Saturday, 1 February 2014

I, Frankenstein (2014) Film Review

I, Frankenstein Poster
Title: I, Frankenstein

Directed by: Stuart Beattie

Screenplay by: Stuart Beattie

Length: 93 minutes

Year of Release: 2014
I, Frankenstein is a film directed by Stuart Bettie, starring Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Miranda Otto and Jai Courtney, and is an origin film about Frankenstein's monster, and how he came to take part in a war between heavenly gargoyles, and hellish demons.
One of the decent aspects this film boasts is it's cast. The only reason that people are really going to flock to the theatre, is to see Aaron Eckhart beat the shit out of some cruddy demons. Is Eckhart any good? Well, the lines given to him are fairly shallow, and his character isn't at all relatable or interesting,  but for what the director asked of him, Eckhart provides enough. He's fine in the role; nothing extraordinary, as you'd expect. Bill Nighy, though, I found completely miscast! He plays the demon prince Naberius, who, as a demon prince, should probably have the ability to intimate others, look fearsome, etc. Unfortunately, Bill Nighy looks and sounds like a nice guy, so Naberius seems like a guy you'd want to go grab a beer with! That's certainly not the angle they were going for, and the writing didn't help to improve the character. The rest of the cast are fine in their roles, apart from the cringe inducing Jai Courtney, whom you may remember from the atrocity that was and is Die Hard 5. He's a pretty horrible actor, and this film only furthers my belief of that. Overall, the acting portion of the film was fine.

The visual effects... ugh. They're just horrible! The gargoyles look horrible, and the CGI landscapes and towers all look as artificial as they come. What kind of a budget did they really have for this film, exactly? 65 million?! This film doesn't look like a 65 million dollar kind of film. It looks bland and very dark. 90% of the shots within this film take place during night time, which kind of infuriated me. It was as if Beattie was trying to induce the feeling of darkness here, and it did not pay off! To add to the criticism, the practical effects and make up are all pretty terrible as well! Isn't Frankenstein meant to be a miss match of different pieces of skin, organ and general tissue? Didn't look so here. Eckhart takes his shirt off at one stage, and it look like he's had a nasty fall and needed a stitching. Except for a scar here and there, he looks pretty good. Not disgusting, ugly, anything of the sorts. That's a fairly major stuff-up in my opinion! The demons are also fairly pathetic when it comes to looks. I can't say whether or not it was all special effects, to make the faces look grotesque, but I will say for sure that they look pretty crap! For demons, they don't look half bad with their natural head size, shape and colour exposed!

There are certain parts of this film which I enjoyed. Those of note would be the initial origin story of Frankenstein's monster (whom I haven't mentioned yet, is actually called Adam here!) in which he kills his creator's wife, and then leads Dr. Frankenstein on a goose chase, until he falls over and dies (Dr. Frankenstein, that is). That was interesting! But that's about it, to be blatantly honest. The rest of the film was incredibly boring, badly paced and self indulgent. It also took itself way too serious! It so desperately wants to come off as a dark, modern interpretation of the classic film, but it falls so short. Some scenes come off as genuinely hilarious, because of a mixture of bad lighting, silly dialogue, and very cruddy acting. A lot of the actors here try to shout the vast majority of their dialogue, to try and create intensity, or something of the sorts. It comes off as it did in another January release, The Legend of Hercules (Note: Being compared to The Legend of Hercules is not a good thing), and that is incredibly stupid! Constant yelling does not make your character any more interesting or powerful! It makes him quite look quite dramatically silly! 

I did enjoy the score to this film, I will say. It added quite a bit to the film, in the way of atmosphere, something the film so desperately needed. Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil both delivered a fairly admirable score, one that is a pleasure to listen to in the context of the film, or by itself. So it's not all bad, I admit!

In conclusion, I, Frankenstein may not be as bad as some other January releases, but it's still something you can certainly skip. It's not that entertaining; it's quite boring and dull for the vast majority of it's running time. Wait a little while for Robocop, and go spend your money on that. You'll probably enjoy that much more.

Junkie Score: 3.3
Worth Admission Price? No

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