A monster flop
Director: Paul McGuigan Featuring: James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe Victor Frankenstein is not exactly an intuitive release for Christmas, and those who choose it over the family and franchise fare might have wished they’d waited for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. On paper, this one’s a winner – it’s headlined by two of Britain’s hottest young actors, James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, and directed by Paul McGuigan, the man behind the Benedict Cumberbatch reboot of Sherlock Holmes on TV. So far, so good, except that having picked a twist – that the story is told from the perspective of Igor (Radcliffe), a character absent from Mary Shelley’s original novel – the film makers get lost in the spectacle.
The set designers do a smashing job; the costume designers too. The final scenes shot during real storms in a specially built cylindrical set are impressive. The trouble is that Radcliffe is far too fresh-faced and, well, boywizard-like, to pull off the tortured, hunchbacked Igor of horror-movie lore.
McAvoy, who is a much better actor (sorry, Harry Potter), is good as the insane visionary Dr Victor Frankenstein, but not good enough to make this compelling viewing. The film makers only get into the nitty-gritty of Shelley’s science-vs-God debate by setting an evangelical detective on Frankenstein’s trail. It’s a wasted opportunity, which pretty much describes this film. – Gayle Edmunds
HORRIBLE BOSSES 2
e.tv (DStv channel 194) Friday, 8.30pm Two New York City transit cops who happen to be foster brothers come to a crossroads once they decide to rob the train they’ve been hired to protect. Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161) Saturday, 7.30pm A hilarious comedy, starring Kenneth Nkosi, about a desperate man who decides to propose to his girlfriend using her mother’s stolen ring.
FRANKENDUD Daniel Radcliffe (left) and James McAvoy can’t save this film