Transylvania, late 19th century. Vatican-sponsored monster hunter Gabriel Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) teams up with gypsy princess Anna Valerious (Kate Beckinsale) to thwart Dracula (Richard Roxburgh), who is planning to unleash his evil spawn with the aid of Frankenstein's Monster and The Wolf Man.
A film that tries to weave together the legends of Dracula, Frankenstein (including an Igor!), the Wolfman and even Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (also encountered in a animated DVD prequel just released) might sound like a recipe for disappointment. Luckily Stephen Sommers (director of the Mummy films) manages to mix them all together with plenty of action, gadgets and humour thrown in.
This is not the traditional Van Helsing that viewers of the Hammer Horror films will know. Not an old man who stumbles across the horrors by accident. Instead you had a (possibly immortal?) demon hunter with no memory of his past, sent out by the Vatican, aided by bond-esk gadgets and weapons (there's even a Q-like character thrown in for good measure!).
There are also plans underway for a series taking place in the same village (using the huge sets created for the film) which will hopefully be just as entertaining as the film is.
James Bond meets Indian Jones - well worth seeing.
Review by Paul