It's her time. Her place. The wickedly regal Mother of All Vampires is ready again to rule! Aaliyah plays the title role in this stylish shocker based on Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles. Stuart Townsend portrays Les... more »tat, the undead antihero previously seen in the movie version of Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire. This time, Lestat finds acceptance in a tattooed and pierced world. He's a rock star. And his intoxicating Goth-riffed sound rekindles the desires of all-powerful Akasha.« less
Linda L. (angelstar) from TAOS, NM Reviewed on 9/18/2012...
I love this movie. What more can I say!
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
"Queen" is damned
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 08/31/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"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.""
Paige I. Mano | Milwaukee, WI | 02/13/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"*sigh* Where to begin? When Interview with the Vampire (the movie) came out when I was in sixth grade, I was immediately hooked, and I devoured the original 4 Vampire Chronicle books one after the other. I fell in love with Lestat, I felt Louis' pain...it was wonderful. When I heard they were making a movie version of Queen of the Damned, I was glad, yet surprised, because The Vampire Lestat (book 2) is actually my favorite of the series, and I would have liked to have seen that as a movie. Now begins my rant.
There's plenty of things I could say about this movie doing no justice to the feel and/or deep and layered plot of the book. However, since it is a movie and not the book, I'll try not to get that specific (i.e., Marius didn't make Lestat, but that doesn't make that much of a difference...does it?) What really [ticked] me off about this is that instead of taking one book's plot and trying to fully develop and explain the story, they shoved a bunch of [junk] into ninety minutes and made it loud, shiny, and polished. And let's not forget the kung fu.
1) I loved Tom Cruise as Lestat, but...Stuart Townsend was hot. I'll admit it. He played the modern Lestat quite well, and I'm willing to say that his hair is *dark* blond. That doesn't quite make up for his brown eyes, however. :)
2) Aaliyah. Not bad; she certainly looked pretty, but what was up with that stupid Hungarian accent? And she had basically no character development, which brings me to
3) NO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!! The only reason I recognized half of the "ancients" in the movie was by their costumes, because God forbid we should actually mention their names!!
4) Why did we have to have that stupid "romance" [stuff]? Can't we just accept Lestat as being androgynous/bisexual and not give him a little teenybopper girlfriend?
5) This wasn't even good as a plain old "vampire" movie. They used the same crap we've seen hundreds of times before. "This is how you become a vampire. This is what you do as a vampire. I love you, but you're a mortal. No, I cannot bring you into my world. Well, now that you're dying, I guess I can." And so on.
6) The soundtrack is rather well done.So in closing, PLEASE, I implore you, do not base your like/dislike of the Vampire Chronicle BOOKS on seeing this one film. As another reviewer said, READ THEM. READ THEM NOW. They are fascinating. They are better than this movie. This movie is pretty. But it is not good."
Not that bad...
Avalon Daughter | I wish I was in Glastonbury | 03/03/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I think people went into this movie thinking that they would hate it. Especially some fans. I'm an Anne Rice fan and I'll say this: it doesn't follow the book completely, but I liked it quite a bit.To sum it up, Queen of the Damned is actually made up of the second and third books of the Vampire Chronicals consisting of chunks from both Queen of the Damned and The Vampire Lestat. It may be called Queen of the Damned, and the posters focus on Akasha, but it really is about Lestat (which is what Queen was about anyway.)I wasn't sure if I was going to like this movie, but went into it with an open mind. I liked Interview, but didn't care for the choice of Tom (over the top) Cruise as Lestat. The choice of Stewart Townsend was WELL casted as he slithers about reeking of sexuality, just like Lestat; too bad he wasn't the original choice for Interview.In terms of the storyline, to incorporate or base a movie on both books is a difficult task that can fail and unfortunately, it did in some areas. From reading the negative reviews about QOTD, too much was incorporated into the storyline without explaining the background of each (i.e., Akasha is the first of the vampire bloodline and when her life ceases to exist, so do all the vampires created beneath her.) Stuff like this is never explained and anyone who has never read the books can understandably be confused.I was more excited by seeing the characters I became so familiar with come to life, but we are only focusing on specific characters in this flick. Namely, Akasha, Marius, Lestat, Jesse and Maharet. All the others are present, but most of them don't even have a single line. Vampires such as Mael, Armand and Pandora are present, but have such a small screen presence that it is disappointing considering they had larger roles in the books. Also, the movie is heavily edited. In the beginning, when Lestat comes across the band "Satan's Night Out" the shots go immediately from "You're a Vampire? LOL!" to "Are you going to kill us?" Obviously there was a chunk of conversation cut out from them to laugh at him and then be frightened of him -- it's illogical. These are probably going to be on the DVD later. Methinks they should have obviously done two movies and both books, but the "need" for bang-em-up scenes led to skipping the second book and doing the third. Somewhat disappointing there as I feel the storyline suffered.The storyline is choppy, but the visuals are just stunning. We're not talking Matrix-like effects of jumping and such, but imagery, setting the tone of the movie, sets and glowing eyes... I really felt like I was seeing the world of vampires through theirs. It reminded me of a really good Goth video and I found myself really pulled in. On another note, if you're into heavier Korn-type music you will definitely get a blast out of the soundtrack.All in all, I was really pleased with this. I went into this movie knowing that to capture the whole storyline would be impossible and understanding that artistic licenses would be taken. With that in mind, any fan with this attitude would enjoy this movie for the creation it's become. Give it a shot -- you might be surprised how much you like it."
