FILM REVIEW: I, Frankenstein
Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Miranda Otto, Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney, Aden Young, Socratis Otto.
Initially the backstory of this film is much as you’d expect. Paying accurate homage to the legend’s creator, Mary Shelly’s novel, first published in 1818, eccentric scientist, Victor Frankenstein creates a hideous monster in an unorthodox science experiment. After failing to fulfil his promise to create a female companion for the creature, the monster takes revenge by murdering Victor’s wife, Elizabeth, and then wonders the Earth for two hundred years in isolated torment. Well not quite, isolated, as he is constantly chased by demons because, under the rule of Dark Prince Nabarius, the demons need the monster for an evil plot, which involves the demons spirits of hell returning to wreak havoc on Earth. The creature is soon discovered by the Gargoyles, ancient beings of light sent by an archangel to destroy demons, whose queen names the monster, Adam. Soon reluctant hero Adam, who frankly just wants to be left alone, is locked in an epic and dangerous battle that has been fought in secret for centuries.
While the film breaks away from previous renditions of the classic tale of Frankenstein, and the plot contains a few hidden twists, the narrative was a little bit predictable, which I suppose is only natural with the whole theme of good vs. evil. What really sold this film, though, were its extraordinary special effects, spectacular and devastating explosions and furious battles between demon and Gargoyle, and Frankenstein himself (which all look AMAZING in 3D). Fast pace climatic music, dark scenes and tense, aggressive hand-to-hand combat complement one another to bring the perilous pursuits for Adam to life in true cinematic brilliance.
The exploration of what it means to be human runs in the undercurrent of this film, with solitary Adam discovering, forgiveness, trust, and protectiveness, despite being betrayed and hunted at every corner, in his quest to see if he has a soul. His desire for a companion to share in his immortality and search for a higher purpose is also touching.
Acting in this movie is spot on. Aaron Eckhart, having given us a haunting portrayal of the unhinged comic book villain, Two Face in The Dark Knight (2008) makes easy work of Frankenstein’s monster. His interpretation of Adam’s tough, impenetrable exterior and the tortured, lonely sole within is second to none, connecting the audience to the protagonist, despite him being one of a kind.
Bill Nighy’s legendary acting skills have seen him play a whole host of diverse characters from Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, to Billy Mack in Love Actually, and The Met Chief Inspector in Hot Fuzz, which made him a perfect find to play villain demon-prince Naberius. His silver tongue and deadly expressions plus the signature arch of his eyebrow, makes him a great baddie, guaranteed to send shivers down your spine. Yvonne Straovski (the hot girl from the spy/comedy TV series Chuck) adds a woman’s touch playing smart and resourceful scientist, Terra, who, in turning the usual damsel in distress cliché on its head, actually proves to have a significant role in the film, as well as being a bit of eye candy for male viewers.
Whilst the Gargoyle Queen’s number one rule of not exposing the ancient battle against demons to humans is flouted on many occasions, the narrative doesn’t interact much with human characters and the modern world as I would have liked, given that this is a interpretation of the Frankenstein legend set in the 21st century, but nevertheless is a perfect fantasy to lose yourself in for a few of hours!
Watch the trailer for I, Frankenstein below