Combustible Celluloid
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With: Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Bill Nighy, Jai Courtney, Socratis Otto, Aden Young, Caitlin Stasey, Mahesh Jadu, Steve Mouzakis, Nicholas Bell, Deniz Akdeniz, Chris Pang, Kevin Grevioux, Bruce Spence
Written by: Stuart Beattie, Kevin Grevioux, based on a graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux
Directed by: Stuart Beattie
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense fantasy action and violence throughout
Running Time: 93
Date: 01/24/2014

I, Frankenstein (2014)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Corpse of a Movie

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Stuart Beattie directs this adaptation of Kevin Grevioux's comic book, and even though Beattie is best known as a screenwriter (Pirates of the Caribbean, Collateral, etc.), he makes the rookie mistake of focusing more on production design and action than on writing or characters. In fact, what's actually there borders on ridiculous.

In 1795, after creating his famous monster, Victor Frankenstein tries to destroy his creation. But the monster (Aaron Eckhart) lives, only to be attacked by demons and subsequently rescued by gargoyles. The gargoyle queen, Leonore (Miranda Otto) offers him sanctuary and takes Victor's journal to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. Two hundred years later, the monster -- now called "Adam" -- returns to try and destroy the prince of the demons, Naberius (Bill Nighy). Naberius dreams of using Victor's methods to create an army of resurrected monsters to take over the world, and he's using a naïve human scientist, Terra (Yvonne Strahovski), to help. Will Adam choose the right path before it's too late?

The bad guy's plan makes no sense, and his use of a human scientist makes even less sense. Aaron Eckhart has given good performances in the past, but he seems lost as the Frankenstein monster; he can only look hurt and angry throughout the entire movie. His super powers make him mostly unstoppable, and therefore uninteresting. When he forms a friendship with Terra (Yvonne Strahovski), he mainly looks confused. The fight scenes are numbingly repetitive, and the movie itself eventually feels dead, like no one even tried. However, the costumes and sets are fairly impressive.

Lionsgate released a two-disc set, containing a Blu-ray that plays in both 2D and 3D, and a DVD, which also contains an Ultraviolet digital copy. The movie comes with two commentary tracks, one by director Stuart Beattie, and one by four of the producers. There are also a couple of standard behind-the-scenes featurettes, and a trailer. Sound and picture quality are both fine.

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