I, Frankenstein (2D)
Cert: 12A / 92 mins / Dir. Stuart Beattie
"You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could […] But your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn't stop to think if they should…"
~ Ian Malcolm, Isla Nublar, 1993.
A confused, shambling bastardisation of the familiar, painstakingly yet sloppily assembled from components which don't fit together neatly or effectively, because established order never designed them to; An achievement of modern technology certainly, yet an insult to its origins and a mockery of everything it tries and fails to be; At first glance, a terrifying abomination, yet if we stop to look more closely, there is a heart beating beneath the surface, struggling to find some purpose among the turbulence it creates; struggling to find meaning.
Oh, and there's a monster in the film as well. BOOM!
I won't beat around the bush, I, Frankenstein is utter shite. From the over-acting of every performer who doesn't play a named character, to the embarrassed under-acting of everyone who does, this is an extended cut-scene from a very average video game which blithely assumes its audience isn't old enough to have any grounding in the source-material. The CGI gargoyles hold about as much weight as the god-awful script, and are only slightly less laughable than Bill Nighy's demon-horde, wearing Reservoir Dogs suits, and masks bought from Docklands Studio's nearest 99¢ store at Hallow'een.
The more the screenplay tries to create bonds with its literary and cinematic forebears, the more excruciating things become, and when Ian Frankenstein delivers his closing soliloquy (vowing to become some kind of Batman-type vigilante if a sequel should ever see the light of day), my toes curled so hard they tore through my shoes*1.
Far more boring than a story of this kind should ever be, 'I, Frankenstein' is a creation which should have stayed on the page, where it belongs.
I would have marked the film a point higher*2, but the shoehorning in of "It's alive… It's alive!" is a far greater blasphemy than the reanimation of a living being could ever be…
I think I might have heard one, or it may have been my brain trying to insert something into the proceedings which would make me smile, kind of like a cinematic "safe place". Either way, I'm not likely to watch it again and find out.
Bill Nighy, I know you have bills to pay, but what price your dignity, man? WHAT PRICE, YOUR DIGNITY?
*1 ©Martin Wolfenden, TGR.
*2 At least for the achievement of actually completing "a film", however sketchily.
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
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