I, Frankenstein

I, Frankenstein 3D (12A)

The proliferation of classic novels in public domain is both a blessing and a curse. It means lots of new takes on old stories. It also throws up dross like I, Frankenstein.

The accepted take on mad scientist/vengeful creation is quickly dispensed with in Stuart Beattie’s frankly bizarre, unwieldy and turgid tale. Thus the title is a misnomer, as it refers to Frankenstein’s monster, not the man himself.

It’s the first of many mighty howlers and outright bastardisations inflicted on their audience by Beattie and co-writer Kevin Grevioux.

Both purists and average horror buffs will be scratching their heads at this inexplicably weird flick that turns the creature into a long-lived wanderer caught in the midst of an ages-old battle between good and evil.

On the side of God, the gargoyles. On the side of Satan, the demons. In the middle, Frankenstein’s lost child – pec-tastic Aaron Eckhart sporting scars, designer stubble and gravelly tones.

The warring clans represent the real new world order. Their ancient conflict goes on daily and outside the gaze of humanity. Or is it just one of the many gaping plot holes in I, Frankenstein that aside from the occasional cop no-one seems to notice the destruction going on in an unnamed city?

The crux of the gossamer-thin script has arch demon Prince Naberius (Bill Nighy in search of a pay cheque) seeking to resurrect his dead hordes using cadavers. To do so he needs Frankenstein’s medical notes, which the monster carries around like a memoir.

It’s all immensely silly and done in such a po-faced style that it goes beyond facile. There are fleeting references to Mary Shelley’s novel but they are lost beneath layers of mindless action and poor CGI.

One has to hope this doesn’t lead to a series.

Star rating: *

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