I, Frankenstein

Directed By: Stuart Beattie

Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Socratis Otto, Jai Courtney, and Kevin Grevioux

Harvey, Harvey, Harvey Dent.  What has happened to Aaron Eckhart’s career since The Dark Knight?  His most notable credits since his turn as Gotham's White Knight include The Rum Diary, Olympus Has Fallen, and Battle Los Angeles.  That's not saying much at all.  The same can be said for Miranda Otto, whom most may remember as Eowyn in The Two Towers and The Return of the King.  She's dabbled in feature films some since The Lord of the Rings, but it's been easier to find her on the smaller screen on forgettable TV movies.  The one thing connecting these two talented, underutilized performers is that they're teaming up in this weekend's sole major release I, Frankenstein.

In the 18th century, Frankenstein's Monster (Eckhart) has killed his creator Victor Frankenstein's wife in the heat of passion.  Naturally, the man who brought the monster into this world is looking to take him out of it.  In his efforts to catch his superhuman creation, Victor Frankenstein freezes to death.  Though his creator probably doesn't deserve it, the monster buries him alongside his family.  After doing so, he is attacked by several demons under the orders of their leader Prince Naberius (Bill Nighy).  Though he slays one of them, the demons overtake him.  Luckily, a group of gargoyles rescues the monster and takes him back to their leader Queen Leonore (Miranda Otto).  Apparently, the demons have been trying to capture the monster, as he is living proof that God is not the sole creator of life on earth.

At the gargoyles' lair, Leonore tells the monster about the long-raging war between demons and gargoyles.  Deciding to spare his life because he's yet to find his higher purpose, she even names the monster "Adam".  Once released, Adam goes to the farthest corners of the earth to get away from humans and demons alike.  He remains in hiding for more than 200 years.  Prince Naberius would still like to capture Adam, and his demons do eventually find him.  After a violent encounter with the demons, Adam decides to rejoin the world and returns to New York where he finds that Naberius has been posing as executive Charles Wessex of the Wessex Institute.  Under this guise, Naberius has been working with a scientist named Terra (Yvonne Strahovski) and unlocking the secrets to creating life.  He is working around the clock to amass an army of demons and threatens to destroy both gargoyles and humans alike.  Adam Frankenstein has quite a bit of work to do.

There's absolutely no reason whatsoever for me to proclaim that I loved I, Frankenstein.  At the same time, I don't hate the movie.  I came into the theater with ultra-low expectations and got something moderately better.  Sure, the special effects look cheap.  Both the demons and gargoyles look like a small improvement over the unrealistic creatures we'd see on television in the 90's.  Sure, the movie is underdeveloped.  Director Stuart Beattie gives a choppy interpretation of the graphic novel that inspired the film.  Sure, this is a strangely modern twist on a classic monster tale.  Adam Frankenstein certainly seems more akin to a mutant than a monster.  Regardless of all this, I just don't hate I, Frankenstein.  It's a bearably bad action flick, which is about as good as it typically gets around this time of the year.

The cast doesn't bring too much to the table.  As Adam, Aaron Eckhart gives us a brooding monster searching for purpose. Still, he's not exactly our favorite Frankenstein.  As Prince Naberius, Bill Nighy definitely mails in his performance.  Nonetheless, Nighy is mildly enjoyable.  As Terra, Yvonne Strahovski brings a pretty smile and a pointless human perspective to the film.  I'm a sucker for Strahovski and will always see her as Chuck's Sarah Walker.  We also have Miranda Otto in her role as gargoyle queen Leonore.  She doesn't exactly wow me either.  Lastly, I won't waste too much time writing about Jai Courtney’s atrocious performance as he pouts most of his time on screen and somehow calls that acting.

I'm a purist when it comes to my monsters, and I prefer my Frankenstein to be an oversized zombie-like abomination with bolts in his head.  With this in mind, I'd recommend an Old Fashioned or two with Stuart Beattie's underdeveloped action flick.  I, Frankenstein gets a 0.09% rating.