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|Index||157 reviews in total|
Let's talk plainly here... A poodle could of seen this trailer and
automatically knew this wasn't going to be Hollywood masterpiece. If
you saw the trailer and then still bought a ticket, then you don't have
anything to complain about if you hated this film. This movie is about
Gargoyles, Demons and Frankenstein!!! I doubt the best movie minds of
all time could of turned this plot into a well made movie. It's SCIENCE
FICTION people, not every film can get an 8.0 on IMDb.
With all that being said, I have to honestly say that I enjoyed this movie. Maybe I enjoyed it because I didn't go into it with high expectations. Yes, the plot was OOOVEEERLY simple, but it did have pretty good special effects and there was plenty of action sequences. Also, I'm a fan of Eckhart, Nighy and Jai Courtney. I would love to go into detail and use all type of specific film lingo to review this movie, but I would be wasting your time. If you want to escape reality for an hour or two and your a true sci-fi fan, I recommend this flick. If your looking for a movie with Oscar potential, you should sit this one out.
To say that "I, Frankentein" was a waste of time would be an
understatement. Much like "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters," "I,
Frankenstein tries to re-invent a classic tale for the action audience
with little success. Though to be fair, "Witch Hunters" at least had
some moments of memorable silliness and creative set pieces. "I,
Frankenstein" has neither, nor does it present its audience with decent
writing or memorable thrills.
The plot itself is a mangled-up mess and a failed attempt to re-invent Mary Shelly's classic character. In this film, Frankenstein's monster (played by the seemingly disinterested Aaron Eckhart) somehow gets involved in an ongoing battle with demons and gargoyles after the events of the classic story. Everything from his backstory to the motivations of the demons and gargoyles is told in rushed exposition and gives absolutely no time for the audience to care about any of the characters. It doesn't help that the editing and pacing is extremely choppy, often skipping hours and years into the future with no reasonable transition.
In the span of what feels like five minutes, the film tells Frankenstein's backstory, introduces the demons and gargoyles, explains their ongoing war, shows a training montage of Frankenstein learning to use the gargoyle's weapons, and suddenly cuts from the 18th century to present day. Nearly all of this is done in cheap narrated exposition and it kills the possibility of the audience getting attached to the characters.
Now, I'm sure many people can overlook a lackluster script if a movie has "good action." Unfortunately, this movie fails in this department too. All of the fight scenes are bland and dull with redundant, badly executed CGI. Perhaps the most frustrating example of this is that every time a demon is killed on screen, it turns into a swirling fireball. This effect looked cool for about a minute and it quickly got stale, especially when the demons are dying left and right and the effects start to look like they've been copied and pasted.
The PG-13 rating also takes away the possibility of even a little gore to entertain the horror buffs. This is especially a shame because there are some very sleek and polished weapon designs that look like they could have been used for some good ole hack-and-slash fun.
Little effort seems to have been put into this film, and even a big-time star like Aaron Eckhart can't elevate the material. Here he seems dazed and bored, almost as if this film was just a project to waste some time. In fact, none of the actors seem interested, and with the exception of maybe two awkward line readings, there is nothing to laugh at either.
Like many films released in January, "I, Frankenstein," comes across as filler and it is not even worth a view on Netflix streaming. Between the poor script, the dull characters and the bad effects, there is next to nothing here worth enjoying. After watching this, I actually appreciated "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" more; at least it had some effort put in it.
With a miserable 5% on Rotten Tomatoes, it seems like I, Frankenstein
is one of the worst movies in 2014 and it is only January. The abysmal
rating made me lower my expectations and surprisingly it is a solid
entertainment. Sure, it doesn't impress on any level but for a January
movie, it is an entertaining one.
