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I, Frankenstein

Movie Details

I, Frankenstein
  • Genre: Horror, Suspense/Thriller
  • Release Date: 2014-01-24 Nationwide
  • Running Time: 92 min.
  • Director: Stuart Beattie
  • Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Aden Young, Miranda Otto, Socratis Otto, Jai Courtney, Virginie Le Brun, Caitlin Stasey, Deniz Akdeniz
  • Producers: Gary Lucchesi, Andrew Mason, Tom Rosenberg, Richard S. Wright
  • Writers: Kevin Grevioux, Stuart Beattie
  • Distributor: Lionsgate Films
  • Official Site: I, Frankenstein Official Site

There are good things we can say about I, Frankenstein, another muscles-and-rubble comic book adaptation just un-terrible enough not to alienate its core audience. First, Aaron Eckhart brings it, scowling like a champ beneath his jigsawed scar makeup, stick-fighting hellspawn with a vigorous looseness you might not expect from a founding member of the Neil LaBute Repertory Company. As his amusingly handsome Frankenstein's monster forms an uneasy alliance with the Order of Gargoyles to stomp 666 legions of demons, Eckhart never once lets on whether he finds the movie around him ridiculous. A second good thing: On occasion, the movie works up a sour-candy gothic grandeur. A demon assault on a cathedral big enough to have its own zip code is shot and cut with rare clarity for a wide-release action flick dumped in January, and there's vertiginous pleasure to be had from the zero-gravity swoops of Beattie's camera. Later, there's a not-bad stick-fighting face-off between Eckhart's beast and a demon lieutenant. Like much of the movie, you've seen everything in this scene before, but at least the brawl is crisp and taut, the motions of the fighters clear and the images arranged into a coherent sequence interpretable by the human eye. None of this makes up for the movie's noisy and repetitive dullness, its many confounding plot developments and character motivations, or its tossing out the philosophical complexity of Mary Shelley's novel in favor of Underworld–style good-versus-evil claptrap. It's not good enough, but it is slightly better than it has to be.

Alan Scherstuhl

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