Frankie goes to Hollywood…hell

JAMES CROOT
Last updated 05:00 15/02/2014
 Frankenstein

CORPSE WITHOUT A SOUL: I, Frankenstein

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I, FRANKENSTEIN (M)
Directed by Stuart Beattie

Really that I in the title should come after Frankenstein and see followed by another roman numeral.

For latest monster mash-up from the graphic novelist Kevin Grevioux, who gave us Underworld's vampires versus werewolves (before Twilight emo-d up the premise) really should be called Frankenstein II.

And it should probably have the added moniker Electric Boogaloo or Revenge of the Fallen given that has about as much in common with breakdancing or Transformers as it has with Mary Shelley's classic 1818 revenge tale.

After a rapid two-minute recap of the novel's major talking points, we're plunged into the middle of a graveyard where Frankenstein's monster (a lank-haired Aaron Eckhart looking more like Highlander's Christopher Lambert) is battling a group of demons before being rescued by gargoyles.

This close brush with death persuades "Adam" to go into hiding, he re-emerges until 200 years later, looking for a fight - at precisely the right time for the demons who have plans to recreate Frankenstein's experiments for their own evil ends.

Based on Grevioux's Darkstorm Studios graphic novel of the same name, I, Frankenstein is like its hero - a "corpse without a soul".r

Lumbering under the weight of seemingly endless exposition and gloomy Gothic visuals, writer-director Stuart Beattie's (who made the engaging teen drama Tomorrow When the War Began) tale is best described as CGI-heavy, chaotic and hardly coherent.

And like Adam, it really does feel like it is 12 diffeent parts stitched together from eight different bodies, as elements of The Matrix, Hellboy, The Lord of the Rings, Highlander and Underworld all help patch together the threadbare story which basically serves to get Eckhart from one fight scene to another.

Yes, the visuals are whizzy (fireballs are clearly de rigueur) and yes the supporting cast includes Bill Nighy (About Time), Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings) and Dexter's striking Yvonne Strahovski, but ultimately the film feels as unwieldly as the two holy bits of lead piping (which he eventually replaces with something more akin to pizza cutters!) Adam favours in battle.

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