I, Frankenstein Review
By Neale McGeever
The story of Frankenstein’s monster is one of the most adapted books in film history. From one of the earliest films in 1910 to Universal’s classic horror in 1931, Hammer Horror series in the 70s, Andy Warhol’s banned video nasty, comedy classic Young Frankenstein and Kenneth Brannagh’s controversial 1994 adaptation starring DeNiro.
Despite the amount of way’s the mad doctor and his creation has been depicted, this is probably the furthest from the original source material as you can get. Granted I, Frankenstein is based on the legendary graphic novel of the same name, this big screen version shows a muscular Gargoyle-slaying action hero.
Aaron Eckhart (most recognised as Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight) stars as the monster, now known as ‘Adam’. I will mention this now: Eckhart is the best thing in this film. He acts his little socks off bless ‘im! Shame he has to work with a script clunkier than a second hand Skoda, which is the least of the films problems. The story goes ‘Adam’ has taken revenge on his creator, is captured by Gargoyles (yeah, I know) who take a human form and taken on as one of their warriors. Adam thinks ‘ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat’ and trains himself in the wilderness for 200 years. An army of demons are after him to find out the secret of his re-animation and fended off by the gargoyles and Adam himself. Bill Nighy stars as the demon’s head honcho Prince Naberious. I think the only reason he appears in this film is possibly because he had a long weekend free to appear in the 3 scenes you see his character.
One thing I was impressed by on this film was the elaborate set design. The art department must have pulled out all the stops, all the scenery is breathe taking and costume design isn’t bad either. The visual effects aren’t much to write home about but the action sequences don’t disappoint. I, Frankenstein is written and directed by Stuart Beattie who penned scripts for Pirates of the Caribbean, Collateral and G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra so high concept action thrillers are his forte. Shame this film falls flat on its face due to its poor script, lazy performances (other than Eckhart) and loose connections to its source material.
All the way through I kept thinking this should have been Frankenstein vs. Dracula, a sequel to Van Helsing, or even have Nicolas Cage play the villain. Now that would have been epic!