I Frankenstein Disappoints and Delights

I Frankenstein Disappoints and Delights
Movie Title: I, Frankenstein

Grade: B-

In a Nutshell: I know a guy who was Aaron Eckhart’s college roommate. He said that Aaron often talked about becoming a movie star some day. He did it! I’m sincerely happy for him. I love Aaron Eckhart’s eyes because one of my sons has the exact same eyes.

Based on the graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux, I, Frankenstein features a teeth-gritting monster who struggles with who he is as he fights demons and gargoyles in a battle to save mankind. I wanted this popcorn flick to be a hit for Aaron, but sadly, it falls short of a blockbuster that’s going to get audiences really excited.

There is not much of a plot, as the CGI effects and production design take center place. True Mary Shelley fans will be disappointed that the classic tale has been re-invented with a ripped and skilled mixed martial artist, of sorts, as the “unholy abomination” of a monster. If you’re into Sci-Fi or dystopian genres, you’ll appreciate the awesome special effects. You feel mildly attached to Frankenstein, but there is not much time spent on real character development.

Gideon is a name known to many Christians, but this character is so filled with hate that he doesn’t seem to be representing heaven. He declares to Frankenstein “God will surely damn you.” Frankenstein growls back “He already did.”

Uplifting theme: Victor Frankenstein never named his creation, so Leonore, the queen of the Order of the Gargoyles, symbolically names him Adam. I’m a sucker for symbolism. He is the first man of his kind. He is made in the image of his maker, but has the free will to create his own life. Like this new Adam, we often spend years trying to figure out who we really are. It’s when we realize we need humanity and begin to love and serve others for a greater cause that we truly find ourselves.

Things I liked:
• I loved the way gargoyles died in a brilliant beam of light and were instantly sent heavenward. In contrast, the demons turn into a fiery blaze that descends to hell when they’re killed. The battle scene at the beginning panned out and you could see beams ascending and fire bursts swirling, notifying you how many gargoyles and demons were killed in combat. I thought that was pretty cool.
• The slow-motion fight sequences looked like a video game. I’m sure this will come out as a video game and it could actually be pretty good.
• I love Bill Nighy in everything. He played a lovable and wise father in About Time as equally well as he plays a clever demon prince in this film.
• There are some interesting weapons and cool slow-motion fight scenes featuring them.

Things I didn’t like:
• You know when you see a big towering structure created by the bad guys that it’s going down at the end of the movie.
• Everyone has a British accent except Frankenstein. Come on Aaron.
• The demons’ faces looked like masks from an old Star Trek episode.
• It’s so clichéd that the brilliant, young scientist happens to be a beautiful girl. SPOILER ALERT…So, will Yvonne Strahovski be the bride of Frankenstein in the sequel?
• Shouldn’t the gargoyles have been nicer since they were working for God?
• There is a complete lack of humorous moments, as the film seems to take itself too seriously.
• Frankenstein doesn’t have a soul, but yet somehow he can feel pain and wants to do good, as well as have the desire for a female companion. How does that work?
• Of course, Frankenstein is supposed to be a grungy creature, but I really wanted him to take a bath. He rinses off his face once, yet his face remains dirty.
• We are told that Leonore is the direct link to the Archangels, but she mostly stands around while the gargoyles do all the work. She prays and seems to have the best sense of morality, so I was disappointed when (SPOILER ALERT) she turned against Adam and issued an order to kill him. Despite that, it was great to see Lord of the Rings starlet Miranda Otto again.

Funny lines: There really aren’t any. This movie takes itself too seriously and could have benefited from some levity at its own expense.

Inspiring lines:
• “Each of us has a higher purpose. Yours is yet to reveal itself.” - Leonore
• “All life is sacred.” - Leonore
• “Just because something has yet to be found, does not mean it does not exist.” = Niberious
• “It is not for you or I to deny God’s purpose.” – Leonore
• “You’re only a monster if you behave like one.” – Dr. Wade

Things to look for:
• The symbol seen from the aerial view that the bushes make outside of the Institute entrance.
• There is a certain symbol of the Order of the Gargoyles that you start to see everywhere: on Leonore’s necklace, on the fabric sashes, on the dagger, on the cathedral, formed by the structure of the cathedral as seen from an aerial view.

Tips for parents: Young children may be afraid of the scary demons. There is a gruesome scene with hundreds of corpses hanging in a large facility underneath the Institute. There is a lot of bloodless fighting, but not much profanity. The lighting in the scenes, as well as the general theme are quite dark.

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