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Film review: Frankenstein

Director: Stuart Beattie
Screenplay: Stuart Beattie, Kevin Grevioux
Based on: I, Frankenstein by Kevin Grevioux
Actors: Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski, Bill Nighy, Miranda Otto
Rating **

The movie begins in 1795 showing Dr Victor Frankenstein (Aden Young) who created a monster (Aaron Eckhart) put together from corpses. In a burst of anger, the monster kills Frankenstein’s wife (Virginie Le Brun) and the doctor chases it far into the Arctic to get revenge but is unsuccessful because of the harsh weather and dies. The monster carries the frozen doctor to be buried and is attacked at the grave by demons, but he is rescued by gargoyles, Ophir (Mahesh Jadu) and Keziah (Caitlin Stasey), who bring him before the gargoyle queen Lenore (Miranda Otto) and their commander Gideon (Jai Courtney)

Lenore explains that they were created by the Archangel Michael to battle demons on Earth and protect humanity. They name the monster ‘Adam’ and invite him to join them, but he refuses their offer and after arming him, he is allowed to leave. He embarks on a journey for the next two centuries, seeking out demons, destroying their bodies, and trapping their souls in Hell.
During a modern-day confrontation at a nightclub, a human police officer is killed. While Adam is summoned by the gargoyles again, the demon Helek (Steve Mouzakis) reports that Adam is alive to his leader, the demon-prince Naberius (Bill Nighy), who is disguised as billionaire businessman Charles Wessex, and his right-hand man, Dekar (Kevin Grevioux).
Wessex has employed scientist Terra Wade (Yvonne Strahovski) to conduct experiments with reanimated corpses, and sends a group of demons led by his strongest warrior, Zuriel (Socratis Otto), to attack the gargoyles’ cathedral and capture Adam to get the secret of his existence.
After a battle at the cathedral, Lenore is captured and brought to an abandoned theatre. Adam and Gideon head there, where Gideon exchanges Lenore for Victor Frankenstein’s journal, containing the secrets of all the scientist’s experiments. Adam follows Zuriel to the Wessex Institute, where he learns that Naberius plans to recreate Frankenstein’s experiment and create thousands of reanimated corpses so the souls of the descended demons will be able to return from Hell once they have soulless bodies to possess.
The movie then continues to follow Adam as he tries to destroy the journal and fight against the demons, with the gargoyles chasing after him for the journal.
This is by far the worst movie I have seen all year. I really expected more from it. There was nothing wrong with the acting but I felt the script was the problem. As a viewer I wasn’t given enough time to connect with the main characters.
As familiar as I am with the Frankenstein story, I never once imagined that he would be battling demons and gargoyles over the faith of the world. I couldn’t find balance of how these two elements came together. Another interesting twist was trying to bring religion and science into the same plot, so it wasn’t about who was better or making the right choice but how to justify the living breathing soulless creatures with no souls.
I am sure that with a better script this movie could have been great, since Aaron Eckhart never disappoints.
The graphics were average, it all felt very animated. I expected more of the Amazing Spiderman1 graphics, where everything felt very real. Although the picture quality was quite acceptable it was less than I expected from a budget of US$65 million.
Jeff Beck, Richmond Movie examiner, on Examiner.com, had this to say “I, Frankenstein” is a failed attempt to bring a classic literary character into contemporary times. Sad part of it is that these filmmakers should have easily seen that this wouldn’t have made for an engaging film simply because there’s nothing to it: No character development, no gripping storyline, and no reason for the viewer to give it a second glance. Even the most avid action junkies would have a hard time not rolling their eyes at the blandness of it all. Just like with ‘The Legend of Hercules’.

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