Cinematic Releases: I, Frankenstein

Tom is back with another edition of Tear It Apart!! This time I, Frankenstein is up at bat.


"I took my shirt off so
there wouldn't be any evidence
when I kill my agent..."
I just spent an hour and a half wearing 3D glasses in an Imax theater. Despite the ground shaking bass and occasional decent action scenes, I have never been as disengaged in a movie as I was with I, Frankenstein.
I did not go to this movie expecting anything but a decent popcorn movie. But this movie fails at every aspect of movie making that I'm aware of. Plot? I'd say it was silly, but it was never established enough to even call it that. Apparantly, the Gargoyles that exist in architecture are fighting a battle vs. Demons that's been going on for centuries. Somehow Frankenstein's monster finds himself in the middle of it. Well, kind of. That aspect of the movie, like all the rest, comes and goes.
He's his own being, according to his speech to the heavenly gargoyles, and doesn't want to get involved in their war. Then, all of a sudden, seems to exist only to kill demons. Oh yeah, he spent a couple hundred years "at the corners of the earth" in between the beginning sequence and the last 85 minutes of the movie. Apparantely, he studied kung fu sometime during his stay in the corners, but that's never actually established.
I was never given any opportunity to care about or get an understanding of any character's motives, beyond two vague and short speeches. Aaron Eckhart plays Adam, presumably because he was bored. He makes one face - one - in the entire movie. For god's sake, they even screw up the makeup. Sometimes his scars are dark and protruding, other times you can barely see them at all.
The few times we're given a character's motive for taking any action whatever, it's always the most inane, insulting, inexplicable reason you could possibly think of. Wait, the hot scientist chick is helping the bad guys to try to bring WHO back!? We're spoiler free, so I can't tell you who it was. Believe me, it's better you don't know.
Perhaps it seems like I'm piling on a movie that was never meant to be taken seriously. If only that was the case. Writer/director Stuart Beattie, in only his second turn as a director, actually tries to present this as a serious film. There are no attempts at humor anywhere. None. He wrote GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. If he had made I, Frankenstein, in that in the same vein, at least I could say that it has some camp value.
"See this expression? It's the only
one I'll make for 90 minutes!"
This film has no redeeming qualities. It never slows down enough to be a drama, it never speeds up enough to be an action film. It's caught in movie limbo. It never should have existed.
I'm searching my memory banks to find a movie that I've seen that was this bad. The problem is, any time I came across a movie so utterly disengaging in the past, I left to do something more fun like go on message boards and talk about how awesome Microsoft is. Unfortunately, I had to sit through this to the end, where our hero makes the most baffling statements of all, just to leave room for a sequel.
Avoid this movie. If someone tries to convince you that it's worth seeing for the 3D Imax experience, he's lying and he is evil. I want my money back.

-Review by Tom McDaniel

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