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'I Frankenstein' fails to electrify audiences

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I, Frankenstein

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Given life in the late 1700s, Frankenstein's creature rebelled against his maker, killing Frankenstein's new wife and fleeing to the frozen north. When his maker dies while in pursuit, the creature returns to his maker's home to lay Frankenstein to rest. Just as the creature has begun to bury his maker, demons attack, drawing him into an ancient war between the legions of Hell and the agents of Heaven. Despite attempts to leave the war and the world of men behind, the creature's search for purpose forces him to seek out the dark forces intent on his capture.

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Written and directed by Stuart Beattie, "I, Frankenstein" is a fierce extravaganza of visual effects and action sequences. The story itself is somewhat thin and only develops characters enough to move things along. Aaron Eckhart is Adam, Frankenstein's monster. Despite a the wafer thin context, Eckhart's performance is consistently brooding and heroic, although some shifts in the character's reasoning seem to be more plot device than rational planning. Adding a touch of malevolent charm to the mix, Bill Nighy dawn's the role of Naberius, demon prince. While so many of the other characters just coast along, raging with no real purpose, Naberius is striking and almost makes you root for the bad guys, whom tend to be more forthcoming than the ambiguous and obnoxiously angelic gargoyles. Dawning the role of doctor in distress, Yvonne Strahovski plays Terra, the beautiful scientist attempting to recreate Frankenstein's work. Overall, the concept was fine, but far too much of this movie's backstory is told instead of shown. This is understandable, relative to budgets and pacing, but it definitely hurt the quality of the tale and its telling. While the story and its telling could have been better, if you're in the mood for big action, explosions, sharp objects, and a little Hell on Earth, then "I, Frankenstein" may be worth the price of admission or worth waiting for the rental.

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