Film Review – Victor Frankenstein (2015)

Victor Frankenstein

Title – Victor Frankenstein (2015)

Director – Paul McGuigan (Push)

Cast – James McAvoy, Daniel Radcliffe, Jessica Brown Findlay

Plot – Taken in by unhinged yet genius medical practitioner Victor Frankenstein (McAvoy, the newly minted Igor (Radcliffe) begins working with the driven doctor on a project that could see the laws of life and death abolished forever, but to what detriment?

“It’s hard to judge cruelty when you’ve never known kindness”

Review by Eddie on 2/09/2016

It’s hard to say exactly who thought Victor Frankenstein was a good idea, but my suggestion would be that they’re highly unlikely to have offers rolling across their table in the near future as Paul McGuigan’s reimagining of Mary Shelley’s classic tale is on par if ever so slightly more tolerable than its recent near namesake I, Frankenstein, which is to say, Victor Frankenstein is most certainly dead on arrival.

There was never a hope that even the most electrified jolt of movie lightning was ever going to breathe life into this far too serious and downright muddled wannabe blockbuster event with American Ultra writer Max Landis delivering a ham fisted script that re-jigs Victor Frankenstein’s scientific exploits with hunchbacked Igor into a tale of circus freaks, animal parts and terrible romantic subplots and with McGuigan’s direction lacking any of the energy he bought to his previous films Push and Lucky Number Slevin, Victor Frankenstein’s 110 minute runtime feels like a lifetime of mood lighting and damp grungy sets.

There’s effort to shock the movie into becoming entertaining in brief moments of action, like a circus escape and a college lecture gone wrong but with those scenes failing to ignite the film along with a misguided and lacking finale, Victor Frankenstein’ hopes lay as dormant as a long forgotten cadaver.

Another huge problem with this overly glum and lifeless creation is the pairing of James McAvoy as the charmless Victor and Daniel Radcliffe (horribly miscast) as the charisma free circus gimp turned Igor as the two actors struggle to forge any type of on screen chemistry together and had the film somehow managed to get these two characters to gel in a reasonable fashion, there’s a small chance this trashy piece of Hollywood filmmaking gone wrong could’ve become a cult favourite or at the very least a so bad its good oddity.

For the many varied fans of Shelley’s original story, Victor Frankenstein should be avoided at all costs and while there are brief flashes of an entertaining reimaging on show here, McGuigan’s film is as a whole a thoroughly unenjoyable creation that has neither the life within nor the heart to work on any level. A deserved box office dud, Victor Frankenstein is unquestionably not alive.

1 set of lungs out of 5

17 responses to “Film Review – Victor Frankenstein (2015)

  1. Is it a pre-requisite nowadays in the cinema to convey intensity and seriousness by always looking brooding? I do like James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe but that photo of them seems more pertinent to a photo shoot in some fashion magazine for cologne. Once again, I understand that it is hard to be original but how many times can we tell this story? Personally, the only Frankenstein movie I enjoyed (I was deeply disappointed with Kenneth Branagh’s outing) was one that aired on PBS in 1973, “Frankenstein- The True Story.” I don’t know if it is available but I do recommend it.

  2. >sigh<
    This from the guy who directed Sherlock.
    Seriously can't think of anyone who's done a good adaptation of Frankenstein.
    That being said, Bernard Rose's updated version is pretty freaky.

  3. it seemed like a good idea but honestly this film is just all over the place – sadly I don’t think there has been a good version of the film since the 1990’s .. but with Tom Cruise penned to be in the mummy – wolfman and Dracula monster series, no doubt he will pop up again

  4. I really did like this movie. It wasn’t amazing, but it was worth the time spent and the price of admission. I knew when we got there, however, that clearly it wasn’t going to be that way with most people. We saw it opening weekend and there were only 4 other people in the auditorium.

    I should watch it again sometime and see if it holds up to a second viewing.

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