“I, Frankenstein” dead on arrival

Rafael Abreu/Contributing Writer 

I walked into “I, Frankenstein” hoping to see a movie so terrible that I would be enjoying it all the way through. What I got instead was a mediocre movie that was neither good nor bad, just okay.

Based on the graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux, “I, Frankenstein” is about Frankenstein’s monster (Aaron Eckhart) being pulled into a war between demons and gargoyles. The book of Victor Frankenstein is found, detailing how he made his creation, and it is taken and shut away, lest the demons get a hold of it. The monster, named Adam by an angel who leads the gargoyles (Miranda Otto), wants no part in this war and decides to leave the gargoyle’s protection, choosing to live his own life and fend off whatever demons find him.

Two hundred years later, we are caught up with Adam, who seems to have kept his agility and strength, but not his long hair. In this present we are introduced to Prince Naberius (Bill Nighy), a man who has been hunting Adam ever since he ran off. Naberius basically wants to re-animate an army of corpses so the demons that reside in Hell can come back and take over Earth.

The plot of “I, Frankenstein” is pretty one dimensional, as are most of the characters: their motivations are basic and there’s not much deep meaning behind anything they say. None of this is bad, per say, but it displays what is, in my view, the film’s biggest flaw: It’s nothing special. The acting is okay, as are the action sequences, the cinematography, and the script itself. The film never featured terrible acting or ridiculous plot holes; sure there are a couple moments where I realized the script wasn’t as polished as it could have been, and there are at least one or two plot points that are brushed aside, but it’s really just a product of the film’s simplistic formula. When things happen, and they’re taken care of, the film moves on, regardless of how important the characters made it seem; rarely is something that happened previously brought up, and when it is, it’s brushed off quickly.

I found myself slightly bored at times, realizing that, against the filmmakers best efforts, I was rarely so entertained as to be on the edge of my seat. Seeing Nighy was probably the most exciting part of the movie: his way of being is always entertaining to some degree and his mannerisms can be extremely enjoyable (an eyebrow raise can say so much). The action is acceptable but never too thrilling, if only because no one ever seemed to be in much danger (gargoyles ascend to Heaven when killed) and Eckhart doesn’t make for an exciting action hero. There are also many moments where characters merely talk and converse, and that wasn’t a problem for me, but it might be for some. Also, there’s barely any humor in this film, only coming from Nighy and occasionally dialogue said by other characters.

“I, Frankenstein” is not the failure I hoped it would be, instead opting to be an extremely average piece of fantasy fiction. From the action, to the acting, to the dialogue, everything is pretty much as “okay” as it can get. I find films like these hard to recommend, since there’s barely anything special about them; you may see it and like or dislike it much more than I, but there’s a greater chance you’ll just walk out of this film and say “that was okay.”


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