Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Bottom Line Up Front:  It’s a cleaver and enjoyable science fiction fantasy action movie. The new spin on the Frankenstein monster story removes the “monster” and inserts a hero. Instead of a flat headed overgrown stiff semi-human creature with bolts sticking out of its neck, the creator of this re-animated former member of the dead looks like a real man that has been through a bad accident and required a lot the stitches.

FrankensteinCredit: Pixabay, Public Domain Images

Rarely will a story that completely alters our past image of a fictional character avoid significant criticism; this was the case when this film first hit the theaters. Reviews published after the movie hit theaters failed to do the film justice. The title I, Frankenstein may not have a good choice: it’s a little too close to the 2004 flick titled I, Robot starring actor Will Smith. Frankly, the film’s marketing team must have gone fishing after the initial reviews hit the press. There should have been a counter-criticism advertisement campaign implemented to reinvigorate public interest in the movie.

  • This version of Frankenstein is based on actor/writer Kevin Grevioux’s graphic novel; Grevioux’s version is based on the Mary Shelley original.

[Spoiler Alert] Frankenstein is an angry tortured soul immortal with superhuman strength; not the Superman strength but the Captain America strength. Yes, boys and girls we learn that big Frank has a soul at the end of the movie.

Primary Stars and Characters

Aaron Eckhart (Frankinstein), Bill Nighy (Charles Wessex and Prince Naberius the leader of the Wessex Institute, a fallen angel and leader of the demons), Yvonne Strahovski (Scientist Terra Wade), Miranda Otto (Leonore Queen of the Gargoyle), Socratis Otto (Warrior, Zuriel), Jai Courtney (Gideon, a leader of Gargoyles) and the stories author Kevin Grevioux as Dekar, Neberius’s head of security.

Actor Aden Young makes brief appearances as Dr. Victor Frankenstein; we all know his story. Dr. Vic’s primary function is in the flashback scenes to remind the viewers of how our big Frank came to be, including his guilty feelings for murdering Victor’s wife.

Significant Events

  • Big Frank has his first battle with demons early in the story. After Victor’s creation finds his maker dead in the frozen tundra, Big Frank buries his creator. Suddenly he is attacked by demons that seem to know he will be of value and a future threat. After dispatching a few of his attackers, Gargoyles rescue him and bring him to their Queen.
  • The gargoyles initially consider Frankenstein to be nothing more than a soulless creature; a pretty typical response that is needed to set up the end of the movie.
  • The Gargoyle Queen names the monster, Adam. Now big Frank has a decent name. She tries to recruit Adam into their effort to crush demons, he rejects the invite; however, they gift him weapons that are designed to kill and send demons back to the underworld. DemonCredit: Pixabay Public Domain 
  • Adam spends the 19th and 20th centuries trying to survive while fighting off the occasional demon or two. Then the 21st century arrives and circumstances develop that bring Adam’s existence to the attention of Naberius, the Prince of Demons in the form of a well-to-do billionaire Charles Wessex. Naberius orders his minions to find and capture “the monster,” believing he holds the secret to reanimating corpses. With an army of the soulless animated corpses, Naberius can provide host bodies for demons still trapped in the underworld.
  • Adam finds himself back in the hands of the Gargoyles again, but as a prisoner, but only briefly. Demons attack the Gargoyle fortress and Adam must help defeat the attackers. Eventually, the demons capture the Queen and Adam must go and rescue her.
  • Adam, by following the Demon Prince, learns of the plot to reanimate the dead and use those carcasses as hosts for the demons. Even without the demon element, Adam is not about to let that happen.
  • Adam warns the Gargoyles of the plot; however, the so called good guys want Adam destroyed along with Victor’s journal that provides the road map for re-animated the dead. Most of the Gargoyles still consider Adam a monster, not a man; all except the Queen.
  • Adam eventually makes his escape and, in a cleaver cat and mouse game, leads the Gargoyles to the Demon Prince’s Wessex Institute; where they find the real baddies.
  • We have some great battles between the Gargoyles and demons/demon angels; great special effects.
  • {Big Spoiler Alert} Adam tries to battle the Prince but loses. The Prince tries to have one of his minion possess Adam’s body, but it fails; Adam has a soul. Adam is rescued by Leonore. He retrieves his weapons and says adios to the Gargoyles. Adam sees himself differently now that he knows he has a soul; he decides to call himself Frankenstein as a term of endearment to the person who gave him life. Big Frank goes on his own quest to rid the world of demons and protect the human race.

I, Frankenstein-2

According to the creator of the story and the producers of the movie, there has been interest in developing a sequel or prequel to this movie. The biggest problem in the decision has been the less than desired box office success. So whether or not we will ever see another episode is probably a bit doubtful unless it is a for Cable, Online or DVD market.

It’s unfortunate that the first weeks of its showing were underwhelming, because it is a good film; and, it has a lot of potential for follow-on stories; even if Big Frank is only a co-staring character with some other literary heroes or beings from mythology.

So if you are a graphic novel fan and the idea of an updated heroic version of Frankenstein sounds appealing, check out this flick. You should be able to find it on Redbox, Pay-Per-View Cable, or even your local library. I always like to remind readers that many public libraries will order the movie for you if they don’t have it on their shelf. You might have to wait awhile, but it’s worth it and it’s free.