I, Frankenstein (2014)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
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Overall Rating 51%
Overall Rating
Ranked #1,579
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Connections: Frankenstein

200 years after his shocking creation, Dr. Frankenstein's creature, Adam, still walks the earth. But when he finds himself in the middle of a war over the fate of humanity, Adam discovers he holds the key that could destroy humankind. --TMDb
Review by Crispy
Added: April 10, 2016
The first time I saw I, Frankenstein's trailer I knew that it didn't stand a chance in the court of public opinion. Still, I usually have a more forgiving eye for these movies than most people, and I realized it had plenty of potential to provide a fun ninety minutes if my expectations were low enough.

The movie's plot picks up right where the novel's ends, with Frankenstein succumbing to the frigid Arctic weather in pursuit of his creation. In a display of undeserved mercy, the monster carries the doctor's body back to his family's cemetery and begins to bury him, but is suddenly attacked by a group of demons. He's able to kill one of them, but is ultimately over matched. Fortunately, a pair of gargoyles descend and fend off his attackers. Realizing the rumors of a man-made being are true, they take him before their queen, Leonore. She gives him both a name (Adam) and an explanation. After Satan fell from Heaven, he released a horde of demons to attack mankind, so the archangel Michael formed an army of gargoyles to defend humanity. They're not sure why the demon lord Naberius is interested in this soulless man, but they know that no good can come of it. Defiantly, Adam rejects their offer to join them and sets out on his own, but when you've been drawn into the middle of something as epic as a divine war between Heaven and Hell, there's no backing out, even if it takes a few centuries to catch up with you.

While I obviously didn't get into the true meat of the story, here's a few plot points from the next act of the film. Naberius has taken on the role of a wealthy businessman funding research in an attempt to recreate Frankenstein's work himself. The study is led by an attractive young woman named Tarra, and I'm sure you can already deduce she develops something of a chemistry with Adam before things are over. Meanwhile, Adam's freelance demon hunting has reunited him with the gargoyles, and Leonore's second-in-command is constantly trying to convince his queen to let him destroy the wretch. Now, I ask you, how many different movies did those plot points remind you of? There is not a stitch of originality in this entire movie. Hell, even the entire ending was lifted from Van Helsing, another flick that falls under the description in my intro.

In fact, I thought of Van Helsing more than once as I was watching this. The entire tone of the movie, a hyper-action flick involving the classic horror monsters, is matched here. Whatever you thought of that movie is probably what you'll think of I, Frankenstein. The action is quick and nonstop; with demons descending in massive fireballs and gargoyles ascending in brilliant beams of light, it was indeed a fun ninety minutes. Those visuals certainly helped things along; the gargoyles in particular looked amazing. On the other hand, the demons were certainly disappointing. Transforming to a serpentine humanoid, it looked ridiculous, and that's before you pair it with the human clothes they wear in their disguises.

In the eponymous role, Aaron Eckhart put very little emotion into the character. Yeah yeah, we all love the stoic bad ass, but you need just a little something extra to give them the depth to carry a whole movie. I've seen Eckhart give some amazing performances, so the blame certainly doesn't fall on his shoulders. Shame the filmmakers didn't give him more to work with as he definitely has the chops to give the creature that depth. As Naberius, Bill Nighy is, well, he's Bill Nighy. He plays the same condescending, angry character with the same unique cadence he used in Underworld, Pirates of the Caribbean, and likely every other movie he's ever appeared in. I enjoyed him, but I'm sure some people are growing tired of the schtick.

OK, so it's not horrible, but it's the very epitome of generic. You could do worse if nothing else is on, but anything you're hoping to find here you can find in half a dozen better movies. 5/10.
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