Review: Victor Frankenstein

victor-frankenstein-McAvoy-Radcliffe

DF-03663 – James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe star as Victor Frankenstein and his friend and assistant Igor, in VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN, a dynamic and thrilling twist on a legendary tale.

I rented this movie last weekend.

I do NOT regret doing so.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD

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The movie was eye candy from the first scene. The only misgiving I had was, given how some of the elements were depicted (visualizing anatomical drawings over people and animals, and Victor’s ability to kick ass), was that this was going to follow a similar formula to Robert Downey, Jr.’s version of Sherlock Holmes. Don’t get me wrong; I love those movies. I just didn’t want this to be a riff on them.

It was not.

This was pleasingly, refreshingly, and surprisingly a very well done reworking of Mary Shelley’s classic horror of the new Prometheus. We get the story from Igor’s perspective (a character I’ve learned was not IN the book but was created by the motion picture industry).

I like that Igor was presented as (SPOILER) an intelligent, talented, self-educated physician who just happened to have a very large, malforming cyst rather than being a true hunchback. One thing Daniel Radcliffe excels at is portraying an intelligent, humble, loyal character rescued from an abusive situation.

Victor Frankenstein, as portrayed by James McAvoy, is quite the character, as well. He is not evil, but he is a genius… and quite mad; passionately so. I must admit, McAvoy can play mad boy to the hilt. (My fellow Girl Genius fans will get the “mad boy” reference.) Igor sees his madness, worries about his friend/savior, even tries to convince him to stop, step back, and reconsider the boundaries about to be crossed. In the end, loyalty to his friend wins out; and Victor’s madness and passion are so fervent, neither he nor this viewer could avoid getting swept up in them.

crazy

One of my favorite scenes is when Victor and Igor get piss drunk on whiskey while they design the “monster” and how to make it viable. At one point, Igor asks, “Why a flat head?” Victor’s response is an enthusiastic, “Because I LIKE it!”

We are even given enough sparingly revealed back story on Victor to let us understand and, to a point, sympathize with what drove him to this course. The moment I saw who was cast as his father (Charles Dance), I thought, Well, this can’t be good.

Overall, I found the movie Victor Frankenstein to be well written, well acted, and visually stunning.

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