I will tell you right from the start that I really enjoyed this movie. At this point, if you have already read all the other reviews out there that compare this to the Underworld franchise or call it a pointless action movie with no story, I guess you can stop reading and go back to watching Famliy Guy or “Duncing” with the Stars, because this review will talk about things you are not ready to accept. If, however, you are still reading, let me show you a fantastic battle between good and evil, I, Frankenstein.
I, Frankenstein, starring Aaron Eckhart, is established as a sequel to the classic story Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. As the film opens, the creature recounts his own history, explaining how he came to life at the hands of Victor Frankenstein, how he was hated, how he killed Frankenstein’s new bride, and how he fled to the Arctic. As Victor hunted the creature, he succumbed to the elements and the creature felt obligated to return his “father” to his home to be buried. This showed a depth of humanity that always seems to be missing in the prior iterations of this tale.
The action begins quickly, which is good, with a group of people showing up and turning out to be demons out to capture the creature and return him to Naberius, a prince of Hell who has dark plans. The creature fights back, but is quickly taken down and is only saved because two gargoyles swoop in to save him and destroy the demons. During the battle, the creature was able to kill one of the demons and “descend” him, meaning send it back to Hell, and this impressed the gargoyles. They return with him to their leader.
As the plot of this film unfolds, it is a similar story to other movies in the same vein, good versus evil, monsters versus monsters for the fate of mankind. What I liked about I, Frankenstein were the layers to this story. On the surface there is the battle between gargoyle and demon for the survival of man. Beyond that is the search for meaning in the life of the creature, a being who has wandered the earth for hundreds of years. Even deeper is the regret that the creature feels for, in effect, having killed both Frankenstein and his bride and having no one to share his search with. There is even the idea of how actions can prove worth for a soul when the creature is a soulless being.
I will say that I splurged this time and went to see a film in IMAX 3D. I had never done that before, so I was not sure what to expect. The screen is huge, and for the epic battle scenes in this film, along with the amazing special effects, the larger screen, the full surround sound, and the 3D effects really enhanced the viewing experience. The combat was believable, well, as believable as Frankenstein’s creature beating the crap out of demons can be, and the plot played along very well with the action. I never once felt that there was a fight scene just for the sake of a fight. The effects made this film. I really enjoyed the story, but it would have been a little hackneyed if not for the shape change effects of the demons and gargoyles and the light and fire effects when either of them were killed.
Contrary to other critics out there, I would recommend this movie as a great action flick and solid entry into the myriad of Frankenstein movies that have been released over the years. Is it as artistic as Kenneth Branagh’s Frankenstein starring Robert DeNiro? No, but it is not meant to be. This film is an action movie that gives the creature both a purpose and a name, Adam, while showing us some great fights and cool special effects. If you are not up for this in theater, definitely see it when it releases on BluRay and DVD, but I would recommend the IMAX 3D, it was amazing.