Victor Frankenstein Review (Fantasy/Horror)

Victor Frankenstein CoverSynopsis: Told from Igor’s perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Viktor Von Frankenstein, and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man – and the legend – we know today.

Tagline: Meet your makers.

Release Date: November 25, 2015 | MPAA Rating: PG-13 | Coolthulhus Earned: 4

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay

Victor Frankenstein‘s Official Trailer.


Victor Frankenstein Review

I’m finding that I have a habit of judging movies by their posters, and coming off the worst for it.  I did it with Crimson Peak and ended up regretting it. And I’ve done it again with Victor Frankenstein. I’m disappointed that I put off watching the film as long as I had. Victor Frankenstein was a surprisingly engaging film that teased the viewer into thinking it was going to go in a different direction a couple of times. While it was going over ground that’s been paced out what seems like hundreds of times before, it managed to still keep it interesting. This is not a movie where the main storyline is the monster, but is instead, as the title says, all about the creator himself. And I can’t find much to criticize about it.

James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe play off of each other perfectly. James McAvoy enchanted me. I’ve seen him in a few other things, and he’s been okay. But as Victor Frankenstein? He radiated a dangerous, charming insanity that made it almost impossible to look away. This is the role I think I’ll forever associate with him. Not the limp imitation of Professor X he plays in the X-Men reboots.  As for Radcliffe: My brain is still struggling to break Radcliffe away from his titular role as a brave young wizard. This is primarily due to the fact that he rarely stars in anything I have any desire to see since the Harry Potter films. Still, his role as Igor showed that he definitely does have the potential to stick around as an actor for quite a while.

Most of my favorite parts in Victor Frankenstein involve the two of them directly interacting. The rest of it just seems to fade in comparison to what we see when the two of them are on-screen together.

Oh, and there’s Andrew Scott. Scott, forever known to me as the crazy psychopath Moriarity from the Sherlock Holmes series, doesn’t exactly stretch his boundaries in his role as Inspector Turpin. Still, he’s a fun crazy to watch on screen, and when Frankenstein and Turpin face off, you can’t help but cheer both of them on a bit.

The pacing is great. The dialogue is fine, but was a little cliche and overly-dramatic occasionally. I loved the opening of the film and the ending almost equally. I don’t think they needed to have left it open for a potential second film like they did, but I guess that’s Hollywood for you. The colors were rich. The castle scene was exquisitely moody.

Now, that’s not to say Victor Frankenstein is perfect. The filmmakers definitely lost themselves in the potential drama of the situation with some of the shots, and did it the worse for that. One can only thank whichever applicable deity they believe in that they didn’t give in to the urge to do some of the grander shots in slow motion.  There are moments that are a bit too typical of this sort of movie and tread a bit too far into the comedy side of things.  And the leading lady (not so much leading as bit part, but still) is… well, she’s nothing. I wish they’d given her some sort of personality. Maybe they feared it would take away from the chemistry between Frankenstein and Igor?

Overall, while it probably won’t be a movie I re-watch, I definitely enjoyed myself. Victor Frankenstein was a pleasant surprise and one of the better non-horror movies I’ve seen in a while.

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