Monday, 10 February 2014

I, Frankenstein: Movie Review

I, Frankenstein: Movie Review

Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Jai Courtney
Director: Stuart Beattie

Based on a graphic novel by one of the creators of the Underworld series Kevin Grevioux, I, Frankenstein stars Aaron Eckhart as the titular creature.

200 years after he was created and after he got revenge on those who brought him into this world, Dr Frankenstein's creature (Adam as he's named) finds himself suddenly in the middle of an age old war, which could determine the fate of humanity.

On the one side is the Gargoyle Race - and on the others, the demons.

But when the demons get word that Adam could hold the key to their tipping the balance, the fight for Adam and the notes from his creator which brought him to life intensifies...

I Frankenstein is quite simply, a fairly bad B movie masquerading as something wanting to be more.

Infused with sullen and emotionless characters, it's hard to care about any of the fight going on or any of the combatants.

Aaron Eckhart skulks about as the creature, decked out in hobo gear, scars and guyliner and looking like someone's stolen his chocolate milk. While trying to effect a Batman style growl, he's effectively given the creature no unique selling point and a way to stand out from among the grim, dark FX that are placed all over the film. Granted, Frankenstein's monster is trying to find his place in the world, but Eckhart never quite nails that tortured alienation or the distance from any of the human or creatures within the world created.

Bill Nighy throws in another version of the character he played in Underworld and chews a bit of the scenery while doing so as the demon bad guy; and Chuck star Yvonne Strahovski gives the English accent a bit of a mangling as the scientist trying to make sense of it all. Miranda Otto is probably the worst offender though - through an aloof performance as the Queen of the Gargoyles, you don't feel any sympathy with their plight or a sense this battle's been going on for centuries.

Nobody's expecting miracles in a film like this - merely seeking a distraction and some FX heavy action sequences. Beattie manages some impressive FX for despatching the demons (with swirls of fire filling up the screen) but a ponderous over-reliance on using too much slow mo and bullet time style makes each sequence feel like a turgid rehash of the previous one.

Along with lumpen, leaden wooden dialogue, delivered soullessly by all the players, I Frankenstein feels like Comic Book 101 - the dialogue may work in the panels but in the 3D world and despite some visual directorial flourishes, it barely registers anything other than a groan of unoriginality. In fact it would be better titled Y, Frankenstein...


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