Abigail Review: The magical effects were well done, but the story line is not very good
Abigail lives in a city whose borders were closed because of an epidemic and Abby’s father was one of the sick. Going against the authorities to find her father, Abby learns that her city is actually full of magic.
In an isolated town suffering through an epidemic, those who are infected are taken away. A young girl named Abigail (Tinatin Dalakishvili), whose father was captured, uncovers the secrets about her town and discovers that the “infected” are actually people with magical abilities, herself included.
While this film and its premise had potential. I found Abigail (Cuoc Phieu Luu Cua Abigail) to be utterly boring. The story was frankly hard to follow, and I didn’t care enough to try to make sense of it. Plus, it lacked originality, the story beats in this film are ones I’ve seen a million times – missing father, discovering a new place, leading a rebellion, a girl finding out her potential. And an unlikely romance. If a few of these threads weren’t included in the film. I think that would’ve helped with the pacing.
The greatest detriment to this film was the dialogue and line delivery, which were completely cringeworthy. And while I do think that these actors tried their best, it seems that their dialogue was dubbed over. The film has a largely Russian cast. But I’m not sure whether the original actors did the dubbing or if other voice actors did it. Whoever did though, made the dialogue feel fake and stale.
British actor, Eddie Marson, was the only familiar face in this film. And he did the best acting, but unfortunately, he’s in the film for all of 8 minutes. Tinatin Dalakishvili makes a valiant effort in her performance as the protagonist, but I found Abigail to be dull and uninspiring. While magical rebellion leader, Bale (Gleb Bochkov), has Liam Hemsworth-like looks, he lacks charm and chemistry with Abigail. Overall, there just wasn’t one character in this film that I liked.
I think this movie was trying to be a new “Harry Potter”. Not necessarily in terms of a franchise. But in terms of magical world-building. The action film (phim hanh dong) even has a rip-off of the “Deathly Hallows” symbol. And you can compare the movie’s antagonists “The Inspectors” to Death Eaters. I will, however, applaud the magical CGI effects, which were very detailed and smoke-like. That was what I considered to be the best part of the movie.
So, while the magical effects were well done. The acting, dialogue, and generic story made me lose interest in the film early on. Instead of being entertaining, “Abigail” feels like a chore to watch. And though I wish we had more original fantasy films. “Abigail” is not one that I can recommend you seek out.