I, Frankenstein

In case you were wondering if there was anything new to be done with Mary Shelley’s most famous character, along comes Stuart Beattie’s I, Frankenstein to inject some supernatural silliness into the durable Promethean tale. If only the director had bothered to make his movie as freewheeling and ridiculous as his screenplay, he might have actually cooked...read more

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Reviewed by Perry Seibert
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In case you were wondering if there was anything new to be done with Mary Shelley’s most famous character, along comes Stuart Beattie’s I, Frankenstein to inject some supernatural silliness into the durable Promethean tale. If only the director had bothered to make his movie as freewheeling and ridiculous as his screenplay, he might have actually cooked up something worth watching.

Aaron Eckhart stars as the creature, a combination of body parts stitched together from various dead people and brought to life by Dr. Frankenstein. When the scientist realizes that he can’t control his experiment, he tries to kill it, only to have the monster survive and slay Frankenstein’s wife out of revenge. The doctor soon freezes to death while attempting to hunt down his creation, who pays his respects to his “father” by burying him on his family’s estate.

As he’s finishing the burial, the creature is attacked by demons, and is then quickly saved by a group of gargoyles. He’s taken to meet the gargoyles’ queen, who dubs him “Adam” and explains that her people are locked in an endless war with the demons. Their conflict controls the fate of mankind, even though the human race remains blissfully unaware of the battles being waged around them.

Centuries later, a particularly nasty demon named Prince Naberius (Bill Nighy) has come up with a master plan to reanimate all of his defeated minions and overwhelm the gargoyles. In order to do this, he needs to get his hands on the notebook of Dr. Frankenstein, which makes Adam, who has the documents, the only thing that stands in the way of humanity’s destruction.

This is a gloriously wacked-out and rather creative plot, and it’s a shame that the movie doesn’t embrace its more outrageous aspects. Instead of allowing for laughs, it’s a dull, FX-laden eyesore that aims for weighty subtext when it could have been a sweet rush of over-the-top action. Visually, the film plays out in near constant darkness, and the murkiness combines with the steadfast seriousness to create a tiring experience.

The plot hinges on whether or not Adam possesses a soul -- a question that persists because he was created by man and not God -- and while spoiling the ending would be a breach of reviewer etiquette, it is safe to say that I, Frankenstein doesn’t have much of a brain and is completely missing a funny bone.

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  • Released: 2014
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: In case you were wondering if there was anything new to be done with Mary Shelley’s most famous character, along comes Stuart Beattie’s I, Frankenstein to inject some supernatural silliness into the durable Promethean tale. If only the director had bothere… (more)

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