The classic tale of mad scientist Frankenstein gets a makeover in Victor Frankenstein but unfortunately this take on the story couldn’t be revived, no matter how strong its leads were.
The film follows mad scientist (currently mad med student) Victor Frankenstein, who finds his assistant, the no named “hunchback” who would later become Igor (Daniel Radcliffe). A few changes were made to the story, like Igor not being a hunchback at all, but a poorly treated man with an easily (and grossly) curable malformation, and Frankenstein’s madness coming from a very specific (but not very believable) place. There was also a female heroine/love interest, Lorelai (Jessica Brown Findlay), whom I thought would end up playing a much more important role than she actually did.
The visuals were beautiful and disturbing and made the film more tolerable, but the story began to fall apart for me when Victor’s madness got a backstory. There’s nothing wrong with giving audiences explanations and characters layers, but the tale that was created for this story was just plain weak. It didn’t make Frankenstein sympathetic as much as it did pathetic and, frankly, could have been left out altogether.
Charles Dance (whom many will recognize as Tywin Lannister from Game of Thrones) even popped up for a random scene that introduced this backstory, and as much as I love Charles Dance, it felt like his involvement in the film was wasted. Sometimes mad scientists are best left mad with no explanations.
Although the story itself was lacking, the films leads still held their own. Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy were a great pair to watch onscreen together and worked with what they were given. Radcliffe was enjoyable as the kind, sensitive and naive Igor, while McAvoy was fun to watch as the raving mad scientist who created life from death. It’s really just a shame that the script could barely keep up with their talents.
I can’t in good conscience recommend anyone spend their hard earned money seeing this film. You honestly won’t be missing out by waiting until it hits streaming services because, in spite of the strong leads, this film is DOA.
Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox