Sunday, March 09, 2014

REVIEW: I, Frankenstein (2014)

One of the plot points throughout this movie is a quest for a fabled journal that could spell doom for humanity. The good guys have it, and though it's completely useless to them while the bad guys need it desperately, they decide to do the obviously logical thing: lock it in their vault, instead of, say, burning the damn thing. Which is what they surmize should be done once they lose posession of it. I, Facepalm.

I, Frankenstein is not so much a bad movie as it is disapointing. Even though it's a barely veiled remake of Underwold (both created by mountain-man Kevin Grevioux), the basic premise should've assured it instant awesomness. You have Chis Nolan's Two-Face Aaron Eckhart playing the Frankenstein creature who still lives 200 years later and finds himself at the center of a war between two factions of supernatural warriors. Where can it go wrong??? Everywhere, that's where.

First off it makes it easier to understand why the movie adaptation to teen-lit hit Tomorrow, When the War Began was a complete let down; director Stuart Beattie, who also wrote the script for both films, tried to make them a spectacle but, like the creature, didn't give them a soul. The visuals are interesting and the fight sequences more than adequate, but the tired dialogs and nauseating clich├ęs make it just as empty as the non-stop plot holes.

I did something truly awful... I read the script!

All those things wouldn't be so bad if at least it was fun, an adjective that is resoundly missing from start to finish. Everybody tries like hell to avoid being campy in favor of seriousness, which is the last thing this sad mess needed. If you can't make it good, at least make it enjoyable. But Beattie takes it too seriously and doesn't have the ingredients to deliver that. Instead we get a maelstrom of missed opportunities and microwaved moments that made me pine for someone like Gareth Edwards to cut the fat and give me nothing but a story.

I do however have to give kudos to Aussie bombshell Yvonne Strahovski. After helping make Chuck into a cult show and bringing Dexter back from the abyss of its Colin Hanks storyline, here she completely surpassed herself with a dead-center Kristen Stewart impression, complete with wooden face and absolute lack of interest whatsoever. It might even have been enough to finally have me pay for membership with the Golden Raspberry Foundation so that I can log a vote in her favor.

I, Frankenstein is frankly not as disastrous as other similar genre entries like Stephen Sommers' Van Helsing or Nicholas Cage's post-Las Vegas filmography. But the gargantuan misuse of a great cast and of a promising setting makes it one of the biggest disapointments in recent memory, despite the foreshadowing of it's ominous release date (late January rarely EVER produces good movies).

Final Word: 3.5 out of 10