Released 02/22/2002 Rated: R
This movie was confusing, and I read roughly half the book so I could at least piece together what was supposed to be going on. But the book was also confusing at first, and a chore to get through. I may go back and finish it one day, as difficult as it was for me to care, but I’ll definitely take the book over this movie.
The acting got better as the film went on, but it still started pretty rough. I mean, if I had another accessible option for the letter Q (in my 2017 alphabet challenge), I may have stopped it at five minutes in, and not bothered to pick it back up.
For a film titled Queen of the Damned, it sure had more to do with Lestat than with Akasha. In the book, yes, we spend more time with everyone else, but Akasha is still at the plot’s center in some way or other. Someone is worried about her, or planning to kill her, or has a story about her origins; everything is focused on her. This tactic builds her character up properly before we actually meet her. But in the movie all we get is a marble statue in Marius’s basement. There’s no intrigue in the titular character because they don’t show us anything to make us care or consider her important.
This movie doesn’t give any backstory except for some of Lestat’s, and that didn’t even come from this respective book. (It also isn’t correct.) There is no explanation for the Talamasca, Jesse, Maharet, or Akasha! Reveals mean nothing if the audience has no context for what’s happening or how people are tied together. Why are Akasha and Maharet at odds with each other? Explain more of Maharet and Jesse’s relationship/lineage. Why does Jesse want to die/become a vampire? What exactly does the Talamasca do? This movie could have been so much better on many levels. It honestly feels like the writers didn’t even try; they were just trying to make a sexy vampire movie.
This film combined elements from the novels The Vampire Lestat and The Queen of the Damned, but essentially butchered all of it to try to construct a single narrative. I understand why, but they should have spent more time ironing out the holes in the story they managed to concoct. Normally I like to list out the more major differences between the book and film, but with this one…I just can’t wrap my brain around it, y’all.
Like I said in the beginning, this movie is confusing. Don’t bother.