I’d been meaning to watch this movie ever since I read Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel of the same name, but managed to do so only yesterday. And was completely floored all over again!
The movie deviates from the novel at many places as all adapted screenplays are wont to, and usually I dislike when that happens. But in this movie it all turns out for the better. The concept of slavery-meets-vampires is brilliant, and the actors do enough justice to their characters. But the thing that really stands apart in this film is the cinematography and the action sequences. The climactic scene atop a moving train is not only a great plot twist, but a visual treat as well. I only wish I could have seen it on a huge screen in a theater rather than at home. The ending of the movie is also quite different from the book; I actually liked this one better, since I thought the novel’s ending couldn’t really be justified.
All in all, I can’t imagine why it didn’t sit well with audiences.
(Disclaimer: I’ve been known to have a really bad taste in movies. eg. I even liked Maid in Manhattan when I saw it for the first time. Well, it had Ralph Fiennes, end of story. I couldn’t have tolerated Steven Segal though. So anyway, if you watch this movie on my recommendation and don’t like it, I can’t be held responsible.)
(PS. Another example–I loved Red Riding Hood (2011) but was disappointed by Snow White (2012) (Charlize Theron is a Goddess and I adored her in the movie, who wouldn’t, but why does Kristin Stewart have just three expressions in her repertoire? And what’s with the heaving?! Heroines haven’t done that since the 1890’s) although it was the other way round for critics and Rotten Tomatoes.)