I saw Victor Frankenstein at Wembley Cineworld before seeing The Prodigy live at Wembley Arena. I have to say there was far more spark at the concert than in this film.
It is the story of a crazy doctor creating a monster. The doctor is extremely eccentric as you would imagine. He is trying to create life from bits and pieces he has collected from different animals. The animals are dead well before the doctor has got his crazed hands on them. The use of human parts is well beyond the law and so the doctor needs to convince the university that he is not mad but can play the part of God.
A nameless hunchback mocked by the public and his circus comrades is the docs partner. The doctor rescues him from the cruelty that the circus brings. In doing so a circus member dies, which starts a murder investigation. He cures him of his ailment and sees a genius beyond the clown makeup and scraggly look. The hunchback devours knowledge from medical books and becomes well educated although unable to escape the circus. His knowledge saves the love of his life Lorelie.
Doctor Frankenstein brings the hunchback on board and names him Igor. Between them they create a monkey monster and bring it to life. This monster only has a short life as there is not enough electricity to keep it alive. A rich aristocrat puts the money on the table so that the doctors dream can be brought true and human life created. This brings about the question from Jurassic park just because you can, does it mean you should? Has the doctor thought about the consequences of this creation. The story is no different from all the other Frankenstein films and disaster is never far away.
James McAvoy stands out from the rest despite the performance being just a little bit Hammy. His character is tense. Insane, eccentric, kind, determined and full of faults. The performance is energetic and he is perfectly cast. Unfortunately the story and the rest of the cast do not live up to this famous story.
Daniel Radcliffe plays Igor the hunchback who is saved from the circus to become the genius’ apprentice. Radcliffe can’t quite pull off the London accent and looks extremely uncomfortable in this role. The love story between Igor and Lorelie has no spark at all and doesn’t fit in with the story. I have not watched the Harry Potter series, but I have seen Kill Your Darlings and Radcliffe is a far better actor than his performance here. It is a shame as the pairing should create such a great film, but it doesn’t work.
The murder investigation is headed by a detective who believes in a creator. The doctors actions are against everything the detective believes. This leads to an investigation clouded by belief rather than fact. The Doctor and the detective are antagonists, one an atheist who believes only the weak willed believe in God, the other who thinks life should not be meddled with and only God can and should create life. I think this is an interesting idea and one that could work better. The performance from Andrew Scott is good and the contrasting views add another element to the story.
The film is worth a watch if you are a McAvoy fan and if you like ham. It is definitely not a classic and having been made into film so many times it really needed to be outstanding.
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