The story: The story is as generic as a Direct-To-DVD movie can be. The Frankenstein's Monster, Adam, is caught in a battle between Gargoyles and Demons. Many decent action and 'dramatic' scenes are squeezed into the brief runtime of 1 hour 32 minutes. Thankfully the pace moves briskly without becoming boring. However, the short runtime also poses some problems such as skimping on characters' development. But it is expected as this is a mindless action movie which relies more on action and CGI than story and characters' development. Acting wise is okay, nobody impresses. Bill Nighy is playing his usual self as a villain. Aaron Eckhart has nothing much to emote as an emotionless monster except fighting and showing off his body. The rest didn't particularly stand out. Music is surprisingly good and fits the tone of the movie.
3D: For a post-converted 3D movie, it looks good. There is a good depth between characters and backgrounds. It is also effective when it comes to action scenes especially the flying of Gargoyles and the bursting of the demons.
Overall: It is obvious that I, Frankenstein tries to follow the success of the Underworld movies. On its own merits, it provides an entertaining watch with decent special effects and action. I guess it could do better if it is released straight to DVD. It may not be great but for a January movie, it is a decent watch with decent 3D.
I must admit that I enjoyed watching this supernatural action flick
heavy on CGI effects despite its flaws. I wondered why afterwards.
First, it seemed to follow from the book events and made a good point
that the creature is not actually called Frankenstein. However, the
"creature" itself, played by a strong Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent in
Dark Knight) did not look like any previous incarnation. Mostly, it
looked like a normal-sized, muscular, even handsome man with scars, not
like a tall, grotesque, patchwork of a man as it should have been. So,
the film following this trend of making "monsters" sexy bugged me, but
the performance of Eckhart won me over. He might not have emoted much,
as befitted the character who didn't learn how, but he certainly had
the charisma and gravitas necessary. He didn't look the part but he
acted the haunted, grim part very well.
So, the story starts not long after the end of the Frankenstein book by Mary Shelley at the end of the 18th century (1795). While burying his creator, Frankenstein, he find himself attacked by "evil" demons (who look like men, but with demonic faces sometimes) and rescued by, of all things, "good" gargoyles (who look human except when they're CGI gargoyles). The creature is brought to the gargoyle leader and quickly given a name, Adam. He's made an offer to join them in a secret war against the demons over humanity's fate. He declines and lives the next 200 years alone (would have been nice to see, but glossed over in a few minutes), defending against demons. Cue modern day, where his presence is revealed once more to the demons who are trying to bring back life to dead bodies for their own purposes.
So, instead of the overbooked vampires and werewolves, we have demons against gargoyles, plus Frankenstein's creature thrown in to act as wild card. I, for one, found that refreshing. However, the demons looked and acted like standard evil vampires, except when you saw their red eyes or their faces reverting to demonic. Except for their sophisticated leader, they were quite underwhelming and even boring from lack of personality. The gargoyles fared a little better, switching from medieval-looking, grey-tunic-wearing human warriors to big, winged stone gargoyles like you see on some old churches. They were supposed to be good (angels in disguise), but I liked their ambiguity. I didn't initially care for their obvious CGI looks, but they eventually grew on me, and who knows what animated gargoyles might look like anyway.
Foremost, this is an action flick, not really drama or horror, so it doesn't delve much on the inner psychological turmoils of Adam or his everyday "normal" life, nor does it try to scare or gross you out. However, the somber, tormented portrayal by Aaron Eckhart (mostly with his face and eyes) made him an interesting anti-hero. The action itself was peculiar. There were cool set pieces where tons of demons fought gargoyles around a very impressive-looking Gothic church. It had an epic feel to it, it was quite exciting, but you seemed distanced from the action because it cut things fast and the camera often pulled back. Also, there was a particular vibe as the numerous, weak demons were mostly slaughtered by the fewer, powerful flying gargoyles. It was usually one blow, one kill. On the other hand, you had one-on-one fights involving Adam that were very good for the most part. There were still quick cuts, but it wasn't abusive, sometimes lingering a bit on an angle, making for more involving and easier-to-follow battles. The musical soundtrack was better than expected with epic-sounding classical music and dramatic choruses.
