I, not Frankenstein; I, hand­some, beef­cakey ac­tor

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Ran­dall King

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.

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