A mon­ster flop

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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


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

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