Storywise, I found the concept interesting, the demons' motivation made sense, and it didn't hinder my enjoyment with too much obvious stupidity, except a few places where I thought things were just too convenient (like no civilians in the streets or the "secret" base of the demons being so close to the church of the gargoyles). The dialogue seemed awkward or cliché at times, but it was said with such sincerity that it passed through anyway except for a few chuckles from the audience. I liked watching the film, but I don't think I would have wanted to pay full price for it in theatres though. It was like a summer blockbuster but in the middle of the winter.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10 (Good)
The trailer for I, Frankenstein says it all. Does the dialogue look stupid and clichéd? Yep! Does the action look boring and uninspired? Yep! Does it look like it was made BY middle schoolers FOR middle schoolers? You got it! Nothing will surprise you here. It hits every predictable beat and hits them with the grace and subtlety of a cow walking a tightrope awkwardly and dumbly. The characters are rote and predictable, the makeup and cg (while not bad) is leftover from "Star Trek: The Next Generation", and the entire viewing experience is laborious and forgettable. Set in modern times, Frank is over 200 years old and gets caught in the middle of a war going on between gargoyles, demons, and other fantastical characters. Clearly this isn't Karloff's Frankenstein; it's more in the vein of stylized Gothic action films like Underworld or Blade. Gone is the stumbling, sympathetic horror of the Mary Shelley; instead we have a Batman-wannabe shooting for mysteriously cool and coming off as just lazy and unrelatable. Poor Aaron Eckhart is still trying to find where he fits in Hollywood, and this isn't it. Fun game idea: see how long you can stay awake through this movie. Sure, there are copious fight scenes and mildly complex characters but no rational explanation for anything plot-wise. It may have helped if the filmmakers had their tongues more firmly planted in their cheeks, but instead we are left laughing AT them instead of WITH them. With so many great things in theatres right now, don't waste your time on this.
I, Frankenstein is a January monster movie starring Aaron Eckhart in
the classic role of Frankenstein's monster. Did you really expect a
I, Frankenstein is not a total mess. The film does contain some impressive special effects, as well as cast of reasonably well-known actors that help the audience to trudge through the incredibly predictable and uninteresting story. The events of the classic Frankenstein novel are hashed out in less than a minute, as Frankenstein's monster encounters a group of demons, followed by a group of gargoyles, neither of which seem to have any motivation for what they're doing. He's given the name, "Adam", wanders the world for 200 years (which passes in 2 minutes of movie time) and finds himself in the middle of the gargoyle-demon war in modern times.
The story that follows is one fueled by terrible pacing, unclear character motivations, and dry dialogue. The fast paced introduction to the film leaves little time to invest in any of the characters, and even Adam's motivation throughout the film is incredibly unclear. It is difficult to invest in a character who doesn't have a soul.
If you're a fan of the Underworld series, and can appreciate good special effects, you may find some enjoyment with this one. Otherwise, I would pass.
I, Frankenstein (2014) is a sad excuse for a Frankenstein film, and
this genre, the Frankenstein films, have seen more than their fair
share of bad films. The James Whale 1931 and 1935 versions remain the
best, with a nod to the comedic versions (Young Frankenstein, and
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein) and perhaps the 1942 "Son of"
which had a great performance by Lionel Atwill as the Inspector with
the wooden arm.
This latest travesty has almost nothing to do with Frankenstein per se. Aaron Eckhart is hardly the hulking figure, and we are missing the joys of an Igor or a Baron. Instead, this one is more like "Frankenstein vs the Creature from Blood Cove" (2005) or "Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster" (1965). The creature, in a very modified manner (smaller, talking, with existential questions no less) is the lynch pin in a war between demons and angels. There are some nice special effects along the way, especially with the gargoyles, which is what earns this film a 3 instead of a 2 or less. It's always good to see Bill Nighy (best known as Viktor in the "Underworld" series, but also for "The Constant Gardener" and "Love Actually" among others) and nice to see Yvonne Strahovski making the transition from her TV series ("Chuck" and "Dexter").
