I, Frankenstein is an appropriation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and serves as a continuation of the creature’s story after Victor Frankenstein dies. Based on the graphic novel created by Kevin Grevioux, it was written and directed by Stuart Beattie. I, Frankenstein was released in the United States on January 24th, 2014.
The film begins with the Creature as the narrator telling of how Dr. Victor Frankenstein created him and cast him into being from stitched together corpses. This is where the story begins to act as a sequel to the novel. After Victor dies, the Creature is attacked by demons, but then rescued by gargoyles.
Life and Existence
Life and existence play a major role in this film. With the need and desire to define natural order and to create life from inanimate objects, Victor Frankenstein and Naberius straddle the line of dangerous knowledge. All of them express these needs through their obsession with gaining knowledge that is beyond that of any man. They try to play the role of God by reanimating dead corpses into living, breathing beings.
Adam’s was abandoned and nearly destroyed by his father/ creator, Victor. He was left to fend for himself, realizing the ways of the world and man all on his own. Because of Adam’s unsuccessful relationship with Victor, he spends his entire existence searching for a purpose in life. It is only at the end of the film that we see what Adam’s true existence is and that he himself realizes his purpose on Earth. He is meant to pursue and kill demons to protect all human kind.
Monstrosity is a major theme that extends throughout the entire film. The Creature/ Adam lies at the center of all of the action that takes place in this film. Adam stands tall over most, is ugly because of all of the patch work done on him, stronger than any human and most of the gargoyles and demons, and he is rejected by all who have come into contact with him. But he is also a monstrosity by the way in which he was created, a mix of stolen body parts and different chemicals. However, monstrosity is not a genetic or fundamental characteristic, but rather one that is created through actions like revenge, or prolonged seclusion from the world, or even a dangerous want or need for knowledge.
Many would say that Victor Frankenstein is as much of a monster, if not more, as his creation. He shows monstrosity in the way he created Adam by using alchemy and stolen body parts. He has also alienated and secluded himself from human society because of his secrecy in conducting his experiments. He is then eventually consumed by a hatred for his creation, showing yet another side of his monstrosity. He also shows monstrosity when he challenges the realm of God by trying to create human life force. Terra and Naberius do the same in their quest to recreate life.
Adam, Victor, the demons and the gargoyles all show the audience that they are monsters by revealing their monstrosities to us through their malicious intentions when it comes to revenge against one another. It is obvious throughout the film that their willingness to fight one another is more important than any other factors of life.
I, Frankenstein has at the heart of its plot summary Victor Frankenstein’s journal. It is his journal that is the most sought after thing in this film. The Naberius and the demons want it to see how Victor created Adam so they can bring to life the demons who have already ascended. Leonore and the gargoyles want to destroy it to keep it out of the hands of Naberius and the demons. Terra wants it to learn from Dr. Frankenstein. Adam wants it so that he can know of his creation and father. At one point, when Terra gets the journal she reads that Victor used electric eels to reanimate the creature. This is a reference to several of the Frankenstein adaptations that use electric eels to reanimate the creature; such as the film Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994). The text gets destroyed by Adam towards the end of the film when he realizes the purpose of his existence. He lets go of his hatred and revenge towards Victor Frankenstein and the rest of humanity.
On opening weekend I, Frankenstein debuted at number six, making $8.6 million at the box office. However, I, Frankenstein was bashed by critics. Metacritic has the film listed as a thirty out of one hundred and had very unfavorable reviews. Rotten Tomatoes has it listed as a three percent rating with a score of a three point two out of ten. Most of the reviews said that I, Frankenstein was remarkably dull and it fails to generate interest.