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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
I remember seeing previews for I, Frankenstein in late 2013. It looked dumb, but I was still drawn to it. I suppose there is a part of me that just likes smaller budget movies that are pure schlock and don’t try to hide it. I was one of many people who didn’t see it in January 2014 (it flopped horribly), but noticing it is available on Netflix, I was quick to stream it.
The film is…not good. I am really not entirely sure what director Stuart Bettie was trying to say or do with this film. Perhaps he was just trying to craft a new action film. To be honest, it has a good, unique enough premise based on a solid action movie foundation. But nothing really comes together in any meaningful way and the story (what little there is of it) just is strung along connecting one set-piece to another.
You have the near-immortal Frankenstein Monster (Olympus Has Fallen’s very own Aaron Eckhart), now named Adam, at odds with a group of gargoyles (who act like angels and look like angels, so they should have just called them angels) and demons who are at a constant war with one another. Each side wants Adam for their own various needs, but, being the lone wolf, he refuses to play ball and goes his own way.
It is a totally a cheesy B-film. And that is okay. It strives to be that. There are sequences in this movie that are completely ridiculous that I cannot believe any sane director would have unintentionally done. For example, I, Frankenstein mostly takes place in London (?) during the night, yet you never see people in the streets other than our heroes and villains. For a war that is supposedly been quiet for thousands of years, the fact that these gargoyles and demons fly around so freely is completely hilarious. The same can be said that the human characters are completely unfazed by their quick discovery that gargoyles, demons, and even the Frankenstein Monster are real.
This is a film that is so bad and dumb, that it can be pretty enjoyable under the right circumstances.
Remember those Underworld films from about ten years back that goths and pretentious nerds thought were the best thing ever (they’re not)? As I watched I, Frankenstein I was completely reminded of them. It had the same kind of set-up, style, mood, and atmosphere. I later discovered that I, Frankenstein was, in its purest form, created by Kevin Grevioux, one of the co-creators of the Underworld series. Clearly, the production team was trying to ape that previous success without success.
I, Frankenstein is a bad movie, but it is entertainingly bad. Sometimes, you just need that. And, as I have always said, I’d rather see a really bad movie that is entertaining, than a really good movie that is completely boring. I, Frankenstein fits that bill.
Edited to Add: WordPress tells me this is my personal 400th post on this blog. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting I, Frankenstein to be a “milestone” entry. Then again, few do.