I,Frankenstein (2014) is GREAT. If your use of the word “great” is at the start of a sentence that begins “Great! There is at long last a worthy partner for Reign of Fire, the 2002 epic in which Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale take off their shirts and fight dragons.”
I always expected that the double-feature-mate for Reign of Fire would be a Ben Kingsley movie. Sure, that dude was Gandhi, but that dude has also been in some seriously craptacular movies. Un-ironically.
I, Frankenstein does, however, have Bill Nighy, so that’s nice. No Liam Neeson, but I kept confusing Frankenstein’s monster (Aaron Eckhart) with Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and assuming that I’d spaced out during the scenes where he learned how to fight from Ra’s al Ghul, because that was the only way I could really make any narrative sense out of this thing. Hey, if you look at it that way, the film is honorarily somewhere on the Axis of Neeson-Nighy.
This film is so expensive, yet so cheap-looking. I, Frankenstein has the insane Whatthefuckitude of SciFi Pictures Productions circa 2003-4 but with the smug seriousness of Underworld, but with a budget. A big budget.
And the grunting and growling! Oh god, so many characters growl. It reminds you how rare growling is in contemporary cinema. Aside from werewolf movies, just not a lot of growling these days. I, Frankenstein goes all-in on the growling.
Oh, gods, and the ineptitude of the effects! They have the modern syfy intentionally-shitty-looking-to-seem-hip aesthetic, but clearly aren’t intentionally shitty. And the scale of the set pieces! The deranged self-serious terribleness boggles the mind! And, and, and…the GROWLING!