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Victor Frankenstein review

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Victor Frankenstein


20th Century Fox


Pg -13 110 min



Way back in 1910 first silent film featuring dr. Frankenstein and his monster was released aND then in 1931 Universal Pictures, Boris Karloff and the 19th century novel by Mary Shelley all met in a perfect storm to create the most famous monster film of all time. FRANKENSTEIN. Over t last hundred years that title has taken on a few modifiers, young, 1970, Andy Warhol's, Bride of, Revenge of, the Evil of, and now Victor have all been part of the many remakes to date.


The big guy has met Jesse James, Abbott and Costello, and the Wolfman among others and been been portrayed by Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Peter Boyle and Robert De Niro to name just a few.


Now it's 2015, and just missing a Halloween opening by a few weeks we now have the latest entry entitled VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN. Remake? Well not exactly. As we know the prequel is all the rage these days so this, friends, is a little tale of how Igor (Daniel Radcliffe )and the good doctor (James McAvoy) began their partnership and started down the path of reanimating the dead.


That means I fear I must issue a spoiler alert because this story has almost nothing to do with the familiar tale told by Mary Shelley all those years ago. To be quite honest I found this tale to be refreshing the original for about the first 20 minutes.


Here the character of Victoire Frankenstein is the same lovable lunatic we remember obsessed with the idea of creating life and challenging his nemesis God Almighty. Igor on the other hand, was little more than a monosyllabic henchman in the 1930s but today he is an erudite and educated assistant to the doctor, well actually medical student at this time, who transforms his life. You might remember Gene Wilder's Dr Frankenstein who once said to Marty Feldman's Igor that he could probably fix that hump? Well here he does just that and the the character goes from mistreated circus freak to esteemed colleague in a very short time. Oh yes and they've given him a love interest.


So without giving you way too much of the plot, let me tell you that as this new information unfolds, the film starts to head south fairly quickly.


Now this might sound a little strange but one of the things that started bothering me was everything, the sets the characters, the experiments, the protagonist and the antagonist were all just a little bit too creepy. I know I know this is a Frankenstein movie right? But by creepy I mean, grimy, ugly and devoid of charisma all around. The scene in which the doctor repairs the hump will probably turn your stomach.


Remember this is a tale of the doctor's earlier experiments which will be the precursor of his later work with humans.


One similar theme is the battle between the very strict religious beliefs in 19th century England and science. The detective here has been charged with capturing a Hunchback (we know who that is) who has been wrongly accused of murder. The detectives neurotic infatuation is fueled by his puritanical faiith and mental trauma caused by the recent loss of his wife.


Everything soon devolves into an action thriller that culminates in a noisy climax. But remember, this is a prequel and the very end is tee'd up for a sequel which we all assume will begin at the beginning (if I may quote the absolutely unrelated SOUNDS OF MUSIC) of the classic book. Unless, of course, this one tanks.


VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN begins with a clever and intriguing premise but slowly crumbles into the same old rubbish.













Westside Steve Simmons

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  • 1 year later...

VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN begins with a clever and intriguing premise but slowly crumbles into the same old rubbish.


Caught this on HBO last nite... figured there's be a review around here somewhere...


Close to the same take, but I thought it held together much longer before cracks appeared after fleeing to the "benefactor". Then it finally crashed and burned when it turned into a WWE, 2-on-1 match at the end where everyone, but the characters "the monster" directly attacks, die in one of the bigger Rube Goldberg machines in the history of cinema.


Even the anatomical sketch overlays that seemed so clever at the beginning of the movie were irritating in that sequence. But until then I was surprised at how much in enjoyed it.


For me most of the glue throughout was provided by Radcliffe, who I thought was brilliant as "Igor", and McIvoy, who I thought was merely damn good, as the obsessed good Doctor. Radciffe's performance left me really wanting to see his flick about the FBI infiltrator of a skinhead group.


I even enjoyed the one-dimensional Detective, played by the actor who played Col.Smith in HBO's John Adams.


The love interest? Meh, but the wife enjoyed seeing Downton Abbey's Cybil alive again...


I'd go B...

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