It's alive! ... again.
Victor Frankenstein must not have planned for his man-made creation to star in so many Hollywood films. Otherwise, he would have made it look a little hotter, or at least made sure he would have gotten a higher percentage of The Creature's royalties.
I, Frankenstein, the latest in the near-hundreds of adaptations of Mary Shelley's classic 1818 novel, comes out this Friday in all its IMAX-ed glory, since The Creature's neck bolts always look better when they jut out of the screen in 3-D.
But this isn't the timeless story from your sophomore English class. I, Frankenstein features the monster, named Adam for some reason, surviving 200 years and taking part in a titanic battle between vicious gargoyles and other weird-looking demons.
It looks like the kind of over-saturated, super-serious fantasy action movie that the guy who wrote the Underwold series would write.
Oh, he did this too, huh?
It wasn't screened for critics, which means that it's probably horrible (that tactic is reserved for low-budget horror films and all of Tyler Perry's movies). It also seems to feature an excess of Aaron Eckhart with his shirt off. Man, he's really parlayed his role as Harvey Dent into some good film roles: Erased, Battle: Los Angeles, The Rum Diary. Surely I, