Friday, January 24, 2014


Making yet another version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein really shouldn’t be all that offensive. After all, the big lugnuts has been consistently recycled for the past 100 years in film, TV, cartoons, and breakfast cereals. Each time the monster has been recycled, one rule remains constant; it isn’t the idea behind the story that counts, it’s how that idea is executed. Such is the task of I, FRANKENSTEIN.
Two-hundred years after falling into a secret war between Gargoyles and Demons, Doctor Frankenstein’s monster (Aaron Eckhart) arrives in modern day London, where he discovers a plot by the Demon Prince (Bill Nighy) to re-animate corpses in an attempt to enslave mankind. The monster, named Adam, is assisted in thwarting the Demon horde by the Gargoyle Queen (Miranda Otto) and his new doctor lady-friend (Yvonne Strahovski).

Staying true to its literary roots, I, FRANKENSTEIN begins during the events of the original tale. The war which he falls into, between Gargoyles and Demons, sounds ridiculous at first, but feels like the beginnings of a fun, B-movie. From there, the film falls and suffers from the amateur-level filmmaking by director Stuart Beattie. I, FRANKENSTEIN settles into a never ending step-by-step pattern: (1) Characters stand around and over-explain everything that is happening; (2) Have a big CGI-driven fight where things blow up and creatures are killed, and (3) Go back to Step 1. It’s predictable and boring. Worse, the dialogue is third-grade level reading and the plot to re-animate the corpses is so convoluted you need a road-map to figure it out.
Director Stuart Beattie does his best to grind the film into the ground. Action scenes are overloaded with so much CGI it feels like watching someone else play Tomb Raider. Characters have no personal stories and don’t act with any sort of emotion or feeling. The film also struggles with its very own logic; the war between the creatures is supposed to be a big secret, and yet large-scale battles take place in the middle of the streets with cars blowing up and buildings collapsing…and no human ever notices.

Aaron Eckhart turns in the worst performance of his career. He simply cannot play tough and gruff. Yvonne Strahovski shows less emotion than the CGI creatures around her, and Jai Courtney shows up to stink up the screen even more with his wooden-plank deliveries. Bill Nighy and the lovely Miranda Otto do the best work and shine brightest amongst the ruins.
The finale arrives with a plop, which really doesn’t matter because at that point there was nothing to look forward to anyway. I, FRANKENSTEIN shows a shocking lack of brains, wit, or basic storytelling technique, making this monster an insufferable experience. Fuck this movie forever.


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