Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant | EW.com

Movies

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's AssistantThree books from Darren Shan's popular vampire-centric 12-book saga Cirque du Freak have been smooshed together to make Cirque du Freak:...Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's AssistantAction/Adventure, Sci-fi and FantasyPT109MPG-13Three books from Darren Shan's popular vampire-centric 12-book saga Cirque du Freak have been smooshed together to make Cirque du Freak:...2009-10-23Willem DafoePatrick FugitSalma HayekWillem Dafoe, Patrick Fugit, Salma HayekUniversal
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

(David Lee)

D+

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-fi and Fantasy; Starring: John C. Reilly, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Fugit, Salma Hayek; Director: Paul Weitz; Author: Brian Helgeland, Paul Weitz; Release Date Wide: 10/23/2009; Runtime (in minutes): 109; MPAA Rating: PG-13; Distributor: Universal

Three books from Darren Shan’s popular vampire-centric 12-book saga Cirque du Freak have been smooshed together to make Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant. The carnage from that smooshing litters this hectic yet dull tale about a high school kid named Darren (Holes’ Chris Massoglia, all too generic) who — long story — becomes a half vampire and hangs out with a traveling freak show, much to the anger of his best friend (Josh Hutcherson). Darren’s mentor is a rather droll full vampire dubbed Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly, working heroically to keep the movie aloft with his laid-back charm). Crepsley’s nemesis is the angry bloodsucker Murlaugh (Ray Stevenson). Don’t bother to take notes, because subplots go nowhere, and characters — many played ? by well-known actors — barely get screen time. Willem Dafoe, Salma Hayek, and Jane Krakowski are among those who are there and gone. (Hayek is an entertaining eyeful as a lady with both full boobs and full beard.)

Cross my heart with a stake through it, this Cirque du Freak newbie could barely distinguish between the vampires (the ”good” guys, who have learned how to coexist with humans) and their hungrier, less tolerant rivals, the Vampaneze. But Freak cognoscenti sitting near me were equally underwhelmed, even as a violent showdown had the whole bloody cast flying around and whomping one another. D+

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