Alright, I know everyone is really riled up about a “new” Frankenstein movie. I was neither here nor there about it. Although raised on classic films, to me, Frankenstein’s monster will always be the one that Mary Shelley gave me. In 1818, at the age of 18, a young woman named Mary Shelley was traveling with her future husband, Percey Shelley, along with Lord Byron, and JohnPolidori. The four of them decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. The story of Frankenstein and his monster are the result of one of Mrs. Shelley’s dreams and a friendly writing competition. The original Universal film deals mostly with the monster’s conception, if you will, and rejection by his maker. With a slew of sequels behind it, “Frankenstein” is still regarded as one of the best movies of the 1930’s and beyond.
Written and directed by Stuart Beattie (30 Days Of Night and a few of the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies) “I,Frankenstein” brings us the story of Frankenstein’s monster but also adds gargoyles and demons to the mx. Stay with me here; Frankenstein’s monster is a body without a soul and Naberius, the Demon Prince, wants him. While burying Dr. Frankenstein, the demons try to capture the monster, but are stopped by two gargoyles. Gargoyles are Arc Angel Michaels’s warriors who protect humans from demons. Naberius wants to know the secret recipe of Frankenstein’s monster in the hopes of animating tons of corpses and taking over the human race. Got that?
O.K. Well, the gargoyles take the monster to their home and it is decided by the queen, that the monster shall be named Adam and kept alive. This was a nice tip of the hat to the novel:in the novel, the monster refers to himself as “the Adam of your labors” while speaking to Dr. Frankenstein. Well, this Adam has a real chip on his shoulder and all he wants is to be left alone, so, he tries to find solitude. For 200 years. Those pesky demons find him, though, and Adam decides to return to the world and start hunting demons.
In the present world, Adam has a nice haircut to showcase his chiseled features and he really has a very nice “hobo chic” outfit that compliments his athletic frame. Seriously, where do I find these jeans and overcoat; they’re very sharp looking. Adam has a few severe scars on his face, but he still looks like …….Aaron Eckhart. You can’t cover up handsome with a few facial scars. My first introduction to Mr. Eckhart was in a little film titled, “In The Company Of Men”. Such a talented actor, he’s clearly only being used for his size and “menacing” appearance. The thing is, his character, Chad, in “In The Company Of Men” is a thousand times scarier than Adam. Hell, have you seen Adam with his shirt off? Um, I’m not running away from that.
So, Adam broods around while Naberius searches for him. Played by Billy Nighy, Naberius is really just Billy Mack from “Love Actually” pretending to be a demon. It’s really very amusing, but I’m sure, unintentional. All of the gargoyles are ethereally beautiful and they even look good when they die. The fight scenes between Adam and, well, everyone else, are super fun. They’re big and loud and really cool looking. Everyone has super cool weapons and can jump around and fly everywhere; it’s ridiculous/awesome. Outside of that, the movie is just another generic, bland, gigantic “popcorn” movie. Clearly being set up for a potential franchise, the story really pushes the limits of acceptance with the last five minutes.
Is it a terrible movie? No. Is it a good movie? No. Is it a decent way to spend some time if you enjoy over the top and completely unrealistic fight scenes? Yup. Is it a good way to spend 93 minutes with Billy Mack as a demon prince? Yeah, it really is; Bill Nighy is undeniably charming. Is it a good way to spend some quality time with Aaron Eckhart, despite the fact that he forgot how to act? Sure is, honey! Look, it’s not the gigantic crap fest that everyone wants it to be. In fact, the three exuberant fanboys that sat behind me would adamantly promote this movie. “I know the critics hated it, but I don’t listen to critics, anyway! This movie was awesome!” These three were having a real “I,Frankenstein” love fest while the credits were rolling. (In the interest of fairness, two people walked out of the movie in the middle of it and never came back.)
So, if you’re looking for something that lives up to the intelligence of the novel, or the classic charm of the Universal film staring Boris Karloff, avoid this movie at all costs. If you enjoy action movies that allow you to “check out” mentally and have lots of cool stuff to look at, this is your new favorite “film”. If you’re an extreme Aaron Eckhart fan,well, he looks really good. It’s a shame he spent more time working out ( you can see him on the cover of this month’s Muscle and Fitness) than he did acting. Or is it? Good acting was never going to save this movie, anyway.