I, Frankenstein: Why Not Smile For The Camera?

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by Nadin P.

As far as hot guys swinging swords and other weapons go, Aaron Ekhart cannot be overlooked, not by a long shot. And for that reason, among others, cannot be I, Frankenstein, an old story told from a new perspective and delivered to you by the creators of the Underworld films, which says a lot about the expanse of the cinematography and action sequences.

This particular approach to Mary Shelley’s book introduces us to ‘Adam’ (Aaron Ekhart), a supernatural monster created by Dr. Frankenstein ago who leads a solitary life for 2000, not belonging in human or supernatural world. Everything changes when an old war between demons and gargoyles erupts with new force. Believed to have no soul, ‘Adam’ is of a special interest to demons who want to create an army of living dead and inhabit them with demons from the other world who can only possess soulless yet alive bodies, thus making it extremely important to figure out how to bring the dead back to life.

To make it all even more interesting, there’s also a secret journal belonging to Dr. Frankenstein where he documented all of his experiments that the demons want to get hold of as well. Of course the big bad demon boss (called Demon Price, and don’t get me started on that – yet!) wants ‘Adam’ as part of his demon army, but his plans get screwed up when it turns out that [SPOILER ALERT!] Frankenstein’s monster does have soul after all.

And hot body!

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The film was action packed alright, and it had the most stunning SFX I’ve seen in quite a while. Every single one of battle scenes was pure choreography, and Kali stick fighting? Well, you can’t not be impressed by it by definition!

That said, however, I, Frankenstein wasn’t particularly memorable, meaningful, or that impressive (not talking about visual effects) in general.

The clichés I saw in I, Frankenstein that I would really like to skip/never ever see again in any film, ever:

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~ Beautiful and extremely gifted model-looking young scientists/doctors determined to fight against all evil. Now, I’m not saying that all scientists we see on the screen should necessarily wear lab coats and sport bifocal glasses and bald spot/receding hairline. As much as I didn’t mind Doctor Scientist Terra played by Yvonne Strahovski, I don’t think I’d put her in change of bringing to life my army of demons if I decided to take over the world.

*Did I just say that out loud?

~ The most expositional dialogue in almost entire history of filmmaking. I’m sitting right there, guys! You don’t need to tell me what I’m seeing when I’m seeing it, really! Even despite the fact that I paid 11 bucks to come and see it in 3D (don’t get me started on THAT!), I’m not that dense. Sort of. Although admitting seeing this film in 3D and overpaying for it kind of negates my statement. Damn! Moving on…

~ Two-syllable one-liners said with a straight emotionless face. You’re trying to be broody while I’m rolling on the floor because it looks so ridiculous. Come on! Give Aaron Eckhart some credit, he can do better than that! I swear to God, there was so much angst in his lines I could’ve spread it over 3 films and still have some left. How was ‘Adam’ (no, I can’t type this without cracking up) even walking with the weight of it on his shoulders is beyond me.

~ SPLITTING UP! It’s like they never saw a horror movie, ever! Okay, maybe ‘Adam’ hasn’t, what with him being a loner lurking in the dark and probably not going to the cinemas that often, but Dr. Sexy… um, Terra should have! Yeah, you take care of your stuff, I take care of mine, see ya in an hour. Right! There isn’t any room for imagination – we ALL knew they were not going to see each other in an hour. Really, people, they’re called “plot twists” not “plot we-all-know-what-will-happen-nexts”. I think I live-tweeted through Terra’s abduction because it was so obvious it wasn’t fun.

~ Don’t, just don’t ever call anyone a Demon Prince. Just… do us all a favor and don’t.

~ Did I mention straight faces? I think like I should write a dissertation or something on why nothing should ever be said with so much seriousness. Because while I, Frankenstein didn’t have a single funny line – I didn’t even think it was possible! – it made me laugh, a lot, because of how the dialogue was delivered. I’ll probably never get over this traumatic experience.

~ Someone – people? demons? – repeatedly bursting into flames. It got old pretty fast. After about 5 minutes. Afterwards, it was just annoying.

That said, the movie definitely had some good stuff to brag about. As a mentioned above, the SFX and VFX were superb. The scenes between demons and gargoyles beating hell out of each other were pure art – at least for that kind of film.

Aaron Eckhart. Shirtless Aaron Eckhart… Did I mention shirtless Aaron Eckhart? Really, what’s it with this guy and being so damn hot when he is half dressed? Sorry, I might have lost the train of my thought from all the I, Frankenstein shirtless flashbacks.

And let’s admit it, giving the story a new twist instead of rehashing the same old one that’s been made and re-made into films time and time again in the past wasn’t that bad. Well, it was. It could’ve been so much better! Like, if ‘Adam’ (no, I’m not going to get used to it) wasn’t so damn emotionless and gloomy. Have they not seen Aaron Eckhart’s smile? It could end wars and bring peace and melt hearts…

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No, not that one. It’s not even Aaron Eckhart, I just like that smile.

This one!

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2,5*/5*, mostly for the effort. And I’m still pissed off at Cineplex for not giving me any other option except AVX 3D – such a rip off!

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Four screenwriters candidly writing about film, television, novels, comic books, video games, and fanfiction.

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