I, Frankenstein is currently playing in theaters.
I, Frankenstein (2014) – Rated PG-13
“Frankenstein’s creature finds himself caught in an all-out, centuries old war between two immortal clans.”
Wife’s Take: I hope I never see a worse film this year.
While I will say that my wife hated this movie, she was laughing almost all the way through it. Also the force of her eyeballs rolling back in her head was rocking the seats. Sadly because she was rescuing me at the closing theater, she wasn’t able to get her Bleu Cheese Chips. The chips at Carolina Cinemas are fresh, hot potato chips piled high with bleu cheese dressing, crumbled bacon and scallions. They are her favorite go to snack even if they upset her delicate tummy.
I, Frankenstein is just awful. Thankfully it was just awful in an enjoyable way, the way you wish Asylum movies were but aren’t. One newish trend I hate in Hollywood is the movie intended to launch a franchise. Honestly Hollywood, the way to launch a franchise is just to make a really good movie – the rest will follow.
For all of its stupidity, I really enjoyed the Underworld movies. The first is a slick, stylish movie about two young, attractive people caught in a war between two warring mystical factions. Yes, I know that Aaron Eckhart is strategically scarred but it’s the least convincing ugly since the latest Beauty and the Beast movie where tattoos replaced beastliness. If you replace the phrase ‘Frankenstein’s creature’ in the film description above with ‘Selene’ and himself with herself, you have Underworld.
The head of the faction with the upper hand in Underworld is Viktor, played by Bill Nighy. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it so here the head of the faction is Naberius, played by Bill Nighy. Underworld is actually the far more nuanced (never thought I’d type that) of the two as neither faction is good. In I, Frankenstein, the demons are, well, demons and the gargoyles are the servants of angels.
Naberius has a virtual army of the dead that he hopes to raise. They look exactly like the army of the dead that Dracula wanted to raise in Van Helsing. Modeling your movie after Van Helsing is perhaps not the soundest of strategies.
I hardly know where to begin on the ridiculousness. When the demons die, they burst into fire that descends to the ground as their spirit descends into hell. Similarly the gargoyles burst into angelic light and ascend. Of course it wouldn’t look cool if the red lights just hit the ground so instead they swirl around before figuring out which way is down.
The worst aspect is that this world apparently only has three humans in it and yet a near infinite number of demons and gargoyles – so much so that in one scene waves of demons sacrifice themselves in an attack. Of the three humans in the modern world, one is simply there to show Adam, Frankenstein’s creature, the consequences of his actions and the other two are scientists because for some reason creatures that can live forever are incapable of being scientists.
Of the two scientists, one is the world’s foremost, and I hope I am getting this right, electro-physiologist, Terra. Apparently the way to be the world’s foremost is simply to be the only one. She is played by Australian Yvonne Strahovski who has made Maxim’s Hot 100 more than once. Most recently she was Hannah on Dexter. I think you can guess the fate of the lesser scientist.
Gargoyles are constantly flying around the skies and demons are constantly revealing themselves. I honestly would have expected tons of Youtube videos. Even the Russian meteorite, which lasted seconds, had tons of videos.
Of course the real similarity between Underworld and I, Frankenstein lies with its creator. Kevin Grevioux not only wrote the story for both of these movies but also was a producer on both (and the first two Underworld sequels). He also stars as Raze in Underworld and Dekar in I, Frankenstein. His low, rumbling voice and menacing manner are certainly a plus.
The dialogue is particularly eye-rolling. The demons do not look very good and the gargoyle CGI is not always the best. Still you could do worse for a dumb movie.