In literature, Van Helsing is a fictional doctor from a 1897 novel by Bram Stoker. In the movies, he is played by Wolverine, who in a strange plot twist has lost his powers and turned into a long-haired monster-hunting hippie.
Gabriel Van Helsing is a member of the Knights of the Holy Order, an internationally spanning group of Holy People, who make use of their combined talents to fight evil and other supernatural forces whenever the rise in they world. The Knights' headquarters is located in the Vatican, which, based from the movie, houses a veritable organization devoted solely to the butt-kicking of ugly-ass monsters. One of their leaders is Cardinal Jinette, who aside from possessing a name uncannily resembling a razor brand (great job, Mr. Screenplay Writer), is also the boss of monster hunter Gabriel Van Helsing, and sends him in different aforementioned ass-kicking tasks. Imagine the benevolence of Pope Benedict XVI, combined with M from the James Bond movies.
If that isn't enough, imagine him sending people to kill monsters.
"May I have the inner wisdom and tranquility to crossbow this vampire full of arrows until he looks like a pincushion. Amen."
In the beginning of the movie, Van Helsing is hunting down a man named Henry Jekyll, who is also the dreaded Mr. Hyde, who is also a notorious bitch-killer. The term 'bitch-killer' not meaning 'proficient in picking up women,' but 'proficient in slashing women to ribbons'. Like all other classic characters from the old horror movies, in Van Helsing Dr. Hyde takes a course in badassery and decides not to come quietly when Van Helsing comes to arrest him. He then attempts to kill the man, but he has forgotten one thing. Gabriel's last name is Van -fucking-Helsing.
Hyde's resisting of arrest goes as well as you'd expect. Van Helsing unintentionally kills him in top of the Notre Dame Cathedral, and in a supreme act of assholitude, Hyde reverts back to Jekyll and gets Van Helsing blamed for murdering an "innocent" man.
Above: An Asshole of the Dead Variety.
After Cardinal Jinette bitches about Van Helsing not getting Hagrid back alive, Van Helsing (who during all this time is suffering from long-term amnesia) is dealt another hand of bad-freaking-luck, and is sent to Transylvania to protect Kate Beckinsale from being killed by vampires. For this difficult, ardous quest, he is simply given a mysterious piece of parchment, which is equivalent to giving a WWII soldier a really, really Super Soaker in preparation for D-Day.
"Wait, we're going to be fighting with what?"
We assume Wolverine says, "Fuck this shit", and gives Jinette the ol' double finger, (probably earning him a side order of excommunication in the process) because he goes to his pussy friar pal Carl and asks for a shitload of weapons including a silver stake, crossbow, garlic, and whatnot. Once he packs his weapons and gets Carl to come along, they ride to Translyvania. During this trip, Van Helsing also becomes the sworn mortal enemy of some foreign guy.
"One! One more day before blood flows like water! Ah! Ah! Ah!" - Some foreign guy, counting the days til the world is his again.
For the purposes of this topic, we shall call him Chocula, for no other reason than he looks something like that. It turns out that Kate Beckinsale's ancestor made a vow that none of his descendants (him included) would see Heaven unless Chocula bites the dust. Which is kind of stupid, since damning what nine generations of your descendants for something you couldn't do is definitely a shitty deal. Adding to this idiocy is the fact that Kate Beckinsale's ancestor turns out to be Chocula's father, which means he leaves his other relatives to do the job for him instead. Real Ancestor of the year material. During Chocula's exile he manages to acquire three vampire ladies, a plan to bring his half-human half-bat babies to life, and a bitchin' hairdo.
Not listed in order of importance. But seriously, the ponytail is most important.
On the trail of Chocula, Van Helsing gets another set of notches added to his People Who Hate Me Counter, when he kills a female vampire which leads to Chocula getting pissed and attempting to release his vampire bastards to the town.
Depicted: New entries to Van Helsing's People Who Hate Me Counter.
