Victor Frankenstine (2015) Review

The first words spoken in Victor Frankenstein are “You know the story,” and anyone who simply mutters “Yep,” gets up, and heads back to the box office for a refund will have saved a couple of precious hours of their lives

Written by Max Landis (Chronicle, American Ultra) and directed by Paul McGuigan (Lucky Number Slevin),  This is the classic tale you all know but from the perspective of Igor’s eyes (it’s not called Igor, presumably, because another film got there first there first), in a version of the story that doesn’t even show the creation of the monster until the final sequence.
There is no character named Igor in Mary Shelley’s novel, however, nor does Victor Frankenstein have any sort of lab assistant, hunchbacked or otherwise. So Landis has only the representation from earlier movies to riff on, along with his imagination.For one thing, Landis apparently assumed that nobody actually wants to sit through an entire movie about a demented, deformed lackey. Consequently, he reimagines Igor (Daniel Radcliffe) as a brilliant yet at times simple man who works as a clown/freak in the circus but spends his off hours obsessively studying human anatomy.When the object of his affection, trapeze artist Lorelei (Jessica Brown Findlay), falls during a performance and is gravely injured, passing spectator Dr. Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy) rushes to her aid, but can do nothing; it’s Igor who knows how to get her breathing again. Impressed, Frankenstein frees Igor from his involuntary servitude and makes him is assistant in his experiments to reanimate dead tissue.

He also immediately drains the enormous abscess that was Igor’s “hump” and puts him in a back brace, transforming him from a sorry, stooped wreck into… well, into Harry Potter, more or less, except with magic derived exclusively from lazy screenwriting (A single glance at a patient in a hospital bed inspires a long list of medicines she needs, that sort of nonsense.)

Their work goes slowly though and the movie’s primary antagonist is not the legendary monster but a very ordinary police inspector (Andrew Scott) who believes Frankenstein killed a man helping Igor escape the circus.

Sound exciting? As it happens, Inspector Turpin is the most inventive and entertaining part of Victor Frankenstein, despite the character’s dull functionality (he also represents Faith in opposition to the heroes’ Science); Scott’s almost robotically intense performance provides the film with occasional jolts of electricity during the long, long wait for the lightning bolt that brings the big guy to life in the climax.

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McAvoy plays the title character as if he’s hoping he’ll become Robert Downey Jr. and this movie will launch an equivalent to Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes franchise (ground is carefully laid for a possible sequel). Radcliffe can’t really do much of anything with his blandly likable version of Igor, who spends most of the movie either throwing switches (i.e., the character’s usual job) or weakly protesting Frankenstein’s lack of professional ethics.

An early sequence involving a prototype for the monster, fashioned primarily from a chimpanzee, sees McGuigan generate some visual excitement, The big presentation is in hall with around six or seven spectators including the most useless decorative female lead in a 2015 movie ….. Harsh, but its true

The film isnt all bad though, it actually starts out rather well having some twists and intriguing moments. Its roughly around the time the Chimpanzee experiment fails that this film also begins to fail.

It just loses its pace as the bromance derails slowly.. Igor is working up the courage to tell Victor off, but after Victor gets a slap from his father, Igor naturally just lets things slide and the two get drunk and design a monster together (Insert do you wanna build a monster song here)

The two part ways as the police inspector finds a way to get a Warren to raid Victors Lab, Igor goes to his knew love and Victor heads to Scotland as the plot needed a castle at some point.

Chaos ensues and we only get the monster for about five minutes or so who is easily defeated. Once again the two go their separate ways and soon the credits start to roll, just as i am looking at my watch wondering where the last two hours went

Victor may say that all life is precious which is ironic as i felt i has wasted mine by watching this film.

So out of a possible five stars,  Victor Frankenstein earns:


It should have been a unique spin on a well known tale that provides new insight to the genre, but the monster that is this film just doesn’t come to life at all sadly. So grab your torch and pitchfork and chase this film to the depths to which it came.

What did you think of this film?

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