5.18.2014

Movies: I, Frankenstein

Every now and then a movie will remind me of all the other movies I hate. Having considered this list, I have come to realize most of these are of the action fantasy genre. I think this is because these kinds of movies are really difficult to make well and really easy to do badly.

Here is a list of some of the movies I most dislike. In no particular order because I can't really say which is worst.

  • Queen of the Damned
  • R.I.P.D.
  • Daredevil
  • Vampire's Kiss
  • Van Helsing

There are others . . . I'd say Underworld (yes, I know to many of you that's sacrilege) except I walked out before it was even finished, so I can't honestly say I've seen it. And (going outside the genre) I really disliked The Master and Jackie Brown, too.

Let's just say these movies are ones that, when I'm sitting and watching a truly terrible film, I ask myself, "Is this worse than . . . ?" And fill in the blank with the above titles.

And now I can add I, Frankenstein to the list. Though, admittedly, I was prepared for the level of bad just based on the premise, the reviews, and the trailers. So I can't say this movie disappointed me. It was exactly as awful as I anticipated.

We pick up where Shelley leaves off, with The Creature carrying Frankenstein's frozen corpse out of the Arctic and all the way back to . . . Where? England? France? Where the fuck are they? And why did The Creature even bother, if he hated Frankenstein so much? (I apologize if I'm supposed to know the answers to these questions, but already I was bored and distracted by Bookworm on my iPhone.)

As he buries Frankenstein—again, why?—The Creature is attacked by demons. And then some living gargoyles turn up to give us a bunch of exposition. Gargoyles fight demons and protect humans. If demons die they descend into Hell; if gargoyles die they ascend. This brought up a lot of questions in my mind. For one, if all the gargoyles from the huge cathedral eventually ascend, will there be no more gargoyles on the building? Hasn't anyone noticed that gargoyles are going missing? What about gargoyles on other buildings? Or is it just the one cathedral? Demons don't have souls, but do gargoyles? (They must if they can ascend, right?) If so, did they get them from immurement? Because that's awful.

I would have been up for exploring this bizarre system a little further, but instead the movie went from action scene to action scene, loosely connected by something that was meant to be a plot. The gargoyles name The Creature "Adam," since he was the first of his kind. They give Adam some demon-fighting weapons and send him on his way, but then decide (after 200 years?) to protect him (that is, chain him up) from the demons hunting him. They figure if the demons want him, it can be for no good reason, so better to keep him safe. At least, I think that was the logic involved. If there was any. The gargoyles also lock up Frankenstein's diary so no one else can replicate Adam.

It turns out the demons want Adam because they do want to make more like him—they're keeping a lot of dead bodies ready to reanimate so they can bring demons back from the depths of hell to possess said bodies. More questions arise. Does a body actually need to be breathing and functioning for a demon to possess it? If so, why? Or is it just a matter of the body lasting long enough to be useful? And the big facility the demons have for keeping the bodies—seems like they went to a lot of work to build it. Surely there was an easier system? And where are the bodies from? Do demons go dig them up after funerals or something? A whole team of gravedigging demons . . .

Anyway, the chief demon is disguised as a businessman played by Bill Nighy, who is funding research on reanimating dead bodies. And in the meantime is also sending teams of demon underlings out to find Adam. And there's lots of fighting, and then the scientists get involved, and it all goes pretty much as one might expect, right down to Adam's voice over with the big finish as he states the movie's title: "I, Frankenstein." Because he's decided to embrace his identity and take his "father's" name. Or something.

It's based on a comic, and for all I know the comic is awesome. But the movie really is not. It cost an estimated $65 million to make, and I can't figure out where that money went because the special effects aren't all that special and even the costumes and makeup are kind of crap. I would have been angry if I'd sat through this movie in a cinema because it would have felt like I'd really wasted a chunk of my life there, but since I was at home, I at least got a good game of Bookworm out of it.

3 comments:

Trisha F said...

Oh gee, doesn't sound like a great movie. I didn't see it.

Christine Rains said...

I wasn't going to see this, and now I'm going to go out of my way to avoid it!

M said...

At the very least, don't PAY to view it. Try it when it's free; maybe you'll at least get a laugh. But I didn't find it even funny bad. It was just plain bad.