Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

Posted: May 28, 2011 by TME (thats my e) in Movies, Reviews
Tags: , , , , , ,

By David Burrola
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Mystery
Us. Release: April 29, 2011
Run Time: 107 min
Cast: Brandon Routh, Sam Hunnington, Taye Diggs, Anita Briem
Director: Kevin Munroe

Rating: Should have been a TV series!

Dylan’s character is based off of an Italian comic book that was published originally back in 1986 and still runs today. The character was English and lived in London. Much of the rest of his aesthetics are represented in this film;his signature look, his distaste for modern technology and living and his apparent lack of funds. Other aspects of his personality (like phobias) are left out, or thrown onto Marcus for comedy relief. Marcus had to be entirely redesigned because he was a Groucho Marx impersonator. Delving more into these aspects would be fun, but for a short 2 hour movie.

Supernatural investigator Dylan Dog is ready for any job, if the price is right. Known about Louisiana for his expertise, his latest case just might be his toughest yet. The synopsis is kinda cheeky, but this movie is pretty cheeky too. While it’s not terrible by any standards, it’s definitely dated. If this movie came out about 10 years ago, it would have been pretty cool;it’s like a grittier Constantine made a couple years earlier. While you might make references to that movie a lot, Dylan Dog is more like an episode of Buffy:the Vampire Slayer. But let’s really dive into this caper (I swear that’s the last time i’ll use a joke like that).

The movie begins with a young woman in a mansion calling for her father, during a stormy night. No answer from the father; strange sounds of a beast of some sort lurking about. She runs to find daddy’s been slaughtered by something big. It tries to swipe at her as it rushes for a window. She evades it watching as it runs off into the night. We’re introduce then to Dylan being held up in his own apartment by a guy whose wife hired Dylan to spy on. Now he’s decidedly pissed and is about to kill him, but Dylan being the smooth talker, stops the mad husband and then offers to work for the guy after finding that the wife’s been planning this for a long time. So that’s our hero; a man of loose morals and quick tongue to get him out of any situation. Unfortunately that’s not really how things play out most of the time for Dylan. It’s nice they actually open by showing us just how good the hero’s supposed to be.

After that it dives into the plot of girl’s father was killed by a monster, nobody believes her but Dylan. The girl and her friend, Marcus, have no idea that the supernatural is real. Our hero is the only one that knows about this stuff and he is the man with all the answers and solutions to the problems at hand. This really sounds a lot more like it should have been the plot to a TV show rather than a full length film. The effects and sets emphasize this too, but the technique is dated.

The movie gets a bit predictable as you can see the many plot twists coming. There is no foreshadowing of what is going to happen next. The movie tends to lead you around as if its audience was afflicted by attention deficit disorder. The main crux of the plot is that Elizabeth, the young woman whose father was killed, is an antique dealer. From there, we know that it has something to do with an artifact that was found and is a doomsday device (if it isn’t just a tool to bring back the one of the devil’s flunkies). It actually will bring back another of the big demons from hell and the time of battle between heaven and hell in the Old Testament. The catch is that this demon, when he is brought back is controlled by the summoner. It’s silly and too predictable. Just after Dylan leaves Elizabeth by rejecting her job request, Dylan’s friend Marcus is killed by Nemesis from Resident Evil. (No. it’s not really him, but come on! That thing is just a wardrobe away from being a lawsuit with Capcom)

After Marcus dies, Dylan goes to the morgue to talk to some zombies that work there(yes… we see what you did there…) and you see that Marcus has risen as a zombie himself. What follows is the running gag, about Marcus’s problem believing and accepting that he’s a zombie. He even goes to a zombie AA group! The movie is also narrated by Dylan himself like an old school Samuel Spade movie(The Maltese Falcon anybody?), and while its not overdone or trying to be so gritty like Sin City, it’s still something more novel than needed.

The saving grace I see when watching this movie is that you get a sense that the people making this movie had fun with it. Even though budget was kept in mind you can see the actors gelled more than just a part.

I guess that’s what this boils down to. This movie is fun, and entertainingly lighter version of an amalgamation of what we’ve seen in Constantine and Buffy:the Vampire Slayer, but with its own world and still realized characters. If this does get made into a series I’d watch that, as it’d be more fun to see more of Dylan solving cases and what else his past has tucked away. Or if all else, just to see what other things from the comic that they adapt or choose to change, since it is a current running comic that started in the 80’s. That would give lots of room to pull from existing story lines and ideas that can be made to the screen.

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