I, not Frankenstein; I, handsome, beefcakey actor
BASED on a graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux, I, Frankenstein is a movie very much set in the template of Grevioux’s Underworld. That story, remember, posited a secret war between vampires and werewolves wherein a hook-up between a mortal and an immortal held the key to its resolution. Just substitute “demons” and “godly gargoyles” for vampires and werewolves, and you have the gist of I, Frankenstein. But instead of mining Bram Stoker for gothic inspiration, screenwriterdirector Stuart Beattie turns to Mary Shelley’s undead monster as its antihero. The problem with that, of course, is that where vampires are inherently sexy ( Underworld’s latex clad mutantminx Kate Beckinsale, for example), a creature cobbled together from miscellaneous body parts is not. In theory. That is a flaw Beattie attempts to overcome by casting the handsome Aaron Eckhart in the role of the monster, with the result that the crudely disproportional beast of Shelley’s fiction resembles a male model who’s been the recipient of a botched facelift. As per Shelley, the movie’s preamble shows how the monster turned against his creator, murdered his bride and exiled himself to the Arctic where he was unsuccessfully hunted down by Frankenstein himself. Picking up from there, the monster, dubbed “Adam,” has come to the attention of a race of demons seeking to learn the secrets of his creation. The head demon, who goes by the name of Naberius, is played by Bill Nighy, more or less duplicating the role he played in Underworld: a fiendish yet dapper supernatural being with aspirations to conquer the world.