But Frankenstein fans beware. This one will disappoint.
There's something to be said for big, dumb blockbusters featuring
immortal creatures of the undead, gargoyles, demons and a whole lot of
CGI. That's especially true now, during awards season, when the cinemas
are otherwise crowded with Important Movies that might be worthy but
difficult to watch. I, Frankenstein even lurches into cineplexes with a
bit more credibility than is typically attached to C-grade movies:
usually reliable character actors Aaron Eckhart, Miranda Otto and Bill
Nighy have signed on to rain hellfire (or something) down on one
another. It's a shame, then, that the overly dour film wastes rather
than benefits from their talents.
Forced into a shambling semblance of life, Victor Frankenstein's dark, brooding creation (Eckhart) stalks bitterly through the centuries. He's hunted mercilessly by the forces of evil - flame-streaked demons led by the nefarious Prince Naberius (Nighy). On the side of good are the gargoyles, a peaceable clan who enjoy the blessing of the heavens and are led by the beautiful Queen Leonore (Otto). Bequeathed the name of Adam by Leonore, Frankenstein's creature soon discovers that he is the factor that could tip the scales in the immortal battle between the demons and the gargoyles.
I, Frankenstein is entirely too grim for its own good. Kevin Grevioux's screenplay, adapted from his graphic novel of the same title, marches forward in workmanlike fashion. Plot 'twists' can be seen coming from miles away - see the sassy blonde scientist (Yvonne Strahovski) directed to investigate Adam's origins grow increasingly fascinated with her science project! There are precious few shades of complexity to be found in the film, the characters never really breaking free of their archetypes - beyond the fact that the good guys morph into huge, stony, winged gargoyles that aren't particularly pleasing to the eye. Fiery explosions and bone-crunching battles abound, but they never amount to very much in emotional terms.
The unexpectedly good cast liven things up a little, though not by enough to drag I, Frankenstein out of the doldrums. Eckhart storms stoically through the film, a singular grave expression carved into his features like so much rigor mortis. Nighy seems to be having fun even while phoning in his performance. As for Otto and Strahovski, both actresses are competent but largely colourless in their roles.
Genre flicks like this one don't usually have to check a lot of boxes to be fun nights out at the cinema. The Underworld franchise - from the same producers - proved just that, spinning its surprisingly rich tale into four films that haven't been critically successful but have nevertheless cultivated their own fans. On the strength (or lack thereof) of the gloomy, predictable I, Frankenstein, it seems unlikely that it will kickstart a new franchise in quite the same way.
Where before it was vampires versus werewolves, it is the battle of the
gargoyles and demons that takes centrestage in the fantasy action
thriller 'I, Frankenstein'. Based on the Darkstorm Studios graphic
novel by one of the creators of 'Underworld', it tells of its titular
character's struggle between good and evil in the midst of an all-out,
centuries old war among two immortal clans of superhuman creatures. But
as exciting as that may sound, you'll quickly find that the burden of
'Underworld' hangs too heavily like an anchor around its neck.
Indeed, you had better take the tagline at the top of the poster which reads 'from the producers of 'Underworld'' seriously. Too faint-hearted to mess with a formula that has worked for four films now, the same team of producers and 'Underworld' co-creator Kevin Grevioux have simply applied the same to their unabashed attempt at replicating its success. And that is precisely what co-writer and director Stuart Beattie has done in his sophomore feature film, which plays like an equally dark but less sexy clone of the decade-old franchise.
