Tongue-in-cheek thriller charms

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 July, 2011, 12:00am


Based on an Italian comic, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night borrows from old detective noir films while injecting a dose of comic horror.

Dylan Dog (Brandon Routh), private investigator of all things supernatural, is coming out of retirement. When Elizabeth (Anita Briem) finds her father dead and mauled by something not human, she enlists Dylan's help to get to the bottom of things. Searching for answers among hostile werewolves, vampires, and zombies, Dylan and his sidekick Marcus (Sam Huntington) find themselves in some truly bizarre situations.

The plot is thin, interspersed with flashbacks and Marcus' distracting side plot. Briem and Routh have no chemistry at all, making the romance implausible. The original Dylan was a womaniser, but this one lacks that raw charisma.

Yet Taye Digg's performance as Vargas, the vampire, is exceptional. Vargas is a strong villain and one of the better developed characters. Peter Stormare as Gabriel, the werewolf, is no less intense.

Sadly, Huntington and Briem lack credibility. For a mourning daughter, Briem is surprisingly aloof. She also always looks like she's just come from the beach. Huntington was funny enough, but there's not a lot in the lines for him to work with. He's more the blundering fool whose role is to make Dylan seem cooler.

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night is rickety, but ultimately charming.