Saturday, 30 August 2014

I, Frankenstein (2014)

If there's one thing that can often be relied upon to upset horror fans it's the misappropriation of the Frankenstein name. As each and every one of them will hasten to tell you, Frankenstein was the creator. The creature was called . . . . . . . . well, he was called by a variety of names, but none of them were/should have been Frankenstein. Call me pedantic, but I guarantee that many will agree with me.

I, Frankenstein starts off by upsetting horror fans with this central point. The title is more understandable by the time the credits roll, but there are one too many occasions between the beginning and end that have people referring to the central character as Frankenstein when they really shouldn't.

The film then continues to upset horror fans by being pretty horrible from the start - a potted version of the classic tale retold in one or two minutes - and then continuing to be horrible right up until the very end. Think of Underworld, a movie with which this shares a LOT of similarities (including shared cast members in similar roles), and then remove the style, the better cast members, and the decent action sequences. I don't even need to rehash the plot here, as it's so close to Underworld that you can figure it out for yourself. I'm serious.

Although it's Stuart Beattie in the director's chair, a lot of the blame for this mess can be laid at the feet of Kevin Grevioux, who also gives himself a small role onscreen. Grevioux, funnily enough, came up with the original story idea for, yep, Underworld, and has developed a number of stories since that have seemingly sprung from the same well. The overriding thought that ran through my head as I watched a creature caught amidst a battle between good and evil was that the well has all dried up.

I don't want to spend much time on the cast because they don't make any decent impression. Not a one. It's as if they realised that they would be overshadowed by lame action and overdone CGI anyway, so decided not to bother. I guess, however, that I have to namecheck the main players. Aaron Eckhart is the creature - AKA Adam - and is stuck with one of the worst interpretations to ever be excreted on to film. I like Eckhart, but he needs to bury this film with better choices as soon as possible. Yvonne Strahovski is a female scientist, and does okay with what she's given (translation = she spouts science stuff while looking very purty). Bill Nighy is almost exactly the same as he was in Underworld, Miranda Otto tries to overcome the weak dialogue that she's given, and Jai Courtney can quit acting any time he wants without worrying about me being upset by it. Please. Seriously, Jai Courtney, please. I can already envision a sports bar that would be perfectly suited to your ownership.

There are one or two good moments, mainly in the first half of the movie when the lead character finds a way to release a lot of anger, but they don't help to make this a less painful viewing experience. Like Frankenstein's creature in his darkest moments, it's awful and soulless.


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