A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that I, Frankenstein is an action/sci-fi movie, based on a comic book, that recasts the famous monster as a new kind of superhero, with super-speed and strength, and immortality. Most of the movie consists of fantasy fighting, with blades and martial arts weapons. When defeated, characters disappear into fire and light, with very little blood; the main character sustains one minor, bleeding wound so that the female character can dress it. The sculpted, chiseled main character is shown shirtless in one scene, and female characters wear somewhat sexy outfits, but otherwise sex is not an issue.
What's the story?
In 1795, after creating his famous monster, Victor Frankenstein tries to destroy his creation. But the monster (Aaron Eckhart) lives, only to be attacked by demons and subsequently rescued by gargoyles. The gargoyle queen, Leonore (Miranda Otto) offers him sanctuary and takes Victor's journal to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. Two hundred years later, the monster -- now called "Adam" -- returns to try and destroy the prince of the demons, Naberius (Bill Nighy). Naberius dreams of using Victor's methods to create an army of resurrected monsters to take over the world, and he's using a naïve human scientist, Terra (Yvonne Strahovski), to help. Will Adam choose the right path before it's too late?
Is it any good?
Aaron Eckhart has given good performances in the past, but he seems lost as the Frankenstein monster; he can only look hurt and angry throughout the entire movie. His super powers make him mostly unstoppable, and therefore uninteresting. When he forms a friendship with Terra, he mainly looks confused. The fight scenes are numbingly repetitive, and the movie itself eventually feels dead, like no one even tried. However, the costumes and sets are fairly impressive.
Stuart Beattie directs this adaptation of Kevin Grevioux's comic book, and even though Beattie is best known as a screenwriter (Pirates of the Caribbean, Collateral, etc.), he makes the rookie mistake of focusing more on production design and action than on writing or characters. In fact, what's actually there borders on ridiculous; the bad guy's plan makes no sense, and his use of a human scientist makes even less sense.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's violence. What's the difference between fantasy violence and realistic violence? Does it affect how you feel while watching?
How does the movie compare with the original Frankenstein story and its themes? Does man have the right to create life?
Is the monster a hero in this movie? How are we supposed to feel about him?
- In theaters: January 24, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: May 13, 2014
- Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Bill Nighy
- Director: Stuart Beattie
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Book Characters, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sequences of intense fantasy action and violence throughout
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.