Movie: Victor Frankenstein
My Rating: 3 stars
I didn’t rent this movie for the story. I’m pretty much bored to tears by the story of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster at this point. And, I was never very impressed with the novel to begin with. But, I’ll never say no to the opportunity to watch James McAvoy, and to a lesser extent, Daniel Radcliffe, doing their acting thing. Radcliffe is darling, and I usually enjoy just about every role he plays. But, I really love James McAvoy. He’s so charismatic that he makes every character he plays just fascinating. And, he’s really on fire in this movie, playing the half-insane Dr. Frankenstein. I can’t get enough of a good crazed-eyed, open mouthed laugh.
This movie gives us the classic Frankenstein story, but told from the point of view of the doctor and his assistant Igor, rather than the monster. This version doesn’t track the experiences of a freshly resurrected creature, with all his confusion and terror. Instead, this story attempts to examine why a person (Frankenstein) would be motivated to create life out of spare (or stolen) body parts, and then why anyone (Igor) would ever agree to help him build this unholy creation. And, I think the writers stumbled upon a pretty convincing theory in combining the doctor’s genuine desire to make a medical breakthrough, and his magnetic charisma. Add in a healthy dose of moral obligation for being rescued from dire circumstances, and poor, little Igor didn’t stand a chance of avoiding entanglement.
This movie is alright. The story is nothing too new or exciting. It really doesn’t cover much new ground at all. But, the acting is pretty great. Daniel Radcliffe plays a delightfully baffled ingénue. And James McAvoy is an infinitely charming madman. Of course, there’s a love interest thrown into the mix for good measure, but it’s hardly necessary to the story. Go ahead and see this movie if you’ve got tons of time on your hands and no good ideas of how to fill it. But, I don’t think you really need to go out of your way to track this movie down. Do make the effort, however, if like me, you have a bit of a thing for James McAvoy. He is effervescent in this role.