Director: Stuart Beattie
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Miranda Otto, Yvonne Strahovski, Bill Nighy
Release Date (US): 24th January, 2014
Company: Lionsgate Entertainment
“I, descender of the demon horde. I, my father’s son. I… Frankenstein.” – Adam
The action/fantasy I, Frankenstein updates Mary Shelley’s monster in a present-day setting – uniting star Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) Stuart Beattie (Tomorrow, When The War Began) in this graphic novel adaptation. and director Two centuries after his creation, the monster, Adam, still roams the earth, cursed by his immortality. He soon finds himself caught in the middle of an ancient war between gargoyles and demons – the latter of whom seek to replicate his creator’s work.
Adapting on source material from his own graphic novel, screenwriter Kevin Grevioux’s (Underworld) script is both dull and ridden with plot holes. No character is developed fully enough for the audience to ever truly root for them, while their questionable decisions and actions only serve to advance the increasingly ridiculous storyline. In the end, Grevioux’s work on the Underworld franchise is made to look far superior.
The film’s simplistic tale of good vs evil vs ‘something in between’ make for a formulaic narrative, only punctuated every so often by jarring, over-the-top action sequences with terrible CGI. The movie is full of cheap twists, that only ever lead to illogical results and more fights. Adam himself is a forgettable take on Shelley’s famous creation, with thematic elements of ‘humanity’ and ‘loneliness’ handled in a very generic fashion. Elsewhere, some of the movie’s dialogue is nothing short of appalling.
“I’m a dozen used parts from eight different corpses. I’m a monster.” – Adam;
“You’re only a monster if you behave like one.” – Terra
‘When bad films happen to good actors’. That phrase just about sums up Aaron Eckhart’s last few years in Hollywood. The man who once turned in a tour-de-force performance in The Dark Knight is but a shadow of himself here. While he still manages to convey Adam’s isolation, he struggles build upon anything more than that for an all round terribly written character.
The supporting cast don’t fare any better. Jai Courtney (A Good Day To Die Hard) is another talented actor who’s on a run of bad movies, and while he fits the mould as hot-head Gideon, he has very little to work with here. Elsewhere, veteran Bill Nighy turned in a much more convincing villainous performance in the Underworld franchise, while Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck) is completely underwhelming as love interest/’scientist’ Terra – a walking plot device disguised as a character.
Direction & Tone
Alongside Grevioux, a large portion of the blame must go towards his co-writer and director, Stuart Beattie, who fails bring any entertainment value to this action/fantasy flick at all. There is very little to enjoy about his dark and often too sombre vision for a film that is far too campy to ever really take seriously at all. Perhaps most disappointing were the often terrible visuals – making you wonder what exactly this movie has going for it.
- I’m among that so-called ‘lower echelon’ of film viewers that actually liked Underworld (well… at least the first one). And I still hated this.
- “I am the terror that flaps in the night” – Aaron Eckhart channelling a horny Batman
- In all fairness. It is actually possible to enjoy this movie with an open mind. Just compare it to Van Helsing
- I’m secretly hoping an unlikely sequel does get green lit, featuring gargoyles vs pirates. Aye, Aye, Frankenstein anybody?
A mind-numbingly ridiculous script and incredibly bland plot – mixed in with some unapologetically weak visuals – make I, Frankenstein an early contender for ‘cinematic dud of the year’.