Review: ‘I, Frankenstein’ is a Good Looking Mess

The film is just a story rip-off of Underworld and Van Helsing combined.

“I, Frankenstein” is directed by Stuart Beattie and stars Aaron Eckhart as the Frankenstein monster who is caught in the middle of a war between Gargoyles and Demons. The film also stars Bill Nighy as the Demon Naberius, Yvonne Strahovski as a scientist named Terra, and Miranda Otto as the gargoyle Leader.

The story follows after the events in the book took place as the Monster gets dragged into a secret war, and he is the only one who can decide who will win as he tries to figure out his purpose of life, while living with himself and wile trying to be accepted. Needless to say the film has so many subplots that the story is a mess. Some of the plot points never truly get explained; they are just mentioned and never brought up again. The film tries to follow the same setup and style of “Underworld”. The story is needlessly complicated but too simple at the same time. It is predictable and easy to follow but with all the subplots and throwbacks to the book, makes the film trying to make it more than what it really is which is just a generic good vs evil film with the one person who can make a difference.

Aaron Eckhart tries to do a good job as Adam/the Monster. He plays the dark and gritty character well enough but there is nothing else to the character. He just grows and threatens people. His sincere moments are really lacking. He has the physicality for the fight scenes and he does a good job looking menacing for the times that he needs to be, but the character wasn’t written well enough for him to give it a good performance. Yvonne Strahovski plays the intelligent scientist with a pretty face. That is all that is there to her character. She is just the generic female lead who enters the supernatural world by accident. There is nothing really special about her character or her growing friendship with the Frankenstein monster.

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Aaron Eckhart in 'I, Frankenstein'
Aaron Eckhart in ‘I, Frankenstein’

Bill Nighy does a decent job as the villain but he plays the same villain character he always plays. It is pretty much the same as Viktor from “Underworld” or Davy Jones in “Pirates of the Caribbean”. He can be enjoyable but he is also very predictable in the movie. Miranda Otto seems bland and lifeless as the leader of the Gargoyles. She tries but again there is not much for her to play with character wise. She gives the speeches and delivers the lines but she didn’t seem to be giving it her all.

Visually the film looks pretty good. Some of the cgi moments look kind of cheesy but nothing too bad. The visuals in Imax 3D look pretty good and are nice in the grand scale but I can’t say whether that translates well into the 2D format. The actions scenes are pretty well choreographed and are exciting for a good amount of battles. The cinematography is well shot and you can see everything clearly but nothing too artistic. It is mostly just the generic action sequence and basic dialog shots. The CGI of the gargoyles look cool at first but the problem is that they all look almost exactly the same the only way to tell the difference is by what weapon they wield. Miranda Otto’s character is the only one with a gargoyle form that looks different than the others. The demons all look the same in their demonic form. I wish that there was a little more creativity and thought put into the look of the creatures.

Overall the film is just a story rip-off of Underworld and Van Helsing combined. The characters are boring, the story is all over the place, the Gargoyles don’t have any diversity other than what weapons they use and the leader looks different. The only good thing is how it is shot and the action sequences of the movie. It is entertaining to look at if you want to only watch the fight scenes but the rest of it is a boring mess. I wish they had tried to make the story that was written in the book, which has a more interesting and better story.

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Russ Homer

Going to college majoring in Film. Written and Directed Short Films on the side.

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