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I, Frankenstein – A movie review

The battle between good and evil has a new face: The one of a monster. While in the past, you witnessed this same battle with some of the traditional characters, like wolves versus vampires, orcs against elves, and aliens fighting humans, this time the gargoyles engage in an endless combat with demons, and a little twist of Frankenstein.

Oh my, here we go again...

The plot is something you won't find unfamiliar with. A mad scientist tried to make his dreams come true, and created a human-like creature with the solely purpose to get immortality. However, something went terribly wrong, and the beast turned against his master. Until now everything goes like the book says, or at least as the Hollywood lore about Frankenstein that everyone knows since the invention of film making, has told us. Frankenstein's monster in a last act of kindness returned his dead master to his family graveyard, and gave him so his final rest. That is when everything goes wild: Frankenstein is attacked by some evil demons, who want him, and the monster defended himself, trying to save his own life. The gargoyles, who are a heavenly force that opposes demons, watched all the fuss, finally helping Frankenstein to drive the evil spirits away.

I, Frankentein (2014) is directed by Stuart Beattie, who already directed other box-office hits like G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. He has this time a somewhat entertaining movie that turned into a big flop. According to the movie website Variety, this movie cost around $65 million, and it only got in its first weekend $8,3 million.1) This is in fact, not a huge surprise at all.

With a cast plagued of bad acting, and the heavy use of special effects, this movie is cool for a Saturday evening nap in front of your TV, and not a nice weekend in cinema with your partner, or friends. “Oh, come on!, It wasn't that bad, isn't it?”, is something that likely many, including Mr. Beattie could say about my review, and I have to grant that in fact, it is a light entertainment for those, who really want to go to the movies, and of course have no other choice. But seriously, we all have already seen this endlessly: A hero, who doesn't want to be a hero, and all of the sudden is involved in a battle that apparently, it's not his, but during the journey, he discovers his truly self, redeeming thus of all his bad deeds. Doesn't ring you a bell, dear reader? Haven't you already seen this on movies since you were a kid? Just replace gargoyles and demons for any of your beloved heroes and villains, like, I don't know, democrats and republicans?, and place any of your favorite characters as your hero, and there it is, “I, Frankenstein” revamped!

The cast of the movie is not really bad with even some popular actors in there, like Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Night, Erin Brockovich) as a tortured Frankenstein, Bill Nighy (Love Actually, Shaun of the Dead, Underworld) as Naberius, the demon prince, Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck, Dexter) as the scientist Terra Wade, and Miranda Otto (LotR 2 and 3, War of the Worlds) as Leonore, the Gargoyle Queen. The problem is, they are terribly directed, and sometimes their roles are perceived as cartoony with exception of Bill Nighy, who tries hard to save the sinking ship to no avail unfortunately. Another good actor like Eckhart, but without the experience of Nighy, doesn't convey much with his acting during the movie as “stone-face”, besides a feeling of “hey, I shouldn't be here at all”. He was exceptional in his role in The Dark Night as Harvey Dent/Two-Face, and we all know what he is capable of, although, if you haven't seen him in another movie, but this, for God's sake, go and rent The Dark Night now! Strahovski didn't add much more to this movie than a pretty face to say the least. She isn't that bad, and maybe deserves way better than appearing in a cheap drama like this, or Chuck. Unfortunately, this kind of movies won't help her much in his career, and that's too bad, because she has great potential as an actress, and not as a mere model.

The best part of this movie are special effects, and how the sets are designed, creating an industrial-like atmosphere in some parts that reminds me some of the old Frankenstein movie classics. If you are into fantasy movies, maybe you want to give it a try, just because of the top-notch visuals on the screen. However, the music and sound effects are awful, and I sometimes wished to bring some foam earplugs. On the other hand, the CGI-models and fireworks won't disappoint you, but that's all: A very expensive ticket to watch a bad movie that it's like getting a rather mediocre gift, wrapped in a classy, and shiny paper.

upload.wikimedia.org_wikipedia_commons_6_6c_yvonne_strahovski_by_gage_skidmore_2.jpg
Strahovski at Comic Con 2013. Picture by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 3.0 2)

In Conclusion

This movie script appeals to you inner soul, trying to be sympathetic with most of your human feelings, but in a very shallow way. The acting is bad, really bad, filled with a great cast that doesn't work that good as I would have expected. The visual effects are cool as well as the settings, but I would have appreciated a much stronger script instead of that. The music is not good either with a much worse sound effects. So, if you want to watch an interesting movie about good vs. evil with supernatural beings, well, go and watch Underworld, it will give you more fun than this. But hey, I knew from the beginning that this was not Citizen Kane, and we live in a free world, so if you are masochistic, go ahead, and watch I, Frankenstein, but I, surely won't do it again.

Disclaimer

Categorization

References:
1) Variety (26th January 2014). “Box Office: ‘I, Frankenstein’ Delivers Dismal $8.3 Million”. http://variety.com/2014/film/news/box-office-i-frankenstein-delivers-dismal-8-3-mil-while-ride-along-injects-life-into-sluggish-frame-1201071545/
2) Skidmore, Gage (July 20th 2013). Yvonne Strahovski at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International in San Diego, California. (Uploaded by Gage) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)], undefined. Picture Available On-line in http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6c/Yvonne_Strahovski_by_Gage_Skidmore_2.jpg

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