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'I, Frankenstein' is all action, no substance

staff writer

Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 00:01

"I, Frankenstein" has good action scenes and impressive visuals — and that's about it.


The story takes place after the events of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" in which the monster (Aaron Eckhart) outlives Dr. Frankenstein in the Arctic part of the world. This is all recapped in a cool-sounding narrative by the monster, which was exciting for me personally because I had read the novel in high school.


The monster buries Dr. Frankenstein, and without any hesitation, the story goes downhill with some very out-of-place weirdness. Demons go after the monster, and he is saved by some members of a group of gargoyles led by the overly dramatic Queen Leonore (Miranda Otto, "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers").


She randomly names him Adam. He comes to find out a demon prince wants to use him to further his evil scheme.


Frankly, there are a lot of things that do not make sense about this film. For one thing, the villains' plan involves the fact that Adam has no soul. According to the story, he does not have one because it was man who placed him on the earth rather than God. With that kind of logic, what makes normal people have souls? Are normal people not man-made from sexual reproduction?


In the story, he goes after some demons because they are harassing him. The gargoyles capture him in the process and chain him up. Queen Leonore tells him she sees nothing but darkness in his eyes now, but there is no reason for that. The film never shows him change into anything bad or sinister. In fact, Adam seems pretty innocent. He wants to leave everyone alone and not be bothered. From what I understand, she is mad at him for being proactive and going in search of the demons so they will quit going after him.


Miranda Otto gives a Razzie-worthy performance. She was in the second and third "Lord of the Rings" movies as Eowyn, the blonde woman who goes for Aragorn, but is ultimately friend-zoned. It is ironic that she tries to emulate another character from the same franchise, the Lady Galadriel. She so obviously tries to copy from Cate Blanchett that her performance falls flat. In fact, it is downright laughable at parts.


The main problem with this film is it never takes time to develop its characters. Adam has so much potential to be interesting, but all we get is a Two-Face-sounding man who limps around sometimes. There is a hint at a character arc because he did something horrible in his past, and by the end, he is supposed to be good. However, given the circumstances he was in at the time he did the horrible thing, he still does not seem like a bad person. It is only known that he is supposed to be some dark thing because all the other characters around him say so.

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