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84 of 111 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "Queen" is damned, August 30, 2004
This review is from: Queen of the Damned (DVD)
Literary adaptations are a tricky thing at the best of times, but "Queen of the Damned" is to "Lord of the Rings" what Ziploc bags are to fine china. Adapted from Anne Rice's novel of the same name, "Queen" is overstuffed, flashy, disjointed, and sure to offend Rice's die-hard fans.

The Vampire Lestat is back. Only now Lestat (Stuart Townsend) has awakened and joined a nu-metal band, becoming a universally adored rock star -- and proclaims to the world that he wants vampires to not hide anymore. Needless to say, this proclaimation makes him hotter than ever among humans, but irks his fellow vampires no end.

But his music is more than popular -- it somehow wakes the ancient Egyptian vampire Akasha (Aaliyah), who is the mother (or grandmother, or great-grandmother...) of all vampires. Akasha is incredibly powerful, able to walk out in the sun and burn her enemies alive. And she's besotted with Lestat -- except that he learns that she is more evil and destructive than he dreamed.

Despite being described as a sequel to "Interview With the Vampire," "Queen" is a whole different animal. Rather than a sumptuous Old-World look, there's a pyrotechnic MTV look that makes the whole movie look dated already. It certainly doesn't help that the filmmakers also cram in half of Rice's second novel as well as all of her third. It makes the movie feel like it's about to explode.

Forget for a second about whether it was adapted faithfully or not. Instead, note that Scott Abbott's scripting is atrocious. Since Rice reportedly offered to do the script for free, it's a shame that they didn't take her offer -- surely she could've done better than "Boo!" "Boo back!". And fans of MTV-derived direction will love the handling of it, though director Michael Rymer tries to cover up his lack of talent with flash and fire.

Stuart Townsend (also known as the man who was ALMOST Aragorn) simply bombs as Lestat. He lacks charm, sex appeal, presence and charisma in this role, as if he's overwhelmed by it. The late Aaliyah, on the other hand, has enormous presence even though she's required to basically bellydance her way through the film. Margaret Moreau is unimpressive as Talamasca groupie Jesse, although she fares better than Townsend.

The second big-screen Anne Rice flick is a textbook example of how NOT to adapt a book -- flaccid characters, idiotic scripting and cheap direction. All the blood has been sucked from this "Queen."
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 21, 2008 8:15:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 21, 2008 8:16:39 PM PDT
Stuart Townsend not sexy or charismatic in this film? He was the embodiment of Lestat (to me) - much darker and believably "vampiric" (I know that's not a real word) than Tom Cruise could ever hope to be. But I do agree with you about Aaliyah, who may be the most compelling female vampire I've ever seen on screen. Sorry you didn't like this; must admit the only Anne Rice books I've ever read are the Mayfair Witches trilogy. Perhaps if I had read any of the vampire books I may have shared some of your objections.

Posted on Jan 15, 2011 4:04:23 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2011 4:05:01 PM PST
Missy Kurtz says:
"Literary adaptations are a tricky thing at the best of times, but "Queen of the Damned" is to "Lord of the Rings" what Ziploc bags are to fine china."
That analogy is pure perfection!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2012 11:12:07 PM PST
Yes, you should read it. Trust me, you will change your mind about the movie after you do.
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