Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

This action-horror-comedy piece stars a dull Brandon Routh as the titular hero, a former guardian of the supernatural species (vampires/werewolves/zombies) that populate New Orleans. A traumatic girlfriend-related incident drives him to part ways with the undead community. He is soon called upon by a blonde beauty Elizabeth (a flat character given an even flatter performance by Anita Briem) to investigate the murder of her father, but he rejects her. Only when his wisecracking friend Marcus (Sam Huntington) is murdered does he extricate himself out of retirement to help her, together with some help from an undead Marcus.

Brandon Routh lacks the necessary charisma to play Dylan Dog. In typical film noir fashion, he is required to narrate the story, but his lines are dished out in such a deadpan and charmless manner it is almost laughable. At times I almost thought the film was intended to be a spoof of the different genres it claims to be part of: it mocks the crime noir with its miscasted lead actor; it has all the supernatural creatures of horror movies but manages to be scare-less, with some of the undead creatures being absolutely goofy; and its action sequences are ludicrously choreographed with Dylan being hurled all over the place most of the time.

And so a parody is what I decided to see the film as. It helped me enjoy the movie more, because once you don`t take it so seriously, you might actually enjoy it and have a good laugh. Comedy is the one element this movie adequately succeeds in, with Sam Huntington`s Marcus being a riot of laughs with his silly antics and his hilarious struggle to deal with the transition to being undead.

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night as a horror film packs no bite at all, and seems almost to parody the genre it belongs to. But it does deliver the laughs amply and plentifully.

         Raymond Tan