“I, Frankenstein” exceeds expectations with a twist on an old classic tale.
Mary Shelley wrote the well-known novel “Frankenstein” about a mad scientist who created an animated human being nearly 200 years ago. Flash forward to today, and we find director Stuart Beattie taking a more modern spin of the classic, gothic novel.
The film begins with a brief narration by Frankenstein’s monster, played by Aaron Eckhart, of the happenings within the novel. Frankenstein’s monster, who goes by Adam throughout the film, is attacked by demons and saved by gargoyles right from the beginning of the film.
Adam finds himself caught in the middle of a war between the demons and gargoyles. Queen gargoyle Leonore, played by Miranda Otto, explains to Adam how he can kill the demons by having a weapon with the gargoyles’ crest on it, which is a variation of the crucifix.
The plot of “I, Frankenstein” was incredibly simple. I was happy to see the director didn’t try to make anything difficult of the already unbelievable story.
When watching the previews of this film, I didn’t think it would be good at all. I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed the action and acting throughout.
The acting is great throughout. Eckhart pulls off the muscular monster with ease.
Bill Nighy plays a billionaire, who is really the demon prince Naberius. Nighy was perfectly cast as the two-faced monster. He played a believable man who was looking for the research to create animated bodies, but he also had the underlying part of creating these bodies for his demon children.
One of my favorite characters and acting performances was Gideon, played by Jai Courtney. Courtney didn’t have any memorable lines in the film, but he played his part as the head warrior gargoyle without any difficulties. He also brought a force on screen that no other actor brought with his size and emotion.
The special effects were the parts that took the crowd by storm and also took the film to another level. The hand-to-hand combat between flying gargoyles and more human-like demons was brilliant. The way the director was able to create a way for both sides to die was amazing, and the special effects matched it perfectly.
I was wary of a Catholic or Christian underlying story because of a difficult situation the movie could have taken, but the directors left it alone, and I’m glad they did so it wasn’t a confusing part of the film. However, the gargoyles did mention God a few times, but nothing more than that.
I am giving “I, Frankenstein” a B+ because of the overly simple plot and a few unanswered questions of a couple characters and their finishing roles, but I was pleasantly surprised by the brilliance of this film based on an old classic novel.
“I, Frankenstein” delivers an action-packed story with a fairly well-known cast that delivers an acceptable performance, but the finished product leaves something to be desired.
There are a lot of notable actors who make up the cast of “I, Frankenstein,” but Eckhart takes the lead. As the main character, Eckhart does a commendable job of playing the muscular creation of mad scientist Victor Frankenstein. He was able to carry out some well-choreographed fights and also pulled through with some emotion on a couple of the scenes. I never felt like the acting in the movie detracted from the story, and the actors were adequate overall.
“I, Frankenstein” also managed to find its own little spin on the action that we are accustomed to seeing in movies of our day and age. What makes the fighting unique is that half of the people in the movie are gargoyles that can fly, and the other half are demons, which burst into flames when they are killed. The flying adds an interesting element to the hand-to-hand fighting that we don’t see often.
While we are on the subject, I’m not entirely sure why there is only hand-to-hand fighting in this film. The majority of the movie takes place in a modern time, but no one seems to have discovered the effectiveness of projectile weapons. It is a little hard to believe that neither gargoyles nor demons could be killed with a bullet. The lack of projectile weapons seems a little unbelievable given the time period. I understand the gargoyles and demons are really old and everything, but the only reason I can think of why they would still use hand-to-hand combat is that it is more exciting to watch.
The graphics used were acceptable. They weren’t the best I’ve ever seen, but they weren’t bad either. Most of the characters are computer-generated at one point or another, and there were only a couple times when it was poorly done. For the most part, the flames, buildings caving in and heavenly beams looked realistic.
The storyline was an interesting take on a classic novel. I applaud the director for his creativity, and it wasn’t particularly predictable either. While the end of the movie sloppily wrapped up the plot and subplots, it managed to avoid leaving too many questions unanswered.
I’m giving “I, Frankenstein” a solid B. It isn’t a must-see, but it wasn’t a waste of money either.