Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I, Frankenstein

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I, Rev. Ron.

I, Frankenstein – 2 out of 5

I, Frankenstein is one of those films that doesn’t promise a deep story or rich character development. It’s a film based on an obscure comic book and it doesn’t want to try to be anything but that. However, if you were to admit that you had any interest in seeing the film to someone who actually purchased an American Film Institute book because they think it makes them look worldly when it comes to film or someone who won’t stop telling you that they are writing the screenplay that Hollywood is too scared to make, they suddenly lord over you like you’re some peon with bad taste. I’m not saying that this happened to me but it totally did. Was I annoyed that I was suddenly called a moron because I dared to say, “Sure, I’ll see it,” when my movie discussion group brought up this film to ridicule its existence without seeing it? Sure but, at the end of the day, I actually gave the film a shot before I declared it a mediocre film. That’s more than I can say about the members in the group who, to my recollection, have never once said they enjoyed a film.

"I'm sorry, what?  I wasn't listening."

"Gaw, gross!  I got demon particles in my mouth!"
Adam (Aaron Eckhart) is the infamous Frankenstein’s monster who, for the last few centuries, has been trying to live a life of solitude away from the mortal masses of those who weren't reanimated from the dead. However, one day Adam learns there is a secret supernatural war between demons and gargoyles going on beneath humanity’s nose. Realizing that Adam lives without the burden of a soul, the demon prince Naberius (Bill Nighy) wishes to uncover the monster’s secrets and use them to create an army. Well, the queen gargoyle Leonone (Miranda Otto) will have absolutely none of that shit and it is Adam, someone who just wishes to be left the fuck alone, that is caught in the middle.

I like the monster's style.  The hoodie with that long black coat.  It's a good look for
a man who is basically a reanimated corpse.

The Superman Punch that's the envy of the entire UFC.
I won’t get snobby and claim that I, Frankenstein was an utter piece of shit because admitting that I enjoyed anything about it would make me look weak and that I passed up some boring subtitled foreign film and lose some class in the eyes of my fellow movie snob peers. There are actually some elements that I really enjoyed about I, Frankenstein and felt the film started out like it was going to be a decent comic adaptation. Sadly, the film does tend to unravel and get a little boring after the initial interesting beginning and then tends to wrap itself up way too quickly at the end…but it started decent.

Hmm, the gargoyle queen doesn't look that bad.

Gee-owd damn...that's her natural appearance?

I feel bad for Jai Courtney and how much he looks like Sam
Honestly, I, Frankenstein is a film where I like the concept more than the actual final product. It really is a testament to Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel that, even in our modern era, we’re still adapting Frankenstein’s monster into various works. I actually found the idea of the monster getting involved in a supernatural battle to be interesting and, when I first saw the trailer at Comic-Con last year, I thought the film looked like it could have been a nice dark, violent supernatural film that may not have the potential to be life-altering but has all the potential to something that could easily be fun and entertaining. While some of it did hit that mark, I feel the film wasted a lot of this potential and kept itself from being a very solid graphic novel film.

Taken out of context, it looks like the gargoyle is spearing him with his fiery boner.

When the science stuff is clear, you know it's extra
The only real aspect that didn’t work for me was the fact the film’s story and plot were very messy. I already mentioned how the film has a decent start and how it loses itself after that. While the beginning of the film wasn’t wildly attention-commanding, the very concept of it all and its slow presentation was still enough for me to invest myself into what I was watching. After that moment and when the character of Terra is introduced (played by Yvonne Strahovski), the film started to coast and coast badly. Terra is a scientist employed by the demon prince Naberius and she is being used to unlock the secrets of Adam. The events that occur as Terra comes into play go the predictable route of being the bad dude’s pawn to the catalyst of the anti-hero finally deciding to help humanity and being the object of his heroism and, if presented right, this could have been passable even though it has been seen a million times. However, this route that gets unfolded felt completely lethargic and like it was going through the motions rather than actually present something that would be the moral dilemma and character development the story needed. This lethargic pace ends up hurting the overall development of the demon’s plans too as the reveal and resolution to their horrors they create end up arriving and being resolved in a matter of moments. This is especially annoying since the film has all the potential for a dynamic formula of tension thanks to the fact that both the gargoyles and demons are after Adam and both are after him for different reasons.

"Don't look at me!  My nipples were sown on, too."

For the most part, the actors involve all are doing their jobs fairly decently. Sure, a lot of them are laying on the ham and cheese pretty thick and there is a fair amount of scenery being pulled from their teeth when the credits start rolling but none of them were particularly hard to deal with. In fact, I have to say that I really enjoyed Aaron Eckhart in the role of Adam. Granted, he’s an actor that I just enjoy in general but, guy-liner and all, I thought he was pretty cool as this newly imagined reanimated monster.

"The guy-liner was tattooed on..."

The makeup that wasn't good enough for LOTR.
The film also does a decent job on its special effects. The gargoyles all looked cool and didn’t look like cartoons and the battle scenes where demons are being wiped out like free booze at an AA meeting look stylized and very much like it was lifted directly from the pages of a graphic novel. The make-up effects of the demons, on the other hand…eh, not so good. I’ll just say it, they looked silly and all looked like they were lining up to play the Djinn in the next dozen Wishmaster sequels.

The Wishmaster 5 audition line.

"Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk I'm a woman's man..."
I, Frankenstein was so close to getting my average, “It’s not bad, it’s not great” score of 3 out of 5 and, with it’s cool concept, decent acting, pretty satisfying action and better-than-expected special effects, the movie more closely deserves a score of 2.5 out of 5 but since I don’t give out decimal-style scores, I rounded down due to the damage the weak plot and story deliver. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to show this review to the guy I know who is “writing the screenplay so original that Hollywood would never make it” and listen to him tell me why admitting that I liked anything about this film means I’m an idiot and how I’m just being a giant pussy for not hating on it like a true movie-lover does.

It's easy to hate on I, Frankenstein but, let's face it, we all want to have a cool scene
play out like this behind us as we walk away in slo-mo.


  1. Well, I like this movie. It's a fun, monster filled supernatural romp, plain & simple.

    I give it a 7.1/10 (I absolutely do decimals!).

    More to the point however, you need to get new friends & dump the present lot; they will drag you down to the hell of "I'm too smart to like anything & smiling is for the weak & foolish". It gets worse after that, as I suspect you know.

    Anyway, have fun! You sound like a pretty cool guy & you deserve to be happy & enjoy things, no matter what anybody else says.

    1. Didn't you call me a "fucking idiot" in another comment?


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