Trailer: Victor Frankenstein (2015)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay
Directed by: Paul McGuigan
Runtime: 1 hr 50 mins
Genre(s): Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Review by: John Dixon
Spoiler Free Review: (read if you have NOT seen this movie)
A re-imagining of the classic horror filled tale of Doctor Frankenstein and his assistant? Yes, his assistant (Daniel Radcliffe) takes center stage here not to upstage the obvious side character that actually is the main character. I’m talking about Doctor Frankenstein folks! There are many tales of Frankenstein, this is one of the many lower on the list. Now, if you’re really wanting a movie on Igor, then I think you’ve found your movie!
Spoiler Filled Review: (read only if you HAVE seen it and don’t care about spoilers)
Before I get started, I felt that I needed to give you a brief back story of the Igor character. Did you know that his first appearance in Media was not a movie at all? Not even a book. It was the song “Monster Mash”. You know you’ve heard it. Unless you sleep the entire month of October. The first Frankenstein movie did not contain Igor. The Bride of Frankenstein didn’t either. He had an assistant but his name wasn’t Igor. I will get more into his name later. Lets talk about another name real quick. Victor Frankenstein wasn’t in the first film’s either. In those movies his name was Henry. Just so we are straight here, Victor was the original name for the good doctor. It was a total Bruce Banner / David Banner moment. Which is why I’m guessing they threw in the easter egg of Victor’s “older” brother Henry. The best part of this movie came from its originality and the particular path it took as a story.
You can’t get any better than James McAvoy as Doctor Frankenstein. There were times that he took it to a 10 when it should have been a 9 but he melded the Mad Scientist character with the tortured soul character. Brilliant. Daniel Radcliffe was fine as well as anybody else in the movie. I didn’t have any “acting” complaints from him. Now his character? We will touch on that in a bit. The character of Lorelei I had felt was going to be a damsel in distress character. I thought she would mirror the Elizabeth character that was fiance to Henry Frankenstein in ’31 but this time around possibly fiance to Igor since he was getting a major overhaul. The Barnaby character played by Daniel Mays was convincing but again, the writing didn’t help his cause.
The plot was something that I thought was promising. I remember hearing about this movie before it even filmed. I was excited to see what could happen when they took the story from the point of view of Igor, Frankenstein’s trusty assistant. By the time it made it to theaters though the name had changed most likely because Igor wouldn’t pull in audiences like a trustworthy Movie title such as Frankenstein. Maybe it was named that the whole time, I’m not sure but from the way Radcliffe had described the story, you would think the same thing. Igor taking the name of another man? Maybe this was another Easter egg to the fact that Igor really wasn’t Igor in the earlier classic movies. The Name of this movie should not have been Victor Frankenstein yet it was and they tried to throw the brother connection in there to make this movie tilt more towards his salvation. It was more so Igor’s film and rightfully so, since it was his come up. It made more since to have Igor be a savant when it came to medicine. Why else would Frankenstein choose to have him aid? To get dead bodies John. Oh yeah. There’s always that. They may want to reconsider re-classifying this movie. This isn’t a horror film in any sort of way.
I think Doctor Victor Frankenstein… wait. He never graduated. He wasn’t a Doctor. Did they call him doctor? Anyway, maybe he could have become a great chiropractor. Seriously he fixed a 18-year-old back disorder in the matter of minutes. With only a slam to a pillar and a back brace he had lying around. Oh, and he totally could start-up his own YouTube channel siphoning (by mouth) Cyst’s from People’s backs that are so large that they think they are hunchbacked. So much ridiculous writing. The Hunchback gets the Pretty girl to fall in love with him how? How about how young Igor scaled the side of a mountain after being in bed for like a week and he did it all with no problem! Igor the 1st body encased in Ice? What was the purpose of that? Why did he steal the eyes? Was this to make Igor not trust him. I just don’t know. The crazy Religious Police detective was a one note pony. Would he really gather a bunch of Officers and try to break down this guy’s door when he didn’t have a warrant? Nobody thought to check that out? He was more focused on the fact that he felt he was doing god’s job in this thing. I get that, but c’mon give him some proper reasoning. He was not smart. Can we talk about the “Monster”? My, my that thing was hideous. Not hideous as in scary. But hideous as in this is what they put their best foot forward with. Listen, if you make any form of a Frankenstein movie. Your “Monster” has to be good. This thing was a joke. Lasted about 4 minutes of screen time too. Boo! The monkey abomination was cooler than the actual Frankenstein monster. There! I said it!
