Daniel Radcliffe is Igor and James McAvoy is Victor Frankenstein.

Reel Reviews: The monster is a moot point in Victor Frankenstein

Taylor and Howe say, Victor Frankenstein is "weird and silly."

  • Dec. 6, 2015 4:00 p.m.

Young Igor (Daniel Radcliffe) is a circus clown and the butt of cruel jokes when he meets a young physician named Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy).

Impressed by the clown’s ability to resuscitate a fallen trapeze artist, Frankenstein convinces Igor he can be more than a clown and gives him a job as his assistant.

We say, “Above all, it’s weird and silly.”

TAYLOR: The movie was fun at first. The actor’s performances were interesting and so was the story, but then both story and performances went over the top.

Victor Frankenstein is a silly film having an identity crisis.

HOWE: I thought it was an OK movie. It had some really nice touches and at other times, it was pretty bland.

The movie sets were fantastic. I’d even go so far as to say the whole movie felt like one big pantomime. I was waiting for the audience to shout out “He’s behind you.”

The acting wasn’t bad, but what I can’t appreciate is getting a Scot to put on an English accent. Either get an English actor or just let McAvoy use his natural accent to flow. It would make no difference to the movie and he wouldn’t sound like he’s doing an impression of Ewen McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Please don’t get me started on Radcliffe. His acting ability hasn’t seemed to have progressed since his first year at Hogwarts.

TAYLOR: You must have missed the first 20 minutes of the movie, where Radcliffe transformed himself into a filthy hunchback. Radcliffe’s hunchback, (pre-Igor, a moniker given to him by Frankenstein, who also straightened his back and eliminated the hunch) was a pathetic and beaten creature. The quality of his voice alone made me take notice.

Therein might reside the problem with this film; Frankenstein helping Igor makes them likeable and their relationship interesting. Then, the chimpanzee they’ve cobbled together, which looks terrifying on the table, jumps up and chases them around, looking stupid in the process.

I think Victor Frankenstein tries to be too many things at once. The chimp is the turning point. By the time they put together the proper monster, it’s already too late.

HOWE: I thought the monster looked pretty good. They should have shown more of him, maybe had him go on a bigger rampage towards the end. It felt like the filmmakers made a film, forgot that it was about Frankenstein making a monster, then slapped an ending together.

TAYLOR: For a period drama about two friends who try to change the world with science, it’s not bad, until they succeed, then it fails. A monster movie it is not.

– Taylor gives Victor Frankenstein 2 homunculi out of 5.

– Howe gives it 3 just for the set design out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe review the latest films for The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.

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