Perhaps the Frankenstein name is indeed cursed, there hasn't been a
great Frankenstein based movie in years, even decades. From last year's
I, Frankenstein to Van Helsing who only has it as subplot, all have met
mediocre fate. Now armed with robust acting power and visual that oozes
Victorian era, also a bit or horror and action attached somewhere,
another rendition shares the same exact fate; cinematic tediousness.
A slight modification to the narrative is made, just like Sherlock the
movie is narrated from the sidekick's perspective, in this case Igor's
(Daniel Radcliffe). Aside from that, there's barely anything new that
hasn't been done in similar or better fashion. To its credit, it's not
utterly terrible in term of presentation, in fact the visual is rather
nice. It's quaintly dark and electric version of last decade
metropolis, Tesla would approve.
James McAvoy as the titular Viktor really tries hard on establishing
the character. Given the stale material, he still manages to squeeze
some emotional scenes as well as a good chemistry with Radcliffe in a
bromantic kind of way. Andrew Scott from Moriarty fame, now plays the
role of Inspector Turpin. He's the polar opposite of Viktor,
conservative yet equally clever and ambitious.
Unfortunately, the far too familiar plot fails to produce any thrill,
the strong acting prowess ends up rehearsing the same routine of mad
scientist's banter. There's screaming, philosophical argument, faux
science and slight mental abuse by the two leads. It's a lot of noise
of little dramatic effect. Not that the script is bad in any way, it
has occasional witty lines although any hint of humor or charm is
muffled by the overly melancholy tone.
At some points, the movie tries to dabble in horror, action and even
romance subplot. The atmosphere is already primed for thriller, but the
shocking abomination is ironically timid and unmemorable. Action
consists of a few scenes of slow motions repetition. Despite the
production offering distractions, the main story line is very
straightforward and streamlined, and sadly also predictable.
For all the star and flair, though they might be mildly amusing, the
end product is a medium so lacking of life.