(CREDIT: to owners. obviously.)
Rank: 2.8 out of 5 <- unfortunately mindless entertainment
There's nothing wrong with mindless entertainment (hell, I liked Eagle Eye and Live Free or Die Hard just for the intense car chases and guns!) Such films are needed to make us relax as well as to not overanalyze or expect much from any aspect of the story; we save that for films like Inception or The Sixth Sense. However, we don't need films that insult our intelligence or leave us numb towards suffering onscreen. Thankfully Queen of the Damned does the former, but it does the latter in some cases.
To start things off, I have never read any of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. I have never even seen the movie adaptation of the well-known Interview with the Vampire. By now, dear viewers, you should have turned off your internet server and planned to never return to my blog again for typing such blasphemy. "A self-proclaimed vampire fan has never read Anne Rice? What is wrong with her?! How dare she!!"
And yes: I dared. And I digressed. :P
Despite not reading into this universe, I have at least heard of the series as well as the two movies based on them (be thankful that I am somewhat cultured.) I especially heard of Queen of the Damned, partially because I heard "System" by Linkin Park's Chester Bennington on Pandora. I was rather curious and I looked up the movie's soundtrack on Wikipedia, where Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, Godhead, Papa Roach, and Kidneytheives contributed songs. Months later, a Youtube user I follow made a very direct, but detailed review of the film. Though she did warn that Queen of the Damned was "in the middle" I checked it out anyway.
And she was right.
This film can be compared to a child taking a visual exam. The doctor says to read line 5 as best as the child can; he decides to read line 6 very efficiently instead. Though he did a very good job at reading words far smaller than planned, he failed to meet to the basic standard the doctor placed. Queen of the Damned does this by telling the story of Lestat instead of Akasha, the character who has the movie named after. And I know that the Vampire Chronicles mostly focuses on him, but Lestat gets far more screen time and well-written development than any other character. By the time the movie ended, I was shocked this wasn't called Lestat's Damned Adventure or something... It is especially confusing when many believe that Akasha would be touched upon much more.
Everything except Lestat was average or poor at best. Akasha was more of a force than a character; Jesse was only a love interest for everyone who likes human/vampire romances; Marius is portrayed completely wrong (I have done my research: Magnus was the one who sired Lestat;) Maharet was a waste of 20 undeveloped minutes; and everyone else was forgettable beyond belief. The plot wasn't too horrible, but with bad characters to begin with, one cannot expect much. As for special effects... I can't complain, especially after seeing far worse (sorry Buffy!)
Only see this movie for a time when you want some mindless entertainment, because despite its strong flaws, Queen of the Damned is not awful. This not quite bad but not quite great film earns a 2.8: enjoyable mediocrity. Such a thing can exist.
But I must ask, why would someone butcher some of the major plot points of a well-loved book series? Something I won't ever understand or tolerate I guess...