They investigate further and after escaping Chocula (who drops clues implying that Wolverine once knew Chocula - lover, perhaps) finds one of Chocula's casualties, The Frankenstein monster, who is the key to bringing said vampire bastards to life. When Van Helsing attempts to kill it, he finds it is Poet McSentimental trapped in Hideous O' McGruesome's decaying body, and so offers to take him to Rome. However, it is this one thing that leads to Chocula getting an idea of where Frankenstein's monster is, and thus Van Helsing is essentially helping Chocula further his plot. Further adding to Van Helsing's ever-growing List of Woes, Kate Beckinsale gets kidnapped by one of Chocula's concubines, while Kate's brother (who was actually taught to be dead, but instead is a werewolf) manages to bite Van Helsing, and thus infects him with the werewolf virus.
"Seriously, what the f%^k! I have enough shit going on around here without this!"
After losing Frankenstein's Monster to Chocula, Van Helsing then attempts to find Chocula Castle. He then remembers the piece-of-shit-piece of paper Jinnette bequeathed to him before his winter trip to F#$%n' Problem, Translyvania and this somehow opens a portal to Chocula's hidden castle. Rumors of it being made of brittle chocolate corn cereal surrounded by a moat of milk are quickly disproved.
So this is the real ChoculaCastle. You have failed us, Cereal Box Promoters.
Kate Beckinsale, Wolverine, and Carl find Frankenstein's Monster trapped, who then tells them Van Helsing can get a cure to avoid being Wolverine for reals. They somehow find out that only a werewolf can kill a vampire, and that Van Helsing's Boiler of Bad Luck is only getting warmed-up: Van Helsing has to kill Chocula as a werewolf but they also have to cure Van Helsing in before he turns into a werewolf forever, a testament to the amount of bullshit Van Helsing has to deal with for this job. Just like all of us at work.
"Look at this dress code. God, the bullshit I have to deal with for this job!"
Meanwhile, Kate Beckinsale and Carl attempt to find the cure to being a werewolf in the castle, but are almost thwarted by Frankenstein's old master's assistant, Igor. Carl, by way of being a huge pussy, almost loses the cure, but is saved by Frankenstein's monster, who overcomes his bureaucratic side to kick some veritable ass. He holds his own against Chocula's remaining vampire bitch before causing the death of Igor, who falls from the open stone road into what appears to be a fucking bottomless pit.
And where are the safety railings? Aw, dude, totally irresponsible.
Time for the final showdown: a werewolf versus a Chocula. Van Helsing becomes a werewolf by the stroke of midnight, and wipes Chocula (who has turned into something resembling a monstrous version of Man-Bat) all over the place. He is on the verge of killing the shit out of Chocula - thus fulfilling his duty of killing the shit out of things - but then the other constant in his life (The Wall of Bad Luck) kicks in: the full moon becomes covered in clouds.
To analyze the severe unluckiness of this scenario, imagine yourself being surrounded by zombies in the middle of a forest fire, while being talked into buying insurance, having just run out of ammo. Naked. Imagine yourself seeing an extended hand above, with a rope ladder connected to a helicopter.Now, imagine that that hand leading the way to safety is held by Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
In the nick of time, however, the clouds part, and, to the relief of all those who actually believed that Wolverine would die in this movie, he turns back into ass-kicking mode and rips the crap out of Chocula's throat. His literally-goddamned throat. List of Things to Kill accomplished, bitches. The movie then fails to deliver the mandatory after-killing pun, which would probably have gone like "Well, I guess you're down for the count!"
However, Fate, decides to play the Bad Luck card again and thus Van Helsing ends up killing Kate Beckinsale just after she stabs him with the cure to his werewolf condition.
"F%$^ YOU WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRLLD!"
Van Helsing then burns Kate Beckinsale's corpse, and the viewer is forced to assume that the kindling is tainted with something more than just dry grass, because Van Helsing undergoes one helluva trip and sees Kate Beckinsale's disembodied head smiling at him from the clouds. Smiling in comfort and high from the weed, Van Helsing rides away into the sunset, confident that Carl couldn't see what he was seeing right now because this is so friggin' surreal. All the colors.
"Do you see it, Carl? That Unicorn with all the technicolors is just astounding!"
"Van Helsing, was that really just sticks and straw you put back there?"
"When I count to three, we chase it and steal its magic powder."