Let me say that this film tries real hard to provide some meaningful entertainment. But cinematic quicksand is cinematic quicksand, so it wins no cigar.
Director Paul McGuigan’s Victor Frankenstein quickly crashed at the box office, which was both understandable and regrettable. Starring two of my favorite actors, James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, I had hoped that it would breathe life into the old monster originally created by Boris Karloff in 1931. Unfortunately, the entire film descended into a regrettable mess.
Mr. McAvoy played Victor Frankenstein, the doctor who was intent on finding a way to create life. Radcliffe, better remembered from his wonderful performances as Harry Potter, played Igor, a circus hunchback who hid his medical genius.
Dr. Frankenstein discovers this and aids Igor to both escape his circus tormentors and join his frenzied medical scheme. Finding that Igor’s “hunchback” is a gigantic abscess and not a bone deformity, Igor soon becomes an attractive young man with a love interest.
That is really all you need to know, as the movie quickly morphs into Frankenstein and Igor’s attempt to find a way to defy death and a Scotland Yard investigation focusing on their apparent involvement in the death of a circus employee when Igor escaped. Despite intriguing performances from both McAvoy and Radcliffe, they can’t save the convoluted plot from collapsing under its own weight. Nonetheless, I give Mr. Radcliffe credit for taking risks with roles that seek to bury his Harry Potter image.
Though some of you may share my fascination with the Frankenstein story, we are all better off just finding a way to rewatch the hysterical Young Frankenstein (1974). That remains a classic film.