Monday, June 9, 2014

I, Frankenstein (2014)

JohnnyTwoToes reviews 2014's most insipid monster fantasy so far 

You know you are in trouble when you are laughing about five minutes into a film. That was my reaction to I, Frankenstein (2014) - an absolute total and complete waste of celluloid, and remember I had a similar experience a few weeks back with another prize for the pooper scooper, Pompeii. So that is saying something. 

Aaron Eckhart is the title character (that is ADAM Frankenstein to us) who, in modern day London, stumbles across an age old battle between the Gargoyles that adorn buildings across the globe and Demons. Gargoyles are actually angels and demons are.... actually..... demons. Adam is sought after by both clans for a variety of different reasons. NONE of which did I care a hoot about. 

The Demons are led by the nefarious Prince Naberius (Bill Nighy), a slimy sleaze looking to populate his army of empty souls with the essence of a soul-less Adam. Only then will Naberius and his army defeat the Gargoyles. If you are not shaking your head by now then, you might like this film. But, wait I am just getting started. The Gargoyles are led by Queen Leonore (Miranda Otto) and although they are "the good guys" we know that neither team is completely innocent. To perfect the potion that will reanimate Naberius's ghouls is a beautiful scientist, Terra (Yvonne Strahovski) and let me just say she is beautiful. 

Nothing in I, Frankenstein makes any sense and since the dumb film is only 90 minutes they don't waste any time on those pesky little details like two dimensional characters, a sense of real detail to the fantasy world, plot development on how the battle started and how it has been kept secret from the average Janes and Joes of England. Nope, no time for that crap when we gots a whole lotta stuff to tear up. 

There is the whole subplot of the two clans battling for a journal that took the original Dr. Frankenstein YEARS to put together. The journal. that no one can make sense of for hundreds of years, holds the key to the formula that Naberius needs. It takes the lovely Dr. Terra a few scant minutes to figure out what has taken centuries to create and discover in the journal. She is sooooooo smart, yet she can't see what is painfully obvious to EVERYONE watching, that Naberius is a cold, calculating, murderous SOB. She also can't seem to pick a decent place to live, either. Her apartment is a rundown shack that barely has any walls or even drywall. The place is a filthy pig stay that only a poorly written character in a poorly written film would live in. There is no way ANYONE would live there. I thought doctor's made decent money. Ya mean, she can't find a Motel 6 anywhere? 

The battle sequences between the Gargoyles and the Demons are pathetic, as well. The only thing that distinguishes who is getting killed are beams of white light emitted from the Gargoyles and flames that shoot out from slain demons that look like those heartburn commercials for Pepcid AC. The end result Naberius's plan is never FULLY explained. They must be trying to buy up all of the crappy real estate as where their good doctor is living in. 

Aaron Eckhart, who started out in decent, independent films like In The Company of Men, Your Friends and Neighbors and Thank You For Smoking has now started picking parts that will render him to the trash heap of history in Hollywood. With a slew of films that have been lousy, at best, including the disappointing Olympus has Fallen (a sequel is in pre-production called London Has Fallen and NO. I am not making that up) I, Frankenstein is not going to help get his once promising career back on track. His Adam is about as sharp as wet leather and even the lovely Miranda Otto is on auto pilot. Bill Nighy is simply playing the same character he has played in the Underworld films and cashing a check. 

The script and direction by Australian born Stuart Beattie (based on the graphic novel by  Kevin Grevioux) is insultingly bad with lines of dialogue like the laugh inducing, "I thought it was the end. But it was only the beginning." Seriously? This is the best he can come up with? Oh and lest I forget that acting maven, Jai Courtney, who graced us last year about this time with the enragingly bad latest installment of the Die Hard series. He does not fair any better in this film, either. 

The score by German film score duo Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek is a good action score but it plays throughout the film and seems to never end so any dramatic or emotional elements seem to be meaningless. Still, the score is worth purchasing but that is all. If there is a sequel, maybe they can pit hordes of nasty Travelocity Gnomes against an army of the slithering Geico Gekkos. Now THAT I would pay to see, before I sit through this pile of trash, again. I. Frankenstein-* out of 4


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