Review: Victor Frankenstein

Told from Igor’s perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Viktor Von Frankenstein, and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man – and the legend – we know today.

Frankenstein is one of those classic horror stories that I didn’t really know much about so there isn’t anything for me to compare this film against, I went in to watch the movie rather than to see how it compares against past incarnations. I wanted to see how well McAvoy (as Frankenstein) and Radcliffe (as his assistant Igor) performed and how well the movie stood up.

What I found with this movie was that it started off very well, telling us the story of how Igor was rescued from his shocking life at the circus and is noticed by Victor Frankenstein after rushing to help a fallen trapeze. He proceeds to rescue him and Igor then works with Frankenstein to help create his vision of bringing things back from the dead however he becomes increasingly concerned after an experiment goes horribly wrong and the police become more suspicious about what is happening. In itself a good story and it is well told but what I found was that it tended to drag out and at times I just wished it would hurry along a bit.

In order to bring his monster creation to life, Frankenstein heads off to Scotland and it is only at the end of the movie that we actually get to see Frankenstein’s monster in its full glory and to be fair I felt somewhat disappointed by what I saw on screen. As his creation turns on its creators it just stops being fun and it felt like what we had been building up to all along turned into a farce as it’s a case of who can trust who and the police pursuit making it seem just a mess to be honest.

That isn’t to say this is a bad movie, it looks stunning in places and the crazy genius that is Frankenstein is executed well by McAvoy and Radcliffe makes Igor a good sidekick and there is good onscreen chemistry and dialogue between them. It is a shame that what makes it good is let down by what makes it not work and a shorter running time and less of a farce towards the end would have meant I rated this movie higher.

For me this is a film to see if a) there isn’t anything else on that week or b) you have an interest in the Frankenstein story. For me it worked but only just, happy to have seen it but wouldn’t buy the DVD.

I have to be honest, I’ve not seen that many of the Frakenstein reimagining’s, so I was going into this film with a clean(ish) slate. The cast was enough to lure me in, you can’t go wrong with a bit of Radcliffe and McAvoy, and the premise was enough to make me stay. Playing out very much like Guy Ritchies rendition of Sherlock Holmes, which is ironic as a lot of cast form BBC’s Sherlock was in this, there were graphs and modern inserts aplenty. It works, by Jove it works! As I say, I’m not familiar with the many retellings, but what I saw here I enjoyed very very much.
Opening with the meeting of Igor and Victor, we see a Robert Smith-esque Radcliffe snatched from the clutches of the evil circus by a dashing young McAvoy, channelling Derren Brown more than he probably should. Again though, it works. Hot on the heels of the bromantic pairing is detective Moriarty, I mean Andrew Scott, I mean Moriarty, desperate to reach the bottom of a case involving Victor and his questionable methods. AND SO THE FUN BEGINS!
Hammed up to the nines, I really can’t stress that enough, it’s such a joy to watch. McAvoy plays Victor so manically, so on edge that he’s fascinating to watch, with those subtle little eye and mouth twitches. Radcliffe is also great playing Garth from Waynes World. I kid, obviously. The Victorian London set pieces are so rich it’s a pleasure to watch, and it’s a nice contrast to see some gnarly Frankenstein monkey action going on. Whilst not blown away by the look of Frankensteins Monster itself, you get the idea of what they’re going for, it just looked too CGI for my taste. I suppose though that you do feel for him knowing how, and why, he was made.
I’m not saying Victor Frankenstein is a masterpiece, but It is such fun to watch and kept me entertained with its story of loss, friendship and lunacy. If you don’t want to see this you’re flat in the head. Jesus, I need to work on these ending lines….

Victor Frankenstein is out at cinemas now. 




93 thoughts on “Review: Victor Frankenstein

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