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Victor Frankenstein
Click for full sized poster

Victor Frankenstein

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott
Screen story and screenplay by Max Landis
Based on the novel "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley
Directed by Paul McGuigan

IN SHORT: nnn. [Rated PG-13 for macabre images, violence and a sequence of destruction. 109 minutes]

Shall we pack a film with all the stereotype elements of every "frankenstein" movie ever made and then twist said elements all out of sorts? Yes, let's do so. How much you hate Victor Frankenstein will depend on how much raving fanboy you have left in you. Yours Cranky? Not so much, though the film didn't get us as revved up as it could have -- that means we liked what was in the screenplay and didn't think much about how the film's direction delivered it. As always, we don't compare to the Source Material, meaning Mary Shelley's book, though every reader wants first to know about the monster. Know that the Boris Karloff monster is a registered trademark owned by a different studio and off limits to this production. Mary Shelley promised a "modern prometheus" in her novel's subtitle and this film delivers exactly that.

Victor is Prometheus. Do the google thing. We have thirty other films to review in the next week.

Beginning in a one ring British circus, Victor Frankenstein spends its opening minutes letting the clowns and other employees of the circus beat the living snot out of a hunchback boy (Daniel Radcliffe), part of the freak show characters that were stock for years. In the big top, trapeze artist Lorelei (Jessica Brown Findlay) flies through the air with the greatest of ease. Until she doesn't. From across the bigtop, the freakshow hunchback watches in horror and then springs into action. Unknown to all, the man has managed to read every piece of medical information ever printed; enough that he knows how to reset a dislocated shoulder and -- long story shrt -- save the girl's life. This is how we are introduced to Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy), who aids in the escape of the freak and gives him a name, Igor Strausman. We use the word "escape" because the first ten minutes are very busy and someone gets murdered. Inspector Roderick Turpin (Andrew Scott) is the police detective who catches that case. His pursuit of Frankenstein will drive the sbubplot of the rest of the film while Frankenstein's protection of the pursued freak provides two plot points. The first is a cure for that hunchback thing (and we're almost telling too much about that thing). The second is a name for the character: Igor Strausman (Daniel Radcliffe), once a vagrant, morphine addict who crossed paths with the doctor, except that Frankenstein is not a doctor. He is a medical student who has little use for book learning (which means he never goes to class) and prefers to learn by experience. He's gotten in trouble numerous times for stealing dead animals, or something. He is determined to create Life . . . so, well, the man wishes to be God. Saying it out loud, in the 19th century setting of the story, would just be rude. It would probably get a person killed, so back to our story . . .


Radical scientist Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy) and his equally brilliant protégé Igor Strausman (Daniel Radcliffe) share a noble vision of aiding humanity through their groundbreaking research into immortality. But Victor's experiments go too far, and his obsession has horrDirected by:


On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Victor Frankenstein, he would have paid . . .



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