Have Cheetah,Will View #90 – “Van Helsing: The London Assignment”(2004)

It’s 12:40 pm

So I actually ventured forth this summer to watch Universal’s launching of its “Dark Universe” franchise with the modern remake of “The Mummy”.  Outside Russell Crowe,the movie was pretty flat and uneven. While people went to see it,most were left scratching their heads…..

Flash backwards to 1999 when director Stephen Sommers brought us the kick ass “The Mummy” with Brendan Fraser and a top notch supporting cast. Then in 2001,the even more fun “The Mummy Returns”. That in turn led to “The Scorpion King”…..
Then in 2004,Sommers again revisits Universal’s classic monsters in “Van Helsing” with Hugh Jackman and featuring Dracula,The Wolfman,Frankenstein’s Monster and a brief clash with Mr. Hyde. This was also a incredibly fun action movie (except for that STUPID ending,grrr) and it paved the way for more fun films except that it didn’t.

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Well except for “Van Helsing: The London Assignment”. In the main film,it opened in Paris with Gabriel Van Helsing chasing down Mr. Hyde and after a brutal fight,ends up killing him. But Hyde had changed to Dr. Jekyll after he died and Van Helsing looked like a potential murderer.
But how did Van Helsing and Hyde end up in Paris from Great Britain? In “Assignment London”,which is animated,the story is told  and it’s a very exciting one to say the least.

 

 
When bodies start turning up in London of young women at an alarming rate and looking as something unholy has drained their bodies completely,the Catholic Church sends Gabriel Van Helsing along with his trusty friend,Carl to investigate what appears to  be supernatural killings.
Gabriel and Carl start patrolling the city and when they hear a terrible scream,they race to the scene but are too late to save the victim,a woman in her 20s who now looks like she is 80 years old.


Van Helsing springs into action and chases Hyde in a short but terrific fight. Hyde gets away and we find out why he is killing these women. But since Van Helsing and Carl do not,they come up with a plan to use a decoy to lure Hyde out into the open.
It works and after a tremendous and drawn out struggle,they stop Hyde and discover his secret. But in saving one life,Van Helsing has to allow to Hyde to escape…where they’ll meet up again in Paris……

Despite the “London Assignment” being a short 33 animated film and 13 years old to boot,it still is a damn fun ride. What makes this work is the fact the original actors from the movie,Hugh Jackman,David Wenham and Robbie Coltrane are back playing their roles.
Sharon Bridgeman,who worked in the animation role on several series,is the director of “Assignment London” and working off a script that written by Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens,has made a action packed film that packs a lot punch.

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Going back to this year’s The Mummy,I am sort of confused by Universal’s decision to “re-boot” when they already had the films in place in Sommer’s “The Mummy” and “Van Helsing” to launch the Dark Universe. They could have continued off these established hits and made Tom Cruise’s film a indirect sequel,maybe having Cruise being a relative to either Rick O’Connell or Gabriel Van Helsing. I think people would have been more excited to hear or see old familiar faces then have to be forced to start all over again.
Quite frankly,it would have made the script a LOT more easier to write then that dogpoo of a script the new Mummy had.
As I write this,I hear that Universal has pulled/cancelled the next installment of the Dark Universe. Personally,I say go back to what you already had and carry on from there.

Van Helsing: The London Assignment is rated PG-13 and a run time of 33 minutes.
Special features include a great indepth behind the scenes look at the Val Helsing featured length movie.

 

What do you think? Are you tired of wasting your money watching reboots of series?
Would you rather see franchises continue to move forward with established characters?
Drop a comment below,we want to hear you opinion.

2 thoughts on “Have Cheetah,Will View #90 – “Van Helsing: The London Assignment”(2004)

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