Today I will be reviewing the barely anticipated action movie starring Aaron Eckhart: I, Frankenstein. I know you see it there at the top of your giant Netflix crawl and are wondering, "Is it any good? Its got that guy from Thank You For Smoking, and he's pretty good. So regardless of its really weird box cover art its probably pretty good, right?"
Well, take it from a complete stranger: Is the movie any good?
No. No it is not.
To call I, Frankenstein a "Van Helsing clone" would be giving it too much credit. At least in Van Helsing there was a good reason that the male lead would be attractive. In I, Frankenstein the entire premise of the Frankenstein's Monster theme is constantly in doubt because Aaron Eckhart is classic ripped-abs ladybait. He's not the lumbering monstrosity that is misunderstood and just wants to be loved from the novel. Instead, this movie expects us to believe that a brooding, shirtless Aaron Eckhart can't find love over 200 years of wandering the world. Sure, right. And it wasn't contingent on the plotline for him to ever really find a girlfriend at all, so its kind of confusing why they cast him (or why he took the role) to play 'Frankenstein'. Mostly the movie just consists of Frankenstein fighting CGI monsters non-stop. That could easily (and more believably) have been done with a Ron Pearlman or Michael Rooker cast as the brooding, soul-less Frankenstein.
|How could anyone love me? I'm a hideous monster.|
All that said, the premise (and graphic novel) the film is based upon is a good one. Essentially, there is an endless secret war going on between demons and gargoyles (who are actually angels from heaven sent to fight the demons). Yeah, I know, yawn, but if you allow yourself to buy into yet another vampires vs. werewolves-style White Wolf secret war stuff its palatable enough. The great weakness of both teams is that once their demon/gargoyle bodies are killed then their souls transubstantiate to hell or heaven (respectively) and they can't come back to Earth. But then in the late 1700's Frankenstein's Monster (Aaron Eckhart) is created, and he doesn't have a soul, yet he lives. So the demons decide to try and kidnap him to study him and see if they can create living flesh vessels for their exorcised bodiless brethren.
Of course, somewhere in the two weeks Franks was alive before the demons came for him he somehow inherently understood how to kick a lot of ass so is able to dispatch a demon single-handedly, and his triumph attracts the attention of the gargoyles. They take him in, train him in fighting CGI monsters, give him some silvery dumb-looking weapons (required for all Underworld-style wars), and let him 'decide his own fate.' Frankenstein decides to wander the earth being moody and killing demons when they find him.
Now, I know what you're thinking. All this sounds pretty rad. Well, even though the premise is pretty cool, the execution is a Computer-Generated mess. The movie turns into one of those nonstop slow-motion battles where the CGI is as obvious as the first multi-Agent Smith scene in Matrix Reloaded. You know the one, the one where we were promised that you wouldn't be able to tell when Keanu Reaves changed into CGI Keanu Reaves in the fight scenes? Only you could totally tell? Yeah, like that.
Now, I'm not saying don't watch this movie (I mean, its on Netflix so its basically free, right?). I'm just suggesting that you watch it with a good supply of other things to do, like painting miniatures or drinking Dark n' Stormies. If you are mildly distracted or drunk while watching it, then this movie is going to seem like its pretty okay. But if you're paying too close attention to it, well then, its going to look like Underworld and I Am Legend had a clutch of hideous computer-generated babies, and threw them all at Harvey Dent in never-ending slow-motion.
I give it Two Bladed Silver Throwing Axes out of Five.