This year’s supernatural detective comic book adaptation R.I.P.D. might have bombed at the box office, but perhaps Stuart Beattie’s I, Frankenstein, a modern update of Mary Shelley’s classic novel based on the comic books by Kevin Grevioux, will stand a better chance. Starring Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) in the lead role, I, Frankenstein was originally set for a September release but has since been pushed back to January – rarely a good month for movie releases.
Those who attended Comic-Con this year may have already seen the trailer for I, Frankenstein, but it’s now available for the rest of the public. The best way to put it is that it definitely looks like what you might have expected from a Frankenstein movie from the producers of Underworld, but it doesn’t necessarily add up to what people might have hoped for.
One of the issues, which we’ve pointed out before, is that Eckhart just doesn’t look very monstrous at all. He has a little bit of designer scarring on his face that actually seems to disappear entirely in certain lights, and when he walks into the club the biggest reaction he gets is a few raised eyebrows. This creates quite a bit of dissonance when he talks about himself as though he’s Hellboy and the Elephant Man rolled into one. Even the CGI gargoyles have sexy human forms to turn into when they’re not flapping about.
The dialogue is kind of cringeworthy, from the Fisher-Price version of the original story’s message (“You’re only a monster if you behave like one“) to lines so clichéd that they really need to be retired from movies for at least a couple of decades (“I looked into your eyes and saw darkness,” “You cannot save the human race,” “This ends tonight” etc.) There’s also a line that seems to have been ripped off from the crazy witch lady in Pumpkinhead – points for any horror fan who spots it.
There are some elements in I, Frankenstein‘s favor, though. Eckhart does at least look like he’s putting some effort into the role, and the cast also includes Bill Nighy, Miranda Otto and Jai Courtney, as well as Grevioux himself. The action also looks decent in places, such as when Adam leaps through the air to punch a gargoyle in the face, so if nothing else it could make for a good popcorn flick.
I, Frankenstein will be released on January 24th, 2014.