The Immortal Frankenstein: A Movie Review

Disclaimer: All pictures in this blog entry have been sourced from the Internet. Also, spoilers are included.

I have not written anything in 6 months. Pretty much because I had little time in my hands to do so. But that belongs to another blog entry. Today, I’ve decided to do a movie review.

So, I’m sitting in my corporate sponsored apartment on a rainy Friday with absolutely nothing to do except to  explore a blog that was introduced to me by a friend. This blog had imbedded videos of all series episodes and movies this particular blogger liked. And one of the movies included was I, Frankenstein.

Top of my head, all I knew about the story of Frankenstein was that a brilliant and somewhat mad scientist back in the 1700s stole body parts from several corpses, sewed them together and used lightning to reanimate it. What happened after, I have no idea, but I can guess it wasn’t a pretty ending.

Enter the movie of I, Frankenstein, which is based on a graphic novel created by Kevin Grevioux. Starring Aaron Eckhart (I know him as Harvey Dent in the Dark Knight), the movie presents Adam (Eckhart) as Frankenstein’s creation. He kills Frankenstein’s wife for revenge for trying to get rid of him and is almost captured by demons who want to study him.

frankenstein

And this is where it gets a little bit weird. He is rescued from the demons by gargoyles. Wait, what? Gargoyles? Aren’t they stone fixtures on top on Gothic cathedrals or something? As it turns out, they are actually related to the angels. And their queen Leonore (played by Miranda Otto, better known to me as Eowyn who screams “I am NO man!” in the Lord of the Rings movies)  explains to Adam that there has been a war that has been going on for centuries between demons and gargoyles.

leonore

So essentially, the movie is about the usual story of good versus evil and one man’s journey towards redemption, with demons who look like vampires and angels who turn into gargoyles. I guess it’s a promising idea to present angels in the form of gargoyles instead of the usual white wings and bright halos. But that’s pretty much the only thing I liked about the movie.

adam abs

Eckhart’s character Adam looks pretty ripped, you know, for a sewed up, re-animated corpse. I can appreciate nice abs just like the next girl but really? Did Adam exercise or sign up for the gym? I can only guess he did. Or maybe all that trekking to the ends of the earth made him buff.

terra wade

And of course, there’s his quasi-love interest, one of the world’s leading electrophysiologist, Terra Wade (played by Yvonne Strahovski, who I think is a much better spy in the Chuck series.) Now this, I found a bit awkward. There was a scene where Terra confirmed with Adam that Dr. Frankenstein has promised him a partner. So for that moment, I really thought she was going to die and become his companion. Or, the scene where Adam says “I’m with someone now. A human. I have to protect her.” The first sentence sounded so wrong, the second shows they’re not of the same species and the third sentence is usually the start of some romantic involvement in these kinds of movies.

gideon

The idea of the gargoyles is pretty cool but what about countries in the world where there are no gargoyle fixtures? Not all countries would have cathedrals as towering as the one in the movie. Does that mean that there are no demons in countries with no gargoyles? Or maybe, there’s another order, after all the gargoyles are under the Order of Gargoyles. Maybe there’s an Order of Saints Statues, or Order of Lions, or Order of Mummies. Who knows? It wasn’t included in the movie. Jai Courtney plays Gideon, sort of general of gargoyles and he gets killed (or ascended in the case of the gargoyles) by Adam even before the final battle, which is lame. Seriously? He, who commands all gargoyles, who had led them and succeeded in battles, gets killed in an alleyway by a reanimated corpse with no soul. Not a good way to die. But, hey, he gets to go to heaven, which I suppose is great.

naberius

The demons, even the ones with dialogue, are all forgettable. I’ll make an exception for Bill Nighy, who plays nefarious demon prince Naberius. He comes across as the elegant, rich Englishman, and uses his nice English accent to emphasize all the points of his bad plan to reanimate corpses so that demons who were killed (or descended, as is the term used in the movie) can come back. Wait, what? Isn’t a demon who has been descended supposed to be TRAPPED in hell? Or are we talking about the thousands more who hasn’t gotten their chance to play in the earth above? At the beginning of the movie, gargoyle queen Leonore says that the demons were part of the 666 that were unleashed on earth. Looking at Naberius’ plan, he has the capacity to unleash THOUSANDS of demons. If my calculations are correct, that’s way more than 666. Also, why the need to reanimate corpses to house demon spirits? Does that mean that the existing 666, or what’s left of them anyway, are also housed in former corpses? But they didn’t know how to animate corpses, right? That’s why they needed Adam in the first place. With all the question marks I’ve written, it seems that I have confused myself. Or maybe, the movie’s premise was confusing to begin with.

FIN03_IFrank_1Sht_Immortal

And lastly, Adam’s body was supposed to be possessed by a demon spirit, however, apparently it could not. Because he has a soul. A soul that was not there for about four-fifths of the movie. Confirmed by both gargoyle queen Leonore and demon prince Naberius. So, he grew a soul? Okay so he started helping the gargoyles, protected the electrophysiologist Terra and descended a couple of demons but there wasn’t a single moment where the viewer knew  that those actions led to him having a soul. It was never explained and it just happened quite unspectacularly. I mean, getting a soul is a big thing right? Getting a soul made him human, right? Right???

Maybe if I read the graphic novel, I’d appreciate the movie more. As a standalone movie, I’m glad I didn’t go to the cinema and pay to watch it. On the upside, the effect of descended demons and ascended gargoyles were nice and so were Adam’s abs. However, incomplete premises, plot loopholes, and hurried characterizations just ruined the movie for me.

 

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