Angela and I capped off her birthday weekend with a trip to the movies today. Queen of the Damned was the choice for today, and let me tell you, it was not a good one. First off, let me say this, Aaliyah as Akasha and Stuart Townsend as Lestat were very good. Much better than I expected. Too bad they got wrapped into such a horrible story! Now let me preface this by saying I have read the Vampire Chronicles, and this is not just a “the movie wasn’t as good as the book” reaction to the movie. No, I expected that going in, it’s true 95% of the time so it wouldn’t have surprised me if it were true in this case. But most of those movies take one of 2 plans. Either they keep the story in tact, or they pick out parts of it and only show that. In this case, one of those would have been preferable to making references to storylines that you don’t go on to explain. When Akasha says she is going to see Maharet to “settle an old score”, you would expect the movie to describe what that score is, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong, in fact you’d be wrong if you were looking for any explanation of where Akasha and Maharet came from. They are just “there”. As are a handful of other ‘ancients” who show up towards the end of the movie with Maharet but are never explained nor introduced.
For those of you who are fans of the books, let me tell you that most of the story is taken from The Vampire Lestat, not what you would think from the title. Very little of the movie’s story is taken from The Queen of the Damned, just the character of Akasha, in a very superficial way. The rest of the history of the vampire race, is referenced in some off the cuff comments, (like Akasha’s above, or the coven line “All of the ancients were burnt up years ago”) but completely ignored on the whole. That’s rather lame, because it was that part of the story that I truly wanted to see, and which most Anne Rice fans will want to see. That will be disappointing to them, and the hard core among them will be truly angry over this portrayal, I imagine.
I’d advise you to pass on this one, it will only leave you disappointed. And I’ll tell you that in this case, not only is the book better, but the book is the only story that makes any sense, so read that instead.
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