I, Frankenstein (2014): Movie Review

courtesy of lionsgate

Been tried putting down by his own creator and discarded, spurned by the promise that his creator broke, the raging Frankenstein's monster killed his creator's wife and fled. Sensing the creation of a soulless body who has been revived from the dead, the Demon prince Naeberius aims to discover the mystery of such abomination to serve his greater purpose. With the aid of the Gargoyle Order, in the guise of the name Adam, Frankenstein must keep the secrets of his being, must not get caught and protect the journal of his creator documenting how he came to be.



Of course, this movie is one of those recreated fairy tale, except that this isn't a fairy story but another version of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein. Here, not only is the dead involved but also God's fallen creations, aka demons.

There's a real originality in this film, the Gargoyle Order. I have not come across any sort of material that uses Gargoyles, except RPGs (role-playing games). The closest one 'alive' would be Lauren Kate's Torment book wherein Lucifer pretends to be a harmless creature to the story's heroine in the guise of a little gargoyle. The other material that referred to Gargoyles as something important to a story would be the Harry Potter series wherein for one in particular, a gargoyle serve as a signpost for the office of Hogwarts' Headmaster.

From what I know, a gargoyle is just a mere ornament. But in history, a gargoyle, though grotesque in nature, is a decoration that symbolizes a guardian. They are grotesque to scare away prospect enemies and this movie made use of that.

Humans turning into gargoyles to protect the living? Pure genius!

While I like it that Eowyn (Miranda Otto) of The Lord of the Rings play as the queen of gargoyles, I don't think that it is fitting for Aaron Eckhart to play as Frankeinstein. Indeed he was scary enough as Two-face of the Batman series, but Frankenstein? No can do! First off, he doesn't have the height. Yes he's tall, but he isn't ginormous. Second, I (and perhaps most of the world) am so used to having Frankenstein as a monster with squarish face. Aaron Eckhart's face is too longish because of his chin and his sunken cheeks. Third, because he isn't ginormous, he doesn't have the equally huge built.

image courtesy: batman.wikia.com
I'm Two-face, you know!

The overall feel of the movie is somewhat similar to Underworld, only less serious because there isn't romance involved. The story basically focus on action, mostly of stony gargoyles and fiery demons flying with spectral of colors as they collide against each other, much like fireworks. Sure, Frankenstein's might was imbued at the beginning of the film but I didn't notice much of Frankenstein's actions. I believe that the reason I seem blind to Eckhart's works is because I don't peg him as a brawl-action type of guy. If there's any action role that fits him, that would be a commanding officer in the military. Or he wasn't just a good actor at action.

I did say that there isn't romance but sure there is a sexy beautiful woman involved. The scenes there could have been taken by others as romantic but to me, just seem unlikely. Maybe it's because of the lack of chemistry? Or it's just that it's not the focus of the story at all. The woman, aside from being the story's precursor for the dénouement, is just an accessory so that the movie will have a story, sans the backstories as a whole.

I cannot question the CGI. It's just like the rest of them. I think that ever since Marvel released Ghost Rider in the cinemas, filmmakers have pegged Nicholas Cage's demonic burning appearance as cool. There was Human Torch of Fantastic Four in 2004 but it was Ghost Rider who's arresting. Ghost Rider's sinister look was just captivating, you could feel your blood running cold upon seeing him for the first time. My wrong, Human Torch was meant to be me amiable, not horrific. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones has also taken its demons from Ghost Rider and I think that I, Frankenstein is not an exception. And for that, the demons look cool!

Overall, the chemistry is bad, the acting is wooden.


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