Strahovski and the rest of the cast–including Bill Nighy as its big baddie–are earnest in their efforts here, delivering over-the-top dialogue with commitment and conviction. But still I, Frankenstein feels lifeless. Which is strange as many of its key pieces work fine. The action scenes are imaginative and full of solid CG effects, including demons and gargoyles in fiery mid-air brawls. The mythology–as goofy as it sounds–is intriguing. The graphics are pretty good, even though they dont match battlefield 4 hacks And yet the final result is underwhelming, and I suspect it’s because the world is never really grounded.
The most emotionally honest moment of the movie comes when Adam explains this holy war to an incredulous Dr. Wade. She politely begins to suggest that as a reanimated corpse he may have brain damage. But then a demons burst onto the scene, prompting her to cry out, “Oh shit!” This exclamation is the movie’s most believable moment. I, Frankenstein would have done well to weave this thread throughout the film. A bit more of this kind of humor offered through a comic-relief/sidekick who was struggling to believe everything going on around them could have been a much-needed stand-in for the audience. We follow an inhuman monster without a soul. He crosses paths with shape-shifting demons and gargoyles engaged in a war over the future of humanity, determining whether we live, or die horribly. But for all the talk of humans, the city where the film is mainly set is weirdly devoid of them. This speaks to what I, Frankenstein so sorely lacks: a human connection. The story of a monster forced to discover who he is–man or beast–is a promising start point, but Adam is so dour, so glowering that there’s little to connect to.