I had read reviews of Queen of the Damned before seeing the movie, and frankly, the critics made it seem as though sitting at home and not seeing a movie at all would have made better use of my time. Their criticisms called the script poor, the acting even worse and the plot nonexistent. But being an Aaliyah fan, as so many audience members were I’m sure, I decided to see for myself.

From the beginning, the audience is assaulted with loud hard rock music and with the narrator Lestat (Stuart Townsend) giving an overview of his life history as a vampire and why he has decided to resurface after being asleep for centuries.

Once the music calmed down, however, the movie wasn’t half bad. It was actually interesting seeing the intermingling of the past and the present and a view of the vampire’s life of eternal immortality. The premise seems absurd at first ? Lestat becoming a rock star and one of the celebrity elites ? but somehow it works.

He openly admits to being a vampire, which is strictly forbidden in the world of vampires, and invites the wrath of his fellow undead in the process.

At first, he is not taken seriously but attracts the attention of one character, Jesse (Marguerite Moreau) who works for the Telemasca Institute for the Paranormal in London, who we later find out has more than just a casual interest in vampires.

Lestat ends up becoming Akasha’s ruling right hand, waking her into life with his music and the world appears doomed.

The problem comes, disappointingly, when Aaliyah enters. She may have been a talented actress, but this movie did nothing to enhance that talent. She had few lines ? about as many as were in the previews ? and her part is surprisingly small.

The previews lead one to believe she has a main role, and the movie centers around her “takeover” of the world, when in fact this was a small part three-quarters of the way through the movie. Aaliyah doesn’t show up until 50 minutes into the film.

The movie works up to a decent climax and becomes more of a pure evil versus lesser evil kind of deal ? I’ll let you find out the ending. The soundtrack detracts from the movie, however, and at strange parts hard rock suddenly comes out of nowhere, probably in an attempt to appeal to the MTV generation, toward which I think the whole movie was directed.

There was also a tribute to Aaliyah at the end, appropriately. But all in all, it was an OK movie in my book. Don’t always listen to what critics say.

Linden can be reached at klinden@campustimes.org

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