A poor adaptation of the book.
Luscha St Louis | Trinidad, WI | 03/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Queen of the Damned (the book) was an Epic! Spanning centuries of History, the story of the red-headed twins and their encounter with the self-centered Egyptian queen, and the origin of all vampires, all the way down to the final battle was an intense maelstorm of events. To put that into one movie...impossible. Anne Rice should have put her energy into a mini-series or at least had faith in her fans to do what Peter Jackson did with LOTR. I was disappointed in the movie. Why did I buy the DVD? I liked the romantic interplay between Jesse and Lestat! Yes most of the movie had nothing to do with the book, but I found that in the movie Lestat's character went beyond the shallow Tom Cruise portrayal. And I loved the soundtrack. I bought the movie just for that violin piece on the beach. Don't buy the movie looking for a great adaptation of the book."
Incredibly Dissapointing, and an Insult to Rice's Fans...
Samurai Fruit | Bangkok, Thailand | 08/21/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Queen of the Damned, shortly, is an "adaptation" of Rice's otherwise fabulous third book in her Vampire Chronicles Trilogy (I do not consider the books after Queen of the Damned to be included in the Vampire Chronicles). The story follows the life of a Vampire, Lestat, and the mother of all vampires, Akasha, who wants the world in her hands.
I didn't watch the film in the theaters, having heard from my friends that they hated it - and most of them have never read the book. But because of pure curiosity, I rented the DVD.
And what did I see? Purely total dissapointment.
One of the biggest dissapointments of the movie was the cast. Yes, Stuart Townsend was sexy, he was gothic, he was cat-like...but he wasn't Lestat. In "Interview with the Vampire", Tom Cruise brought Lestat to life. He had Lestat's charm and with...he truly protrayed himself as The Brat Prince. Townsend, however, lacked the charisma and charm. He was nothing more than a sex-starved kitten that likes to lure teenage girls into his hands in order to "feed" upon them. The fact that the Lestat in "Queen of the Damned" was enough for me to hurl the DVD out the window. Lestat fed upon the evil doer - not innocent young girls wanting to have sex with a rockstar. Why the director decided to do this was insane.
Other actors also added to the dissappointment - Maurius was too flamboyant, too happy for most of the time - and they also hinted at times that he was evil - even though he wasn't. Other actors were hardly in the movie long enough for me to judge on their acting abilities, and sadly, that included Aaliyah as well. The only two characters which I will praise in their acting abilities is the actor that played as David Talbot, and Aaliyah.
The second dissapointment was the fact that the MOVIE REFUSED TO FOLLOW THE BOOK! Yes, I understand that it is an adaptation. Lord of the Rings, Interview with the Vampire, the Princess Bride, and Harry Potter are also adaptations, yet for most of the time, they remained true to the book. True, Arwen did not rescue Frodo and Harry's father didn't play as Seeker for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, but these changes are minor and do not affect the story as a whole. Yet, in Queen of the Damned, the changes are so large that they destroyed the entire book. Jesse played in the role which should have rightfully been Louis's, Maharet's twin was gone and she played a signficant role to the entire story, Marius was not Lestat's maker, and Daniel, who played such an important role in the book was missing along with Louis. Jesse became Lestat's lover, even though in the story, they only exchanged a few words between each other, and nothing more. The protrayal of vampires being androgynous creatures that did not care for sex yet are able to sensuously interact with other vampires and humans of either sex is also thrown out the window along with all the emotions that the entire story is suppose to evoke in all of us. Akasha's philosophy was gone, Marius's philosphy was gone, and the tragedy and pain was also gone. Without the pain, the tragedy, and the philosphy, the movie became nothing.
Instead, all we get is a shallow-minded movie with a plot that a three-year old could follow. I could understand why this movie would easily appeal to the gothic teenager with Townsend's sexy attitude and how the whole romantic story caught up with Jesse sacrifcing her life for Lestat and how he turned her into a vampire at the end to save her life. Although it's a nice idea, it was nothing even close to what the true story of Queen of the Damned is...and because of this, all you get is a shallow b-grade chick flick with bad morals, bad philosophy, bad acting, bad effects, and a bad story. A pure insult to Rice and Rice's fans... "