Writer: Elaine EweWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, “Constantine”, and the “Underworld” franchise.
At the end of "I, Frankenstein", we finally realise how Victor Frankenstein must have felt when he beheld the creature that he created. Like its titular anti-hero, the film feels like it was stitched together with different parts - Stuart Beattie threw in action, fantasy and science fiction elements, then tried to make it live using shoddy CGI effects and cringe worthy dialogue. Granted, "I, Frankenstein" is not marketed as a deep and complex film, but for it not to tie up the threads that it started is just plain lazy.
The film begins with a summary of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" by the Creature (Aaron Eckhart), from his origins, his eventual murder of Victor Frankenstein's beloved, Victor's pursuit of the Creature and the former's tragic death. As the Creature buries his maker, a group of demons decided to kidnap him, which plunges the Creature, who is later named Adam Frankenstein, into a centuries long war between a clan of gargoyles and a clan of demons.
Right from the start, one of the film's many flaws becomes evident. The film's running time is only 92 minutes, which explains why Beattie thought it a brilliant idea to have Aaron Eckhart monologue about 60% of it so that they can cover more ground. However, with dialogue like "He pursued me, but I was immune to the cold. He was not" and "I am my father's son; I, Adam; I, Frankenstein", it is a wonder that nobody died from second-hand embarrassment.
There are also a few questionable creative decisions such as why Adam would use two staves as weapons when there is a whole vault of cool-looking weapons and the demons' design? If swords are overused in films, then why can't he use brass knuckles instead? As for the demons, not only do they look like rejects of the Dark Elves from "Thor: The Dark World", they don't bear any real threat any more than the common criminal. I think in the whole movie they only murdered two humans and 16 gargoyles.
There's nothing wrong with making a cliche action-fantasy-science fiction-movie, but it at least needs to hold up to modest scrutiny. We're left to believe that Adam managed to hide from the demons for 200 years, when Prince Naberius (Bill Nighy) boasts that he has demons all over the world. We are also supposed to accept that Terra (Yvonne Strahovski) has heard of Victor Frankenstein and his Creature but then she feels the need to ask Adam what happened to his maker and the wife? So does Mary Shelley's book exist in this universe and if not, how did she know about the myth?
As the film plays out, it becomes less and less interesting because we are not invested in the characters enough to care about what happens to them. Beattie really tries to give his lead character some semblance of development, but it gets lost amid the poorly choreographed action sequences and cheesy dialogue. "I, Frankenstein" is nothing more than a colour-by-the-numbers B-grade film and it does not pretend otherwise, but it would have been nice not to see A-grade actors forced to participate in this frustrating charade of a film.Cinema Online, 23 January 2014