I didn’t like this movie. James McAvoy carried my torch, but I carried the pitchfork. Mainly because it could have been so much more than what it turned out to be. I went in thinking that it was going to be the Frankenstein story told through the eyes of Igor. Instead it started that way but got confused halfway through and didn’t have enough steam to make up its mind by the end of the film.
|Comic Book Connection||James McAvoy (Wanted, X-Men: Origins, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men: Dark Phoenix)|
|Nudity Bonus||That could have helped this movie out a bit.|
|Favorite Moment||Watching Victor work in the castle (lab). It reminded me of the classic movie.|
|Most Hated Moment||Sucking crap out of Igor’s back. Disgusting.|
|THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie||This movie reminded me of a subpar Sherlock Holmes movie for some reason. Not as good. Not even close.|
|What did my wife think of this movie?||She liked it. She thought it was good.|
|Box Office Budget||$40,000,000.00|
|How much it made Domestically||$5,775,076.00|
|Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure?||Failure|
|Did you notice?||1. Igor does actually say “Yes, Master” in the film. Monkey showcase at the school.|
|2. The movie made Worldwide: $34,227,298. Which didn’t even make its budget back.|
|3. Max Landis wrote this movie. He wrote movies like Chronicle, American Ultra, and that’s the decent stuff.|
|Rotten Tomatoes Score|
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Where to start with this movie, Well I choose this movie as a continuance of what happened in X-Men in the beginning with Erik. When watching this movie though it felt like it follows another universe line but not one I am familiar with, there are alot of holes in this film involving the characters and well their acting abilities. Something that bothered me about the character picks were there was 2 of the original X-men that existed with the classic X-Men comic line, Professor X and Beast. The rest were more modern characters. If you go back to X-Men how come the Hench men in X-Men like Mystic not really know her way around the castle? Since evidently she was there before and grew up there.
As far as acting abilities, let’s start off with the worst actors in the movie. It’s sad when a random Russian Soldier on a ship that in uncredited acts better then the guy that was playing Banshee. Dear god his acting was horrible, there were so many scenes that this “Ginger” made my skin crawl when he would open his mouth. Banshee is SCOTTISH to boot, and not once did he attempt an accent, but that’s ok because he’d probably butcher that too. One of the scenes that bothered me was when he asked Hank McCoy if he could fly this plane just really bothered me.
I’d say the best acting was done by January Jones, to me her acting never broke once, she stayed in character the whole time, but that was a tough call because Kevin Bacon did a fantabulous job portraying Sebastian Shaw, Going from German to the Campy 60’s coolness wonderful. January was able to keep the cool, cold heart with a little bit of sexiness she played a James Bond Villainous attitude very well as the White Queen has always portrayed to me.
The Story was ok, but like I said earlier not a line I am familiar with but in away I kind of liked that because it was interesting story. However when your trying to piece together other story lines like let’s say X-Men, or Wolverine Origins…you can’t really do that you can have references but then again in the X-Men post I mentioned it’s hard to compare movies due to being in the Marvel Universe. So I can’t really count off for that, But some of cheesiness that was going on with the Havok calling Hank a Bozo…a little lame.
Soundtrack not really much of one just alot of action music so that was ok.
Just think they needed to get better casting for parts or better character roles.
^—Is done doing movie reviews.
What is supposed to be the First incoming class of the X-Men team this turned out to be more of a “Origins” story for Professor X & Magneto. Which makes me wonder if this movie is pulled fromthe X-Men Origins: Magneto movie that was in development for many years. In any case this movie was good. It had many, many continuity problems but as a standalone movie it was terrific. And for the record I see this group of kids as pre-members of the X-Men team.
Writing within the continuity seems to be something that writers are incapable of doing in Hollywood today. They don’t want their “story” to be hampered by previous stories. To me it’s just laziness. In some cases it would just be a statement or a small dialogue to explain everything away. Because this is NOT being done it just seems that they don’t care. Then they hide behind the statement “this is a standalone movie and we aren’t connected to any of the other movies… sort of.”
Every one of these X-family films have had continuity and character issues. This would have been the perfect time to tie some of those up and give the fans real X-Men. But instead we get a watered down version of Bryan Singer’s X-men.
