Queen of the Damned (2002)
Lestat de Lioncourt is awakened from his slumber. Bored with his existence, he has now become this generation's new Rock God. While in the course of time, another has arisen, Akasha, the Queen of the Vampires and the Dammed. He wants immortal fame, his fellow vampires want him eternally dead for his betrayal, and the Queen wants him for her King. Who will be the first to reach him? Who shall win?
Just what I expected
what a terribly boring film. I'm sorry but this is absolutely not deserving of best picture and will be forgotten quickly. Entertaining and engaging cinema? No. Nothing performances with flat faces and mistaking silence for subtlety.
The storyline feels a little thin and moth-eaten in parts but this sequel is plenty of fun.
It's simply great fun, a winsome film and an occasionally over-the-top luxury fantasy that never flags.
How could a movie with such high production values get so much wrong? 1. With exceptions of Mahatet and Akasha, the entire cast was, well, miscast! Lestat is constantly described by Anne Rice as tall (got that right), with long full blonde hair (oops!), and was French (oops again!) Lestat was turned into a vampire not by Marius, who was described as being very tall (oops!), with long flowing blonde hair - the Kelts that kidnapped him in the book kept him captive until his hair grew long. He was the illegitimate son of an Italian father by a Keltic slave woman. 2. Lestat was actually turned into a vampire by an old (as on he was old when he stole the blood from a vampire to make himself immortal) vampire, told Lestat a few basic things, gave him his wealth and a tower in Paris, then promptly killed himself by going into a fire. Lestat was now alone in Paris, having traveled there with the son of a rich merchant neighbor, Nicolo, who played the violin. 3. Lestat learned to love and play the violin, not from a random gypsy he met on a beach, but from watching and listening to his beloved childhood friend, Nicolo. 4. Lestat met Marius, not on an island as the vampire who brought Lestat immortality, but in Egypt, where Lestat had eventually wandered with Gabrielle, his mother, whom he had rescued from near death from consumption, turning her into a vampire as his companion. 5. Akasha was killed, not by Maharet drinking the last of her blood after Akasha had been drained by the other vampires at Maharet's compound, butby Maharet's tongueless, mute twin sister, Mekare, who tore Akasha's head off, taking the demon spirit into herself, not into Maharet. I can understand changing around a few things in a movie to make the plot run more smoothly, but to get so many things completely wrong, is just plain wrong! Blonde hair versus dark brown hair may not sound like much, but Lestat was known to be very vain about his appearance, and big brautiful fluffy long hair seems right - aside from the fact that Tom Cruise had long blonde hair in the prequel to this (albeit he was almost half a foot shorter than Stuart Townsend), and I doubt that list start would have died his hair brown every morning after having had blonde hair for so long! Another messed up element is one of Lestat's sidekicks, Louis, who was nowhere to be found in this movie. In her book, Anne Rice had Louis spend the night before the concery with the band at Lestat's secure compound in Carmel, California, and rode with them to the concert, which took place not in Death Valley but in San Framcisco. In her book, Marius is described as being of a towering height due to his Keltic forbears, even taller than Lestat's described 6 foot height. I don't know who wrote the script, but it wasn't Anne Rice...at times the actors seem to be speaking lines straight out of a bad soap opera. The movie us, at times, a fun one, but it would have been 10 times better had the scriptwriter kept to the story and to Anne Rice's characterizations. I was expecting so much more, but I was truly disappointed!
In comparing both "Interview" and "Queen", one can say definitely that Tom and Stuart both had an excellent time "chewing up the scenery".Who was the better actor to portray Lestat? Tom or Stuart? Let us be certain of one thing: Many different actors will play the role, just as in Shakespeare, over the centuries, different actors have portrayed Hamlet and Richard III.We know that Lestat was only about age 20 when he was turned into a vampire. I'll have to give the gold star to Stuart in that direction.One is often reminded of the comment by Maharet at the end of the novel "Queen of the Damned" to Lestat about writing his autobiography, "Get it right". Despite all the variances from the established plot line, I would say that both films capture the ambiance and the tension inherent in all of the first three novels of the Vampire Chronicles.In the movie "Queen", there is that telling scene where Lestat gives Jesse an "op-ed" practical example "of what it is all about", when in the park, he chases away the glasses-wearing vampire and takes the intended victim for himself.CHOMP!Good night! Pleasant dreams!
The low score on here is not from a majority of 5/10 scores given by viewers after watching a borderline bad movie but much more a reflection of how passionately Anne Rice fans feel about somebody altering the content of their beloved Vampire Chronicles. This is no relation to Interview with a Vampire which was closely based on the book. Queen of the Damned is only loosely based on the original and there are some significant changes to the story and certain characters, even to the extreme of characters being left out completely.I myself am a huge fan of the books, but am also realistic enough to accept that the books contain such detail that they do not lend themselves easily to screen, except perhaps in the form of a film series such as The Lord of the Rings. So, as a stand alone vampire movie that is heavily influenced by the book, any grievances can be left outside.The film's story (spoilers!) in brief then, tells us about Lestat (Stuart Townsend), who has been at rest for decades but stimulated by the sounds of the time he rises, soon becoming the front-man of a successful metal band. Publicly admitting that he is a vampire and revealing vampire secrets within his lyrics soon draws the attention of the authorities, both of the living and the un-dead. It even wakes up the original vampire Akasha (Aaliyah), a very different creature to the rest of them, with near god like powers and an insatiable blood lust.We learn of Lestat's past life and of his creator Marius (Vincent Perez). We also meet a few of the other Ancients, namely Maharet, as the aunt of another main character, the Talamaskan Jesse who develops a fascination with Lestat. Jesse is the link the ancients have to the living but she soon becomes caught in the middle of the action.Marius therefore is a change from the book where he is not Lestat's creator, and the changes don't end there, however he is a compelling character and is well played by Perez. The plot is far from complex and has holes, but then it was never intended on being taken too seriously. Accept it for what it is and not what it isn't. It is not an accurate adaptation of the book to film, but as a stand-alone vampire movie inspired by it, what's left is a decent and entertaining vampire movie.The soundtrack of the movie is from Jonathan Davis of Korn, and other famous names from the industry including Maralyn Manson feature so the movie gives a very credible musical contribution from what is ultimately a fictitious rock band. This aspect is worth consideration after all, as if it had not been good, this film could have stunk!
This movie was so different from the books that I didn't get hung up on how it deviated from Rice's vision. I just enjoyed the visuals, the music, the actors. Just shows how subjective the art form is. After seeing it ten or fifteen times, the plot made perfect sense to me. I'm a rock musician and the notion of a vampire using rock to reconnect with humans and upset his own breed resonated with me. I like this Lestat better than Tom Cruise's, and Marius almost steals the movie for me. Aliyah's scene in the vampire bar (slinky!) and the concert are visually stunning. And the cinematography takes full advantage of the many interesting faces. Not quite Eisenstein, but effective. Anyway, I liked it, and enjoy it almost as much with the sound off.