Like 'Underworld', the lead protagonist finds himself an outsider caught between two warring factions. Whereas Selene was a human turned vampire who found herself falling in love with a Lycan (or werewolf in short), Adam (Aaron Eckhart) is here a monstrosity borne from Frankenstein's laboratory who finds himself wanted by both the gargoyles and the demons. A freak of nature not of Nature's making, Adam is also thought to be soulless, and therefore a perfect living example of the 'walking dead' whom the demons hope to create by summoning the souls of the damned to inhabit the walking warm bodies on Earth.
By virtue of being an outsider, either protagonist soon realises that he or she can trust neither side. While Selene discovers the ones who killed her family were in fact her own coven of vampires she now calls family, Adam is during the course of the movie betrayed by Gideon (Jai Courtney), the leader of the gargoyle army, and no less than Leonore (Miranda Otto) herself, the angel whom Gideon and his army protect and whom serves as their spiritual link with God. Indeed, both narratives unfold such that their lead protagonist finds himself or herself isolated on either side and is therefore forced to be his or her own best guardian.
That personal battle also has to take place against a much larger canvas in which one side is plotting an ambitiously nefarious plan to once and for all wipe out the other side. In 'Underworld', it is the Lycans who plan to use a human to wipe out the Vampire Elders; while in 'I, Frankenstein', it is Prince Naberius (Bill Nighy) who intends to use Adam himself as a specimen to bring to life an army of corpses to overrun the gargoyles and thereafter exterminate the human race. Is it any surprise that our protagonist will eventually choose to be on the side of good, rather than a blind follower of either faction?
Even if these similarities don't quite register by virtue of the fact that either movie did not have a compelling story to begin with, there's no escaping that the art design of 'Underworld' and 'I, Frankenstein' are strikingly similar. For one, both unfold largely against dim and grim surroundings of moonlight and shadows. For another, there is a distinctive choice to ensure that the entire movie is cast in shades of black, grey and otherwise very dull colours. Yes, there's no escaping the self-seriousness of 'Underworld' or 'I, Frankenstein', which approach their apocalyptic doomsday scenarios with the utmost solemnity.
And yet, their mode of storytelling is first and foremost to ensure an endless stream of VFX-heavy action sequences clearly intended at an attention-deficit audience. More so than Beattie's repertoire of summer blockbusters (think 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and 'G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra'), this clearly eschews plot and character moments over gargoyle-versus-demon action, so don't go in expecting anything more. That being said, it also sees Beattie going bigger than he's ever been with the setpieces, and some of them - such as a daring raid on gargoyle soil by an army of demons - are quite a visual spectacle to behold, particularly in the contrasting use of light and fire whenever a gargoyle or demon is killed.
As is to be expected then, none of the roles call for much from their respective actors - except maybe for Eckhart to look the most buff we've ever recall seeing him been on the screen. Bill Nighy should certainly know - he who plays the chief villain here was also the key baddie in 'Underworld: Evolution'. Certainly, he should be distinctly aware of the intention to recreate the success of the 'Underworld' movies by essentially rehashing the same formula with a different set of monsters. You'll be advised too to toss aside what preconceptions you may have based on Mary Shelley's novel or even Boris Karloff's monosyllabic screen icon; this 'I, Frankenstein' is more 'I, Underworld' than anything else
Stop beating up on this movie. It does not deserve such shoddy treatment. This is not a bad movie. It's part sci-fi, part horror, with the emphasis on the former. The Frankenstein creation is humanized. There is nothing wrong with that. The movie successfully places the creature in the present. He even has a name. Aaron Eckhart delivers a wonderful performance as the first artificially created humanoid. He gives his character depth. This movie is not a ripoff of the original movie. True, the story is contrived, but it is also entertaining. The forces of good and evil are clearly defined and their struggle for supremacy plausible within the context of the story. The movie asks the audience to accept as a premise that there are metaphysical forces at work that are not readily discernible. For some, that may be a bit of a stretch, but remember: it's a movie. The movie is entertaining, well-acted, has good continuity and a briskly paced story. This movie is worth watching.
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