I, Frankenstein is one of those films that is always released in January that only spends a few weeks in the theater until vanishing then reappearing months later at a local Redbox where potential viewers ask, “What is I, Frankenstein?”
Of course I, Frankenstein, wouldn’t be I, Graphic Novel Exploitation Movie Originally Based on a Well-Known Character Whose Author’s Copyright Has Long Expired, without debuting in theaters in 3D with a bevy of B actors whose faces you recognize from smaller parts in more prestigious films. However I throws a curveball by starring Aaron Eckhart in the title role of Frankenstein’s monster. Yes, Aaron Eckhart from several films but most recognizable for his role as Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight – that Aaron Eckhart. I am shocked by Eckhart’s casting simply because I thought he was on his way up in Hollywoodland. He is not tabloid fodder for drinking, drugging, trysts with Lindsay Lohan, Scientology, making passes at male masseurs, or for going broke so what the hell? Why is Eckhart taking acting jobs from Nicolas Cage? It is as if Hollywood is serving Cage his usual ham sandwich for lunch and Eckhart comes around the corner and slaps the meat right out of Nicolas’ mouth! For shame Aaron Eckhart, Nicolas Cage has to eat too! You are buff and have hair thus there are other roles out there for you.
Eckhart plays the I in I, Frankenstein, more precisely he is Frankenstein’s monster and boy does he have father issues! Maybe in this case we should call them creator issues. After burying his Daddy in the first five minutes of I, a posse of demons try to round Frank Jr. up for an unknown purpose. Luckily for humanity, a team of gargoyles (undercover angel warriors) are on the case and rescue I from the devil’s grasp. He is then taken to the lair of the gargoyle queen (played by Miranda Otto) who tells him gargoyles are good and when they die go to heaven, demons are bad and when they expire they go to that other place. She also renames the creature, formally known as Frankenstein’s monster, “Adam” and informs him he doesn’t have a soul then sends him on his way with some weapons and mounting depression.
After a few centuries of walking around in a perpetual funk (which is interrupted periodically by demons still trying to nab him) Adam returns to civilization to finally face his demons (get it?) and joins a regressive therapy group where he takes out his creator frustrations on a throw pillow. Wait, one of the things I said in the prior sentence did not happen. Anywho he finds out why the demons want him and meets a potential girlfriend. To tell you any more would give away too much of the story and tax my brain.
The things I liked about I, Frankenstein was the 3D flying effects of the gargoyles. I tell you I have been a sucker for gargoyles since seeing the 1972 made for TV movie Gargoyles. (BTW, why hasn’t that film ever been remade because those gargoyles were awesome even with early 70s television special effects?) What I didn’t like about I, Frankenstein was everything else. Even the incomparable Bill Nighy couldn’t “fun” this movie up.
Obviously I am not recommending I, Frankenstein for the smaller screen (it is long gone for the theaters and its DVD release date is May 13th) unless you have 3D capabilities and if you do my only response is, “Aren’t you the fancy one!” Perhaps if the film didn’t star Aaron Eckhart I might not be so harsh in my critique, but I have higher expectations for any film of which he stars.