"Victor Frankenstein" stars Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay, and Andrew Scott. Released on November 25, 2015, the film focuses on the relationship between Igor and Frankenstein as they try to accomplish their goal of creating life.
The film is directed by Paul McGuigan, who also directed films such as The Reckoning, Lucky Number Slevin, and Push. It is based on the 1818 novel, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. There have been numerous amounts of adaptations of the classic monster story, ranging from television, novels, video games, and film. I haven't actually seen a lot of versions of Frankenstein, but I did see a few of them that reflect on Frankenstein's monster himself. The last Frankenstein film I've seen was the 2014 film adaptation of the graphic novel, I, Frankenstein. Unfortunately, it didn't go the way it was planned. So now we have another film adaptation of the Frankenstein story that looks to improve over the failure of I, Frankenstein, but by how much?
The film's story is told from the perspective of Frankenstein's assistant, Igor, played by Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe. Radcliffe has come a long way since he found success in the Harry Potter film series. His performance as the hunchbacked assistant was pretty good. He portrays the character as a human being and not just a creepy disfigured sidekick who says, "Yes Master" all the time. James McAvoy portrays the title character, a scientist who has a weird goal of recreating life out of dead body parts (Gross). I loved McAvoy in the X-Men franchise as the young Charles Xavier, but his performance in this film does feel like a bit of a step down for me, considering how good of an actor he is. There were times where he tried to mimic the corky humor that Robert Downy Jr. provided for his character Tony Stark from the Iron Man films. It somehow worked at some points, but it wound up being forgettable. The set pieces were pretty impressive and the visuals were clever, yet disgusting at the same time. I liked the fact that they showed how internal body muscles work with some sketches, but I wished they would've explored that a bit more, along with the relationship between Frankenstein and Igor. Their relationship wasn't that very strong to consider believable in terms of the screenplay. I would have liked the film a bit better if they would have explored a little bit of that relationship during their quest. That way, the audience would be able to care more about the main characters. The pacing in the film was mostly consistent, although there were some scenes that were a bit slow. The film does express the consequences of playing God. The story can be a bit predictable for those who are familiar with Frankenstein.
Overall, "Victor Frankenstein" should've realized that some things are better off dead than alive. It's a tad improvement over I, Frankenstein, but with its decent performances, a weak storyline, and the lack of character development, the film failed to provide what made Frankenstein a classic monster story to begin with, making this one of my least favorite films of 2015. I'm not trying to be too mean with this film. In fact, I liked what they're trying to do, but if they were to fix some of the things I mentioned, it would've been a much better film adaptation of the Frankenstein story. If you like the main actors in the film and/or are in a mood for a generic science fiction treat, I would say give it a shot. Otherwise, it's better off as a television film that you would find on the SyFy network. Maybe Victor should rethink his career as a scientist?