In review: “I, Frankenstein”

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I, Frankenstein, directed by Stuart Beattie tells the story of Frankenstein’s monster’s identity struggle and a scientific endeavour to reanimate the dead and a centuries old struggle between gargoyles and demons. All in all, the film is a veritable hodgepodge of narratives that are not entirely complimentary of one another.  It is as if the filmmakers had three separate films they desperately wanted to make yet would only ever get the one chance and thus decided to forgo all sense of logic in favour of getting all of their ideas out there.  The film would have been better served had it instead forfeited at least one of the storylines and put more effort into the remaining plots.  For example, two hours of the fight between the gargoyles and demons would be much more interesting than chaotic patchwork plot of the final product.

While the film boasts a strong cast, made up of Aaron Eckhart, Billy Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, and Miranda Otto, these actors’ talents are wasted as many of these performances fell short and fail to leave the viewer with strong emotional connections with the characters or any investment in their story.  However, it is unknown if this is due to the cast itself or the dialogue they are performing as most fell under the category of cheesy action dialogue.  The likely cause however, is a combination of these poor performances and poor writing.  While many presumed blockbusters can make up the entertainment factor with flashy special effects when dialogue and acting do not stand out one can find better special effects on television shows with smaller budgets than I, Frankenstein.

However, the film is not without its positive elements.  The fight choreography throughout the gargoyle vs. demon battle scenes is very well done and highly entertaining.  In a similarly positive move I, Frankenstein has the leader of the gargoyles a woman whose actions are not governed by her relationships with the men in her life.  That being said, the film still does not even pass the Bechdel Test nor does it do much justice to the few other female characters throughout film yet it is still steps ahead of many other similar films to come out in recent years.

All together, the film is entertaining if you’re not searching for something with an overwhelming amount of substance to it.  Those hoping for something so bad it’s good, ala Batman & Robin may be disappointed as I, Frankenstein isn’t horribly bad it’s just not that good either.   If you happen to catch it on Netflix on a Sunday afternoon while hungover and looking for wanting something you really do not have to think about then it is worth checking it out.  In the meantime, save your money, especially for the 3D version, and catch something else.

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