Film Review: I, Frankenstein

Written by Mallory Delchamp

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I guess the old saying “You win some, you loose some” rings true even in Hollywood. Aaron Eckhart is a living example; after a role in the blockbuster hit The Dark Knight it was only a matter of time for Eckhart to star in a not-so-successful film. Unfortunately for him (and for us, honestly!) Stuart Beattie’s I, Frankenstein was such a film. Now I am usually one to look forward to fantasy epics with special effects and gargoyles and I was looking forward to Frankenstein but after viewing the trailer I knew this film was either going to be very good or very bad; it was definitely going to be one extreme or the other. And, like I have briefly said it was the latter.

Photo Credit: Lionsgate
Photo Credit: Lionsgate

The film (or at least the beginning portion of the film) doesn’t stray too far from Mary Shelley’s sci-fi novel. We all know the story: A mad scientist named Victor Frankenstein creates an artificial yet living creature. To Frankenstein’s surprise, his creation eventually turns on him and murders his wife and attempts to murder him as well.

But, Beattie takes Shelley’s novel a step further.

Now flash forward 200 years later and Frankenstein’s monster has now befriended the order of the gargoyles (a group of mythical creatures who work to protect humanity from demons and yes they do resemble the characters of the 1990s cartoon) and has now found himself in the middle of a centuries-long war between the gargoyles and the demons. The demons (who of course dress in all black and enjoy revealing their bright red contacts resembling the evil vampires of the Twilight films) are led by the demon prince Naberius who strives to capture the miserable yet muscular Eckhart in an attempt to learn just how Victor Frankenstein recreated human life. Now just as any rightful villain, the demon prince has his own agenda. Naberius’s only wish is to recreate “soul-less” bodies in order to bring back all of the damned demons and return them to Earth so he can unleash his masterful plan and destroy humanity. That is honestly the extent of the simple and rather boring plot of this 93 minute long attempt of an action film.

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Surprisingly enough I, Frankenstein has a wonderful cast. Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings) plays Leonore the elegant gargoyle queen, Bill Nighy (Love, Actually) attempts to portray a serious yet creepy villain, Yvonne Strahovski portrays the innocent doctor who attempts to aid Naberius and of course, Eckhart stars as the lonely leading man (or monster). But, even a stellar cast cannot save this weak screenplay. As an actress, I found myself laughing at several moments throughout this film simply because I feared for the film’s actors for the fact that this film will forever be on their resumes. And, of course despite this blockbuster flop I can assure you that we can expect an equally as abysmal sequel in the coming years.

Bottom line: I, Frankenstein is mildly entertaining-if you appreciate 1980s-esque special effects, terrible masks and costumes and emo-rock music. In fact I recommend viewing this film if you are sitting at home alone one day and you cannot manage to find something else to watch amidst the 150 channels in your Time Warner cable package.

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