The month of January is a dumping ground for terrible films. The studios spend all their time focusing on award season that they release their terrible films in January. I, Frankenstein is no exception. The film tries too hard to be fun or entertaining and the result is a mess of a film with no real exposition or likeable characters. With a premise that’s supposed to be ridiculous and fun, the final result fails to encapsulate on better, more entertaining films this one film borrows from.
The premise of I, Frankenstein isn’t convoluted; it’s just too boring to follow. Scientist Victor Frankenstein creates his monster from six (?) corpses. Not happy with the result of bring to life a multitude of body parts he attempts to kill it. However, his monster rises from the dead and returns to seek revenge out on his creator, killing Victor’s wife. Victor then sets out to finally kill his creation only to die himself in the journey. The monster, which is referred to as Adam (played by Aaron Eckhart), returns Victor to his estate to give him a proper burial.
This sounds like a fantastic film all by its self but that’s only the first 90 seconds. After burying Victor, Adam becomes entangled in a war between demons and gargoyles, which fight for Heaven and Earth. Here is when the confusion sets in. I’m not entirely sure why there are even demon coming after Frankenstein or why demons would even need scientists for that matter. In case your wondering, demons are enlisting the help of electro physicists to create their own monsters to wipe out earth with soulless demons.
The premise sounds like a 14 year-old boy came up with it during a boring history lesson on Mary Shelley. The action sequences are the only things I could say are pretty cool. Though the hand-to-hand combat sequences are fun to watch (at a limited degree), they are so few and far between that the film becomes tedious. The acting and direction take a back seat here as well. The tone of the film would work better if there was a layer of fun or silliness but director Stuart Beattie has everyone in the cast play off the script, which he co-wrote, as serious as possible. When a character in the film is told about demons and gargoyles for the first time they don’t even think twice. The dialog is hammy and the actors, which include Bill Nighy, don’t even bother to make it work. This movie was clearly done by these talented people to pay off an overdue car note.
The visual effects aren’t great and the makeup seems cheaply done. This film would’ve been a better film if they had explored the set-up for the movie. Victor Frankenstein going off to kill his creation seems like it would make for a better film. I, Frankenstein is nothing more than a cheaply done rip on films like Underworld, Priest, Van Helsing and many others. If you want to see something that is much better, watch any of the ones I mentioned above. While the cast of actors in this film are very talented and are capable of doing work that transcends this trash, they do have to pay their bills every once in a while.