Twentieth Century Fox 109 minutes PG-13
Like the Frankenstein monster himself, this film is a hot mess. This version of Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein takes it way too far. It is best left to the imagination rather than seeing it on the big screen like this. There are better renditions.
That said, James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland, X-Men: First Class) as the mad scientist and Igor Played by Daniel Radcliffe (of Harry Potter fame) as his assistant/partner, dove passionately into the material. Their performances are exciting, but the visuals of their “scientific” procedures are sometimes so sickening, you may want to look away.
The film is told from Igor’s perspective. Radcliffe is a hunchback clown with the circus who is used and abused. He’s somehow self-educated. He is fascinated with how the body works and a huge fan of the contortions the beautiful trapeze artist, Lorelei, shows high above the audience. When she falls, Victor Frankenstein and he bring her back from the brink of death. Frankenstein, impressed with Igor’s knowledge of the body, helps him escape his cruel circus life, but provides more more challenging hoops for him to go through.
The circus sets and costumes, in fact, all of the sets and locations are magnificent, but the film goes downhill from there. Dr. Frankenstein is driven to create a living, breathing human at all costs and sees Igor as his partner in crime. He finds another sick person as a benefactor who funds Victor’s folly to gain power and attention.
But Frankenstein’s first task is to de-hunchback, Igor. He drains the fluid that creates the hump on his back. That allows his bent body to straighten. It’s pretty dramatic but makes absolutely no sense. Neither are all the explosions that are the result of the experiments Frankenstein is up to. Electricity and lightening play a big part in this film. It’s almost comical, but not nearly as effective or funny as Mel Brooks’ film, Young Frankenstein.
We follow the adventures of Igor with the Doctor and somehow, Lorelei comes back into Igor’s life. Quick recovery for the trapeze artist who nearly died.
Is this worth your bucks? The experiments get more and more ridiculous with more and more explosions and tons of flying glass. Sewing the monster together isn’t particularly well done and the script isn’t sewn together well either. British Director Paul McGuigan is known for crime films and thrillers. Here he tries to intertwine the two but it doesn’t work well. The ultimate result is weird more than scary. This creation is wet, slimy and doesn’t appear to be anything more than computer animation. Like Victor Frankenstein’s monster, this film is a monstrosity.