“Victor Frankenstein” | Movie Review

Victor Frankenstein (2015) 2Grade: B-

A retelling of the classic story that had its moments of creativity, but also some glaring moments that were borrowed from other films. 

This is a retelling of the classic Mary Shelley novel ‘Frankenstein’ that adds a highly stylized veneer with much of it paying off, although there were some flaws in my opinion. “Victor Frankenstein” is directed by Paul McGuigan and stars; James McAvoy, Daniel Radcliffe, Jessica Brown Findlay and Andrew Scott.

Told through the eyes of Igor played by Daniel Radcliffe, this story follows him through his years at the circus, and his eventual friendship with the mad-scientist Victor Frankenstein played by James McAvoy. As their friendship develops and they begin working on odd experiments together Igor becomes his assistant as Dr. Frankenstein begins working on a dangerous and secret experiment, to create life.

I did enjoy this movie for the most part, McAvoy and Radcliffe were both very good in their roles. They both felt like great fits for their characters, and they worked extremely well with one another to build a strong chemistry that truly sold them as Igor and Frankenstein. Both of them also delivered their dialogue with grace and it managed to build a surprising amount of intrigue to their characters.

There were a lot of visual effects in this film and many of them worked great. I loved the grittier, more underdeveloped look of 19th-century Victorian Era London. It was effective in pulling me into the story as it complemented the backdrops and set-designs perfectly. Frankenstein’s laboratory/house was visually appealing with many creative props that were fun additions, and all of these elements perfectly sold the time-period of this script.

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There were unfortunately some unneeded visual effects. This is already the premise for a solid thriller so there was no need for some of the action, or specifically fight-sequences in this movie. The slow-motion techniques were honestly cheesy to me and felt like a rip-off of the Downy Jr. Sherlock Holmes films, and in the end this movie had enough intrigue to it to not need these moments. The film already had a crisp, polished look and these moment were clearly overdoing it in my opinion.

This script could have also done without the love-dynamic involving Igor. Findlay’s performance was just fine but this sub-plot was under developed and simply took time from the truly interesting plot of the film, and it just slowed the pace down. Also the final-act was suspenseful at times but the implementation of the actual beast they created was just not as interesting as the story of its creation, thus the climax didn’t impact me as much as the filmmakers clearly would have wanted.

But overall this was a fun movie that certainly had some good moments. The visual appeal is fun and the performances make the most out of the eloquent, but somewhat repetitive writing, and it still has plenty to offer. “Victor Frankenstein: will make for a fun night with a time-period film that does show its inspiration of the source material.

Time: 110 min

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for macabre images, violence and a sequence of destruction