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I, Frankenstein – 6


Director – Stuart Beattie

Cast – Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Miranda Otto, Bill Nighy, Jai Courtney, Socratis Otto, Aden Young, Kevin Grevioux, Mahesh Jadu, Caitlin Stasey, Steve Mouzakis, Chris Pang

Release Year – 2014

Reviewed by John of the Dead

I really don’t know how else to say this, but I actually liked I, Frankenstein. When I first saw its initial trailer I thought to myself, “Meh. That looks like Underworld.”, and then I learned this is an adaptation of Underworld creator Kevin Grevioux’s graphic novel of the same name. The idea of a modern day Frankenstein flick that builds off of Mary Shelly’s story interested me, but I was concerned with who the film was coming from and naturally I had my doubts because of that. Low and behold, my expectations were surpassed and this flawed, sometimes brainless flick had enough positive elements to leave me thinking I did not entirely waste $14.

Centuries after his reanimation, Frankenstein’s creature finds himself caught in a war between the God-sent Gargoyles and Hell’s demons.

The flick begins with a bit of backstory on the monster’s inception and the subsequent hatred he has harbored for over 200 years, and soon after it fast-forwards to present day. Frankenstein’s monster, later named Adam, is now far from the beast he was when the Gargoyles saved him from the demons who wish to know his secret to reanimation. Since then he has been killing the demons that plague his human world, but in doing so he puts himself in the middle of a war that is centuries in the making. Sounds a lot like Underworld right? Despite it’s similarities to the Vampires vs. Lycans flick I did enjoy seeing something different for a change, which was Gargoyles vs. Hell’s demons. Director Stuart Beattie’s screenplay, adapted from Grevioux’s screen story, provides lots of action and plenty of kills for the viewer to enjoy. We see the good and the bad die in this hard fought battle, and I really enjoyed the idea of the deceased demons descending to Hell in a trail of fire and the deceased Gargoyles ascending to Heaven in a ray of white light. Unsurprisingly, much like the Underworld films the human element is almost non-existent. Some may balk at the film’s lack of human interaction, and rightfully so. How can such a huge war go on and the humans not become involved in one way or another, but that is one of the caveats of such a thin script. My only gripe story-wise is how extremely basic the script is, especially for a general storyline that tries to do a lot. There is plenty of cheese and action for the viewer to enjoy, but the weak script is surely the basis for the film’s sorry reception by the critics.

Beattie’s direction fared much better than the screenplay, and I credit him with my unashamed enjoyment of this flick. He provides great atmosphere and extravagant establishing shots of the gothic world Adam is forced to save. I was surprised at how well Aaron Eckhart came off in such a role that is unlike others he has portrayed, and as always it was a pleasure to see Bill Nighy portray the film’s villain (as he did in the Underworld films as well). The action scenes were tense, exciting, and grand at times as I watched a dozen Gargoyles take on hundreds of demons at one time. What really surprised me though was how great the CGI was. I recently watched This Is the End and the CGI was horrible, yet somehow this much lesser film had awesome visual effects. The look of the Gargoyles was awesome and if you did not know ahead of time you would assume they were the antagonists, but I do feel the demons, who were the actual antagonists, could have been given a much more horrifying look.

Overall, I, Frankenstein is a film I did not expect to like but surprisingly it left me with a better experience than expected. The script is thin and extremely basic, but with lots of action and good SFX you may find yourself in my shoes if you turn off your brain when the opening credits hit the screen.

Rating: 6/10

…Additional Stills…

Creator Kevin Grevioux appears as a lead demon in the film.

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