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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘I, Frankenstein’: monstrously dreadful

    Courtesy of Hopscotch Features
    Courtesy of Hopscotch Features

    There’s a good reason why monster movies are not normally released in months other than October: They end up like this film. “I, Frankenstein” fails on all fronts, apart from being a laughingstock.

    Before I detail the plot synopsis for “I, Frankenstein,” I would like to describe the plot of an episode of the Adult Swim cartoon “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.” The show revolves around the lives and random adventures of housemates Master Shake (a milkshake), Frylock (a carton of fries) and Meatwad (a meatball). In the episode “MC Pee Pants,” the trio happens upon a dastardly plot hatched by a giant spider wearing a diaper. The spider’s mission: to pose as a rapper whose music will contain subliminal messages convincing listeners to eat lots of candy, so he can use their hyperactive brain activity to power a drill that will bore into the center of the earth and unleash demons from hell to run a global diet pill pyramid scheme.

    This is sort of like the plot to “I, Frankenstein,” but with more legitimacy and believability.

    Frankenstein’s monster, Adam (Oh why, Aaron Eckhart?), becomes involved in the eternal battle between members of the Gargoyle Order, who are descendants of the St. Michael the archangel, and demons. The demons apparently don’t have a cool club name like “Gargoyle Order.” I wouldn’t say they deserve one, either, since their faces look like the reject masks on clearance at Party City the day after Halloween.

    The demons and the gargoyles battle in the city of Paris. The gargoyles’ home base is a giant cathedral with stained glass windows (those windows are probably the best part of the film because they are so bright and colorful).

    Apparently, the humans don’t know that this conflict has been going on, a notion which I find to be ludicrous. Every night, monsters carve up the streets and rooftops in a cacophony of heavenly light and hellfire, and yet no one’s the wiser.

    It should also be noted that Frankenstein’s monster is an action hero in this movie. In one of the initial montages, we see him practicing fighting in the mountains with a couple of blunt poles. From that point forward he’s a demon-killing machine, like the bastard child of Jason Statham and Van Helsing.

    Adam, after beating his way through demon after demon with his trusty nightsticks, uncovers the big twist of the movie (spoiler alert): Prince Naberius (Bill Nighy), demon lord, has been stockpiling a massive underground lab with thousands and thousands of corpses. He’s going to summon demons to repossess the bodies because demons can only inhabit bodies that have no soul (obviously), but first he has to figure out how to reanimate the corpses. Shades of “Aqua Teen” and “MC Pee Pants,” anyone?

    If you’re upset that I have just spoiled what may have been a surprising twist, you can rest assured I’ve done no such thing. You see, this big reveal happens 40 minutes in, which is not even halfway through the movie, and it doesn’t even feel like a huge deal. This brings me to the worst part of the film.

    The pacing in “I, Frankenstein” is awful, as there’s simply nothing but rising action. There’s no downtime, which means that everything holds the same weight. Every scene has the feeling of perpetual motion, kind of like a 92-minute climax. Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate to 92 pulse-pounding minutes, but rather 92 minutes of apathy. The very first, inconsequential fight between Adam and a couple of the demons feels just the same as the climactic, be-all, end-all brouhaha between the gargoyles and demons.

    I don’t know if I could emphatically declare this film a complete failure, as it’s good for a few laughs at its expense. However, as I was walking out of the theater, a young woman turned to me and simply asked, “Was that one of the worst movies you’ve ever seen?”
    I wouldn’t go that far, but this slightly altered title may be a bit more accurate: “I, Suck.”

    Score: D

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