Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night
There’s probably a good vampire/werewolf/zombie film noir to be made, and given the recent market saturation of all things supernatural it’s surely only a matter of time. Unfortunately, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night is not that movie. Based on an obscure comic book, Dylan Dog follows New Orleans private investigator Dylan (Brandon Routh), a man with a secret past as the mortal broker of peace between the vampire and werewolf clans that live among us. Following an attack on his friend/partner Marcus (Sam Huntington), Dylan comes out of retirement to investigate the murder of a prominent businessman who may or may not be trying to reincarnate a powerful demon. If it sounds daft and convoluted, that’s because it is. Dylan Dog is a badly written, woefully miscast mess that plays like a third-rate Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode stretched to 100 minutes, and minus all of the Joss Whedon charm.
It would be easy to blame this mess on leading man Brandon Routh, as his Dylan is such a remarkably bland character, but to do so would be a little unfair. Routh, best know for Superman Returns, has shown on a handful of occasions that in the right role he can shine, yet his casting as Dylan just completely misses the mark. There’s too much all-American, schoolboy decency to Routh, where this character would have worked much better with more edge. The only bright spot of the film is Huntington as put-upon sidekick Marcus, and the chemistry he shares with Routh, much like in Superman Returns, elevates their scenes together above anything else in the film. Sadly though, it’s not enough to save Dylan Dog, as the increasingly confusing plot twists and 80s level special effects continue to pile up yet generate nothing interesting. The film was clearly green-lit in an attempt to cash in on recent trends, particularly the success of HBO’s True Blood, given its similar setting (and the fact that characters repeat the phrase ‘true blood’ ad nauseam), but unsurprisingly a potentially interesting idea is left to wallow in b-grade hell. Perhaps some of the underdeveloped ideas in the film (zombie support groups, ‘body shops’) work better in the comic, so it’s a shame that the near total failure of Dylan Dog is unlikely to inspire anyone to seek out the books.
Reviewed by: Mark Roulston