English Film Review
Lush but boring Gothic fantasy
Film: I, Frankenstein
Director: Stuart Beattie
Rating: * * ½
Mary Shelley’s literary creation comes in for yet another cinematic revamp, this time titled ‘I, Frankenstein,’ a film that appears to have been styled much like the ‘Underworld’ series - which promises much but delivers precious little. The choice of Aaron Eckhart sits well- as the titular character, an undead immortal creature of horror lore, a character that seems just a shade greyer than the one he so successfully portrayed (Gotham City District Attorney Harvey Dent who is eventually disfigured) in Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight.’
Shelley’s creation has survived through countless large and small screen incarnations but none so pitifully woebegone as in this film. But that is not because the leading man was unfit but despite the fact that Aaron Eckhart lends credence and ripped muscle to the legend. The battle is drawn out between vampires , werewolves, demons and gargoyles and Frankenstein appears to flit around like a pawn.
The intro, with narration from the monster Frankenstein(Aaron Eckhart) showcases him as all tormented, he took a life for a life, he's alienated and doesn't trust anybody. Adam as he is initially introduced as, is strictly on a diet and looks impressive enough to turn both male and female heads. Naberius’ chief scientist, comely electrophysicist Terra (Yvonne Strahovski) is assigned by her boss with the task of figuring out how to reanimate life. She soon forms an alliance with Adam and eventually becomes the reason for his immortality. The film ends with Adam astride a massive Gothic cathedral, promising (in voiceover) to dedicate himself to fighting the demons that threaten to obliterate mankind. That’s of course a clear signal that I, Frankenstein, is reaching for a franchise.
I, Frankenstein, is clearly not much different from dark superhero flicks but it has the added ambition of trying to generate a fan following from scratch. The script from Director Stuart Beattie and Underworld scribe Kevin Grevioux has silly, unwittingly funny dialogue and combined with fight-to-the-ashes CGI aided battles, appears a little too far-fetched and clearly unimaginative. The film has crusty looking, dark, architecturally enhanced cinematography but the performances are so dismally unaffecting that the characters remain mere card-board cut-outs even onscreen. The severity and lack of humor makes the entire experience boring and un-enchanting!