Dylan Dog: Tired Old Pet with No Good Tricks

Watched Dylan Dog: Dead of the Night on pay-per-view last night.

Before it came out, I wasn’t aware of the comic series on which it was based, but I love Harry Dresden of the Dresden Files and the trailers for this movie had me convinced there were enough similarities between the two (an affinity for Volkswagen Beetles, imposing stature, P.I. jobs in the supernatural realm) that I could maybe substitute Harry for Dylan and find something with which to identify. Plus, I had a free movie coupon from AT&T U-Verse and Brandon Routh is super hunky.

Because of the second-string nature of the casting (Taye Diggs is the bad guy for example) and the lack of publicity before it was released in theaters, I prepared for disappointment by coming to the movie girded with low expectations.

In that sense, I was not let down.

The executive in charge of the special effects budget maybe should have considered holding a few extra bake sales or setting up a string of lemonade stands to pad his account because the CGI gags and  rubber mask costumes were reminiscent of a Uwe Boll masterpiece. Perhaps they both shop at Googie Rene’s Partially Damaged Halloween Costume Discount Basement.
SHEEYA!

Brandon Routh is pretty to look at, and when he laughs at himself in movies like Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Scott Pilgrim vs The World, he can be quite charming. In Dylan Dog, however he comes across as two-dimensional and barely stands up as the straight man to the only redeeming comic feature of the film– Sam Huntington as Dylan’s zombie sidekick, Marcus.

The movie tries hard to keep a Noir tone, but the thing about Noir is that it works okay in print, but not so much in speech, and that brings me to the second major flaw with the film— the script. When I say the script, I specifically mean the lines delivered by the actors and not the plot, which had its own, separate issues.

Sure Kurt Angle has lots of practice delivering the melodramatic dialogue applicable to a pre WWF trash-talk session.
Exhibit A: My name’s Kurt Angle, and what the heck!
I won a gold medal with a broken freakin neck!                               
You better step off ’cause we ain’t friends!
 I’m movin’ on up, like the Jeffersons!
 You don’t scare me, no no no!
I may suck… but you just blow!

But in his role as the son to the clan leader of a werewolf pack, the colorful discourse that so pleases the cage match crowd loses something when translated to the big screen. I want to give the guy a break though; I don’t know any “actor” out there who could convincingly deliver a line like: “You think you can wipe us all out with your pet monster? Well guess what piglet, we’re still here. And now…it’s dyin’ time.”

Not to be outdone, Dylan gets his share of stinkers:

Samuel L. Jackson wannabe bodyguard for the vampires: Your presence is requested upstairs.
Dylan: And what if I don’t want to go?
Bodyguard: Then we get to play squash with your balls.
Dylan: And here I thought I wasn’t going to get  lucky tonight.

Badum-ching!

The love affair between Dylan and his client, Elizabeth (played by Anita Briem who fights and loses against her Icelandic accent throughout the film), lacks convincing chemistry, and if you didn’t realize long before the end of the movie that she was the catalyst behind the entire plotline, then it was probably because you fell asleep during the opening credits.

For that, I cannot hold you at fault.

I won’t go so far as to say that watching Dylan Dog: Dead of the Night was two hours of my life I’ll never get back, but I might send
AT&T a thank you card for the coupon that saved me from making a $5.00 mistake.

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