Victor Frankenstein – 2 out of 5
It’s easy to spout off the usual copy and paste arguments that people type up on the comment sections of the internet and say things like, “Hollywood has run out of ideas,” etc. but I guess I’m a different type of dude. When I saw that they were trying to do for Dr. Frankenstein what was done to Sherlock Holmes with Guy Ritchie’s films, my knee didn’t automatically jerk and whine about remakes, reboots and re-imaginings but rather I was just in awe that Mary Shelley’s original 1818 novel has the staying power that it does and that we are still adapting it nearly two centuries later. That being said, is Victor Frankenstein a breath of fresh air for the property or just another forgettable adaptation?
|A bold new direction for Frankenstein.|
Igor (Daniel Radcliffe) lives a life enslaved by a circus due to his hunchback; however, he finds solace in his interest in human anatomy and being head-over-heels in love with another performer by the name of Lorelei (Jessica Brown Findlay). One day, after saving her life after a nasty fall, Igor meets an intelligent and driven medical student by the name of Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy). The two team up and Igor soon realizes that Frankenstein is pushed by some darkness in his past and he obsesses over bringing the dead back to life. Lorelei urges Igor to leave him behind but he soon learns that not all the doctor does is on the level and an ambitious detective (Andrew Scott) is out to stop the man before he accomplishes his insane experiment.
|Interesting choice to bring Ted Danson in to play the monster.|
|What lazy dude did they hire to post the Wanted posters?|
We’ve seen a lot of different versions of Dr. Frankenstein over the decades so it’s definitely hard to re-imagine this story in a way that hasn’t been seen yet; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean showing us what we’ve already seen is a bad thing either. In the case of Victor Frankenstein, this isn’t really a new telling of the novel but rather a new take on the classic tropes the first film ended up creating. The exception is that this time around, Igor is a bit of a heartthrob and Victor is one of those cocky tough guys that are quick with the one-liners and wit. It’s definitely something new but I can’t say that it really worked the best with the Dr. Frankenstein property.
|Please give more work to Andrew Scott. I love that man!|
I really dug the performances in this film and felt the sets and costumes looked great. Additionally, when the monster is revealed, I really liked the design of it. There are some great things going on in this film. Visually, the product is top notch and there’s some cool shots and slick editing to the whole thing but the problems that arrived that kept me from getting into the film had nothing to do with these elements. The issue that I had was that these elements just didn’t fit with a property that is, usually, associated with darkness and terror.
|Don't try and charm me with your talent and come-hither eyes, McAvoy!|
I admire the risk the feature took with making Dr. Frankenstein a flashy and hip tale but, ultimately, the formula just didn’t feel like it was working and it made most of the film feel awkward and like it was flopping around in a genre that it didn’t belong in. Even more interesting is how the entire film feels like it is trying to actively do something new for the character but, at the exact same time, comes off like it is just another soulless re-telling of Frankenstein’s story.
|Igor becomes a sex symbol...what happens next will shock you!|
I’m not going to go as far as to say that Victor Frankenstein was a waste of my time because it wasn’t. There are definitely moments I was intrigued by the new approach and interested in the story. I really liked the look of the film and loved the performances but the film never really pushes the envelope enough to truly be the new take on this property that it
should needed to be. It’s clearly trying
to be something new but it also feels like it doesn’t want to fully embrace
this route and it ends up making for an adaptation that feels very awkward.