“I, Frankenstein”, directed and written by Stuart Beattie, starring Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski, and Bill Nighy, tells the story of Frankenstein’s monster, Adam (Eckhart), who is dragged into a war between two immortal groups – God’s gargoyles and the devil’s demons. Adam wants no part of the fight before he realizes he’s a part of it whether he likes it or not. The dark prince, Naberius (Nighy), wants to replicate Frankenstein’s work so that demons can rule the world. So, Adam decides to hunt the demons that are after him and becomes a sort of protector of the earth.
I feel like this movie is a bit of a let-down. There are so many clichés and plot holes that prevent me from enjoying the film. It seems like many of the characters go back and forth between valuing Adam and betraying him. Since the characters come across as confused, I was confused. Make up your mind! Also, there was the cliché fix-me-up-after-a-fight scene with Adam’s love interest, Terra (Strahovski). I didn’t interpret much of a connection between them and this scene felt like a forced show of intimacy. The writing is definitely lacking so instead of being a plot-driven movie – of which the script really tries to be – the film is lacking in plot quality and interest.
“He may be more human than he realizes.”
The parts of the script which I did like came in the form of comedy from Terra, the doctor Naberius wants to replicate Dr. Frankenstein’s work. She has quick, funny lines that contrast the otherwise dark tone of the film. Also, I can appreciate that the script includes, “it’s alive,” as a tribute to Shelley’s novel.
The strength of this film lies in the action sequences, of which there are many. The CGI definitely helps these scenes to look visually stunning. Adam and the gargoyles seem like badasses. However, the copious amount of slow motion shots are really over-done. There also seem to be a lot of people leaping from windows in slow motion. It’s too repetitive. It doesn’t help that the prosthetics of the demons are so silly that it’s hard to take them seriously as villains.
“My life is my own. You will not take it from me.”
This film had potential since it’s based on interesting material, but the attempt to modernize the story, and the heavy handed addition of a religious theme, really detracts from what could have been an interesting and engaging film. Also, the title of the film is used as a part of Adam’s monologue in the closing scene, but the title still doesn’t work. How can Adam be “like none other” if he equates himself as the new Frankenstein? He’s meant to be taking on the name of his father, but why would he do so if he hates him?
Overall, “I, Frankenstein” falls short of its potential by trying to do too much. There are plot holes and clichés that detract from what otherwise could have been a good film. It’s pretty disappointing unless you’re interested in movies with more action than plot.