Dylan Dog (Brandon Routh) is a world famous private detective who specializes in the supernatural. Armed with an edgy wit and carrying an arsenal of silver and wood-tipped bullets, Dylan must track down a dangerous artifact before a war ensues between his werewolf, vampire and zombie clients living undercover in the monster infested backstreets of New Orleans.
At a time when it feels odd for a movie to not
feature zombies or vampires, genre movies often need a little something extra in the tank to register. The firmly post-Whedon supernatural comedy Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
doesn't exactly blaze new trails, but some appealing performances and a nicely off-kilter delivery help it glide over most of the well-trod areas. Based on the long-running comic series by Tiziano Sclavi (which also semi-inspired 1994's majestically loopy Dellamorte Dellamore
), the story follows the character of Dylan Dog (Brandon Routh), an ex-paranormal investigator with a history of settling disputes between the warring paranormal factions roaming the streets of New Orleans. After a case involving a beautiful blonde (Anita Briem) reluctantly draws him back into the underworld, he discovers a plot by an upstart vampire (Taye Diggs) to rule and/or destroy the planet. Director Kevin Munroe, an animation veteran, brings a pleasantly cartoony sheen to the proceedings, maximizing his constrained budget to deliver an impressively diverse array of things that go bump in the night. (A scene involving a thrift shop catering exclusively to zombies is a gloppy highlight.) Throw in a winningly understated performance by Routh and a lulu of an extended cameo by a wolfed-out Peter Stormare, and the ingredients are there for a breezily enjoyable gore comedy. Ultimately, what makes Dylan Dog
worth seeking out is the presence of Diggs, a fine actor too often suavely constrained. Here, as a double-dealing monster, he goes gloriously unhinged, creating a creature of the night that stands out among the current hordes of mopey cinematic nosferatus. More, please. --Andrew Wright