book, so it doesn’t really work. AND I found out they changed the happenings of a certain character who’s supposed to pull off some crazy twists at the end of the series. That’s like bringing Voldemort back early and making him a professor at Hogwarts. NO! I started reading the plot in Wikipedia and couldn’t even finish I was so disgusted. I can’t even imagine where a legitimate sequel would have gone.

The two reasons why I initially did not want to see this movie were because of the age differences, and I guess you could say the colors of the movie. Darren and Steve are supposed to be around the age of twelve. The entire series spans a coupke of decades at least, and with the growth rate of a half-vampire being one year for every five human years Darren doesn’t become a teenager until the end of the books. As far as the colors go, they feel too vibrant to me; I might even go so far as to say cartoony. It doesn’t feel as though it’s in the real world. I’m not even going to start on the make-up for Evra Von’s character. Ugh! He’s supposed to be able to pass as human, but whatever!!

The series itself is rather dark, and I don’t pick up any hint of that in the trailers and clips that I’ve found. I’m talking people are losing limbs and getting eaten, here. It’s not AMC’s The Walking Dead, but it’s not Scooby-Doo either. On that note, Larten Crepsley is a serious man; he would never dig Darren out of the grave, open the coffin and go “Wakie wakie.” I love his character in the books. It’s his relationship with Darren, and the break down of their individual walls over time to show some emotion that make him wonderful to me. Much like Alan Rickman’s Severus Snape (since I’m on the Harry Potter kick). If Jim Carey had been cast for Snape, we’d be playing a whole different ballgame. Seeing this portrayal just does not sit well with me. Mr. Crepsley doesn’t really have a sense of humor, yet they made him a little sarcastic. No offense to John C. Reilly, I think he’s a great actor; if he had been any other character I would have had no complaints.

I could go on and on about this, but I think this post is long enough as it is. So I am going to stick to my books, where the characters feel natural, the Little People are mysterious, Mr. Tiny is evil and not just some jolly fat man (who –by the way!– cannot directly interfere with humanity), and there is no monkey girl in the Cirque. This is a wonderful book series if you like the supernatural and vampires. The books have it all and blend the serious with the comical aspects very well, where as I feel the film panders to the children by going for a funny approach.

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