gaming since 1997

Van Helsing: The London Assignment

The year is 1889 and evil wrecks havoc in the center of London. Young women are being murdered and robbed of their youth by one called Mr Hyde. Van Helsing is sent out by the Catholic Church to track down this killer and -if possible- return him to the light. Van Helsing: The London Assignment is a 33 minutes long animated prequel to the ‘real’ Van Helsing movie. It’s based on the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde-story, but brought in a relatively refreshing way. Although this is supposed to be a prequel, it contains nothing of importance to comprehend the motion picture. It could easily serve as an episode in a cartoon series.

Sound and Vision:
The image quality is really superb. Due to the length of the movie, it was possible to encode it at a very high bit rate: it rarely drops under 7 Mbps. In combination with anamorphic encoding, this leads to a clean and sharp image without any grain or encoding errors.

The London Assignment includes a very good surround soundtrack. I dare even say it is better used in this animated movie than in an average movie we see released on DVD. The fine score by John Van Tongeren supports the images nicely and the dialogues are brought with good intonation.

Extras:
– Van Helsing: Behind the Screams: A 28 minutes “Making Of” about the Van Helsing movie, to which The London Assignment is the prequel.
– The Making of the Van Helsing game
– Van Helsing (Vivendi) game trailer

It’s quite amusing to notice this DVD contains more extras than real content. In any case, the extras are subtitled in English, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish and Portuguese. Seems kind of dull they didn’t translate it into all 13 languages.

Conclusion:
The first thing that struck me when watching this movie was the look of it. The drawing style is based on manga, but it seems to have been post processed by pc. It’s obvious certain effects like fog have been added at a later time. Some action scenes are visibly computer generated (and even copied from existing games and movies), like webslinging or Van Helsing running on a wall the Prince of Persia-way. The storyline isn’t too solid, as Van Helsing uses a weapon he’s supposed to get in the motion picture, and since this is a prequel… well you get the picture. Also I wouldn’t mind if the movie was a bit longer: more detailed characters, some extra jokes and a slower pace could have made the difference.

Our Score:
5.0

posted in: DVD, Reviews, Universal
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