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article imageReview: ‘I, Frankenstein’ has a confused identity Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Jan 26, 2014 in Entertainment
‘I, Frankenstein’ is about the scientist’s monster and his unwilling involvement in a centuries old war between two immortal enemies.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has served as source material and inspiration for numerous tales of ungodly creations. Some focus on the madness of the scientist, while others show the monster's struggle with humanity. The stories are generally tragic with little hope of a happy ending. In I, Frankenstein, the unnatural being finds himself at the centre of a supernatural war that's been waged long before his birth.
Rejected by his creator, Frankenstein's monster (Aaron Eckhart) was destined to spend the remainder of his life on Earth alone. However, he is dragged into a conflict between demons and gargoyles, God's protectors of the human race. He is the key to mankind's undoing and the demon prince (Bill Nighy) will stop at nothing to uncover the secret. The gargoyle queen (Miranda Otto) renames the monster Adam and offers him protection, but distrustful he refuses and opts to survive on his own terms. After 200 years of isolation, Adam returns to civilisation to bring the fight to his hunters — but it's larger than anyone ever suspected.
Writer/actor Kevin Grevioux demonstrates a common theme in the subject matters for his stories. Having penned the ultimate vampire vs. werewolf tale of the 21st century, he’s now thrown his intellectual weight behind an even more primeval campaign. As a result, it was difficult to suppress a giggle when the low-pitched, hulk of a man appeared alongside fellow Underworld alumnus Nighy. The latter appears to be the go-to actor when seeking to cast an ancient leader of evil. Meanwhile, Eckhart portrays the torn champion with the same skill as he did Two-Face/Harvey Dent, but with more melancholy.
The narrative is geared towards establishing Adam as an action hero, but it wants to balance the violence with a deeper meaning that actually spoils the film. The first 45 minutes is relatively enjoyable as Adam spurns the charity of the gargoyles, suspicious of anyone after being betrayed by his maker. His Blade-like pursuit of the demons that hunt him is somewhat exciting and the epic battle is thrilling as the demons wage an attack against the gargoyles. And then it falls flat. Adam’s search for the meaning of his life slows the pace, along with the unveiling of the demons’ nefarious plan. By the time the final crusade takes place, the audience’s interest has diminished almost completely.
Screened in 3D, the effects following fatal blows to either supernatural creature are notable. The demons descend in a blaze of fire that burrows through the ground and gargoyles ascend in a striking streak of blue light; though it does cause one to question how humans remain oblivious of their existence during these brightly coloured contests. The required glasses provide an interesting depth to the picture, but are still ultimately unnecessary.
Director Stuart Beattie showed promise with his first feature, Tomorrow, When the War Began, but this feels like a bit of a backslide.
Director: Stuart Beattie
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy and Miranda Otto
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