I, Frankenstein

I, Frankenfurter.
"In the battle between good and evil, an immortal holds the key."

Hello friends, welcome to Tagline's Terrible Tuesday, the second Tuesday out of the month where without fail I will deliver to you a movie that is a pile of hot garbage. With that end in mind, today I will be talking about I, Frankenstein, possibly one of the dumbest movies I've ever seen, and a true enigma of film making. I, Frankenstein is at its core, several positions displaced from even a mediocre movie. It is a cinematic train wreck, in which there are no survivors, only a twisted amalgam of blood, fire and metal, amidst moody camera filters and a world submerged in an endless night. Starring Aaron Eckhart as the I, Frankenstein (and with a face only marginally less fucked up than the end of The Dark Knight) a monster stitched together from much shorter men than I remember in the book, and not possessing a soul. After being rejected by his creator, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, the monster kills Frankenstein's wife, is pursued by the doctor to the arctic, and watches as the dipshit freezes to death (this is the stuff that happens in the novel). After all this stuff, which is covered in a voiced over montage lasting roughly 30 seconds, the bullshit story of THIS movie starts, leaving behind a book that I think everyone can agree is a better narrative than this steaming heap. Let's go a little bit deeper shall we? Get your shovels folks.

She seems so mad because she remembers being in LOTR.
As Frankenstein's monster is burying the doctor, he is attacked by a bunch of demons. This is totally random, but now okay we know demons exist. Moments later we discover that living gargoyles also exist, okay I guess, and they kill the demons and save the monster, who they dub Adam, because they're super creative that way. Apparently the gargoyles are like... a flight of angels left on earth by the Archangel Michael to protect mankind and kill demons, who are fucking just all over the place if this movie is any indicator. Despite being angelic, the gargoyles demonstrate themselves to be massive dildos right off the bat, and Adam is of course wicked tormented and shit so he has to go storm off into the wilderness to listen to Linkin Park and train with his silver beating sticks so he can become the ultimate demon fighter guy, but only for himself, not for angels or whatever, because he doesn't care what you think. You guys still with me here? So keeping with the great pacing so far, another 200 years pass, so it can be the present, though that seems mostly irrelevant as we rarely see humans in this movie, except in evil demon guy's hi-tech lab I guess. Anyway in a plot more or less identical to the plot of Van Helsing (and really do we want to be copying that movie?) some arch-demon guy name Naberius is planning to reanimate a bunch of dead bodies because then they can be possessed because they have no souls. They never explain how all the demons already on earth are in bodies, but I guess that's a lot to expect from this movie. Anyway somehow Adam and also Frankenstein's journal are the key to Naberius (played by Bill Nighy, let's get that Underworld crew back together) completing his dastardly plot. Also that other guy who played Raze from Underworld is here. Actually he wrote this movie, and some graphic novels? It makes sense, because this movie uses the same blue and black gloom filter the Underworld movies do.

Those movies were not good, but they don't take the matter of sucking seriously if I'm comparing them to THIS film. The whole thing is a boring, loud, stupid disaster from start to finish. The plot structure is very much like someone took a standard plotted movie, diced it into pieces, mixed them up in a hat, and then drew them out at random. Climactic explosion filled battle? Beginning ten minutes of the movie. Basic premise and character establishment? Third act of the film. Tragic death of characters you like and even know who they are? About maybe let's say twelve minutes into the film. I don't want to say that a dog could plot a better movie, but I mean... maybe if it were a really smart dog. I was left sort of wondering who this movie was supposed to appeal to and then thought maybe 12 year olds, but I think it would be more precisely like... 12 year olds in 2003. I don't actually think there's anyone left who would watch this movie, and not find it both boring and dumb.

Bill Nighy is a pretty cool demon prince I guess.
One of my favorite aspects of the whole thing though is just how overwrought and ludicrous everything that happens is. Adam is basically a poster boy for existential angst, the demons are all cackling card-holding villains, and the gargoyles are nearly all bellowing warriors shouting about their holy duties and sacred vows to the near exclusion of any other topic. Yvonne Strahovsky's character is essentially the only one in the movie who I imagine doesn't have all her lines written in all caps. I take it as a true sign of the endurance and skill of all these actors that they could deliver all their lines with straight faces, because there is some stuff being said in this movie that makes Twilight look subtle in retrospect. There were a number of moments where someone would say something that the writers clearly thought was cool, and I would feel the urge to recoil in both disgust and disappointment, like you might if your dog was eating his own poop, and seemed really pleased with himself about it. As a sort of capstone to the whole ridiculous experience, the movie ends with a monologue where he repeatedly teases the title, before finally just owning it and actually going "I... Frankenstein...!!!!" I had thought at that point that this movie couldn't surprise me anymore, but I was just... I was wrong. The creator said he'd originally planned a bunch of Underworld crossovers, and I mean, I'm just so sad that never happened. Gosh what a world that would have been.

That's it for today! Join me again on Thursday for a markedly better movie, though that being said it could still be pretty bad while fulfilling that criterion! In the meantime enjoy this:

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