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MOVIE REVIEW: I, Frankenstein

| 8 April 2014 | Reply

MOVIE REVIEW: I, Frankenstein
Directed by Stuart Beattie
Starring Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Miranda Otto
Reviewed by Maree King

I Frankenstein movie poster

I, Frankenstein hit the cinemas last week, this new instalment in the Frankenstein inspired fantasy sci-fi genre was written and directed by Australian Stuart Beattie based on the graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux and very loosely based on Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein (although I’m not sure she would appreciate the association.) This version of Frankenstein is really a continuation of the Underworld franchise created by Kevin Grevioux and detracts from the story – although maintaining some of the religious and metaphysical theme’s, it fails to resemble anything of the original novel.

Adam Frankenstein (played by Aaron Eckhart) returns to the modern world only to get caught up in the shadow war of two supernatural forces. The villain, demon-prince Naberious, disguised as billionaire businessman Charles Wessex (played by Underworld veteran Bill Nighy, who is the bright spot in the movie), employs scientist Terra Wade (played by Yvonne Strahovski) to recreate Victor Frankenstein’s work to reanimate corpses for the souls of the descended demons who can return from Hell if they have the soulless bodies to inhabit. They are trying to crush the gargoyle queen Lenora (played by Miranda Otto) who is created by the Arch Angel to fight the demons and protect humanity.

Aaron Eckhart’s representation of Frankenstein resembles a hunky, articulate creature stalking the demons of the underworld and finding love with the rather attractive scientist, as opposed to the souless 8 foot, hideous, reanimated monster that Victor Frankenstein created from parts of dead corpses. Bill Nighy, as usual, is brilliant in a somewhat limited role and Miranda Otto is also under utilised. Supporting roles are filled by an array of Australian talent including Jai Courtney (Jack Reacher, A Good Day To Die Hard), Caitlin Stasey of Neighbours fame and Yvonne Strahovski, and are underwhelming: the esteemed cast is wasted on a story that lacks engaging dialogue or storyline.

Visually, I Frankenstein looks pretty good, the CGI is generally good, and where it isn’t, the action sequences make up for the lack of storyline, which heavily relies on voice-overs, especially in the first half of the movie. Beattie’s impressive use of visuals and the good use of the faux dark London/New York cityscape, yet actually shot in Melbourne shows lots of flying gargoyles and marauding demons scuttling across the rooftops in whorls of CGI smoke. The atmosphere is maintained very well, without being able to identify the city but it still feels like a city, fitting for the theme of Frankenstein as identity is a thread that runs throughout the storyline.

The ending of the movie really falls down, Adam has to choose a side in the battle of good and evil, and we all know which one he chooses, departing to spend his days fighting demons and protecting humanity. This earns him his soul, forgiveness and redemption and in doing so he embraces his role. The final scene of Eckhart grunting ‘I, Frankenstein’ are predictable and cheesy and it’s a disappointing end to an otherwise passable movie. If you enjoyed Underworld you may enjoy this – if you’re after something with more substance and innovative this probably isn’t worth a visit to the cinema.


Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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