I, Frankenstein is Spectacular!

i-frankensteinWarning, to avoid spoilers, read no further if you haven’t seen I, Frankenstein. If you’re looking for a Spoiler Free Review Click Here.

Last night I was thrilled to see I, Frankenstein as soon as it came out. I could tell by the panel at SDCC 2013 as well as the trailer, that this movie was going to be one to enjoy on the big screen, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Without giving too much away, I can list three main things that made this movie amazing, especially in the theater.

exciting-first-trailer-for-i-frankenstein-3First and foremost were the special effects.

While my tiny blog can do them little justice, the visuals in this film were perfect for feeling both fantastic and realistic. 200_s1
My only complaint is compared to the brutal gargoyles, with the exception of Bill Nighy, the demons were visually not as intimidating as I would have expected. This isn’t so much a criticism of the effects used, or their execution, just my impression of themtumblr_mu5zr6a6DU1s5k8ilo1_250

Also, while it may seem like small potatoes compared to the sweeping views of possession ready corpses, or ascensions & decensions, the wings to cape was my favorite effect, both in terms of concept and execution.

Second is the cast.

Oxaaron-eckhart-in-i-frankenstein.jpg.pagespeed.ic_.2iWZJCUrhGbviously Aaron Eckhart was perfectly cast. Having only seen him in The Dark Night, and Thank You For Smoking, I was initially unsure what to expect from Eckhart. What I’ve seen of him has been witty and charming, and with him as I, Frankenstein‘s leading man, I wondered if they were taking a completely non-traditional route with the Creature or story. Thankfully my concerns were put to rest. Eckhart brings emotion to what is deliberately and arguably a simple character. The creature is an almost-man searching for answers and purpose, and Eckhart was able to pull off the balance between simplicity and hurt, so that the audience could empathize with what would otherwise be a character difficult to empathize with.

The supporting characters of course drove the plot, and were what really brought the story to life. While I feel like had I been in Terra’s (Yvonne Strahovski) shoes, I might have been a bit more freaked out by the events of the movie, her acting was great, and her humorous “Hello” did feel natural in that I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t have felt awkward being introduced to a man that had just crashed through my lab. Also, while this goes without saying Leonore (Miranda Otto) was wonderful, and Bill Nighy, as Prince Naberius stole every scene he was in.

Finally, the third thing wasn’t so much the plot in and of itself, but how it fit with the original story.

imagesbookThe original story of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley focused heavily on Victor, not his creation as well as the issues of the spiritual, not the supernatural. It asked questions about purpose, if a creature has any right to question its creator, and if a creator has any responsibilities for its creation. As a fan of the original story I knew I’d have to have an open mind about any re-imagining.exciting-first-trailer-for-i-frankenstein-2

I, Frankenstein flipped both of these things. The focus was all on the Creature, and his interactions with the supernatural. By doing this the film makers could more delicately ask some of the spiritual questions though. While Gargoyles and Demons have an easy answer to the “What’s my purpose” and “What happens when we die” questions, Adam, left out of humanity, is left searching for answers. The film, in my opinion though hit the nail on the head though when it came to the Creature’s outlook and personality. The only thing I would have changed is mentioning more directly, and earlier in the film why he took the life of Victor’s bride (because Victor Frankenstein had promised a bride, and then after creating her destroyed her out of fear). Doing so would have made the Creature more sympathetic, and better highlighted his deep bitterness and lack of faith in humanity.

All in all I have to give this film a combination of “SO MUCH AWESOME” and “Hmmmm”

If only because I wish that the demons were more frightening than the gargoyles.

2 thoughts on “I, Frankenstein is Spectacular!

  1. I read a Q and A with the director where he said he was forced to cut out a scene they filmed of Victor destroying the unfinished mate so that WAS supposed to be in there.

    • Good to know. Hopefully it’ll be in the BluRay extras. I know that it wasn’t required for the plot, but it was such a big piece of the creature’s motivation in the first, book, wanting a mate, and then having her taken from him, I would have like a more concrete reference, though we would not have had to see it. Though maybe that’s just me.

      Also, as one who’s read and loved the book, as a complete side note, I’ll never understand why, if Victor Frankenstein was such a brilliant doctor that he could bring the dead to life, if he was afraid of his creations producing offspring, why not make the female infertile? But again, maybe that’s just me.

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