We start the continuity/character issues with Charles Xavier growing up with Raven Darkholme (Mystique). That just had me like “WTF!”. It did bring her to Magneto and explained why she walks around without clothes but that stuck out to me as bothersome. Michael Fassbender playing Magneto. Is this before or after he loses his wife & child in a fire set by an angry mob of villagers? I would have liked to have seen that included. Moira McTaggert is a CIA agent? Seriously? She will always be a Dr. to me. She is supposed to have a relationship with Charles & then fall in love with Banshee. Well, Banshee is an awkward kid so, that’s not happening. Riptide: The Hellfire member that creates tornadoes. Wow, this is something that Ghost Rider filmmakers would do. They changed his look, powers and even team. He was never a part of the Hellfire Club. His powers were to spin/rotate his body incredibly fast & able to generate Shuriken that can punch through steel. Oh, and he had white hair and did not dress in a suit. As for Azazel: Again, he was never a member of the Hellfire Club. Not even sure he knew of Sebastian Shaw. He did father Nightcrawler through an unwilling Mystique but that was never even hinted towards in the movie. (she was married to another man in Germany at that time.) His powers were teleportation but they left out his Metamorph/Bending Will/Parylization powers. Oh, and he can’t spend long periods of time on Earth. It’s really confusing to me. Did Mathew Vaughn learn to do this from Michael Bay? He borrowed his “pull a character from a hat” routine. Banshee is not Scottish. Why can’t they include the different nationalities in these characters? Is this racism in Hollywood? William Stryker is too old for being placed in the 60’s. He looks older than the Cox/Stryker in X2. This would have been shortly following the Huston/Stryker in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He aged really fast I guess. I guess Danny Huston wasn’t available. Emma Frost: The White Queen of the Hellfire Club. She was as close to her character as anyone but don’t people remember that a few years before this she was a kid helping a young Cyclops escape captivity with the help of Wolverine in his movie. Speaking of a young Cyclops. His younger Brother Havok is an older version so now he’s the older brother? Is this movie saying that the Professor knew Alex Summers before Scott? BS! Since they have made him out to be a felon then I guess this is before he attains his masters in Geophysical Science.
The acting on a whole was good. Kevin Bacon’s German accent was top notch. I really felt he was German. Even though he was a skinny version of Sebastian Shaw he did well. James McAvoy did fairly well playing Professor Xavier. Although each time he used his power he had to touch his temple. That felt forced a bit. Beast: In human form with big feet? Yes. They got that right. Was he a “pre-member” of the X-men? No, but did he build the first Cerebro? No. Not even in these movies. Professor X stated in X-Men (2000) that Magneto helped him build the Cerebro in the Mansion. I’m guessing that they made up & Magneto helped him build it and then they were enemies again? BS! Angel Salvadore: The winged girl that should have gone by Tempest. She wasn’t even created as a character until 2001. She doesn’t go to the Xavier Institute until Emma Frost finds her way to “the good side” and is a teacher there. She was never portrayed as a stripper. She was never a member of the Hellfire Club nor did she ever “side” with them. She does however have a relationship with “Beak” which was another “picked” member that was thrown into the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie. He was the guy that could light the unlit lightbulbs. Ugh! Oh, and that stuff she spits out? She uses that to digest her food. Yuck. Darwin: The guy that could “adapt”. His first appearance wasn’t until 2006 so, the question is “Why?”. Obviously he wasn’t a pre-member of this team. He was on Dr. Moira McTaggerts special team. So, maybe someone missed something there. He is still alive in the comics today. That concludes my rant on how these characters were thrown together with pieced together origins for the writers convenience. So frustrating.
Okay, so we get to see the friendship of Magneto & Professor X blossom. We see how Mystique finds her way to Magneto’s arms. We also see Beast become a Beast. I would like to mention that Beast’s voiceover work was terrible. We also see a movie version of how Professor X loses the ability to Walk. Let me just tell you here and now that he lost his ability to walk in a fight with Lucifer. Look it up. And he lost his hair by the age of 16 due to his mental powers being so strong.
The Score was very catchy. I enjoyed it. The overall plot for a standalone movie not based on these iconic characters was a good story. And in the end I liked the movie. Mainly because I’m a fan of the X-Men. Not because I liked the casting/writing. Can someone tell Michael Fassbender that switching to a Scottish accent during his “Brothers” speech makes him come off as a horrible actor? Ah, it’s ok. He’s a great actor. I barely noticed it.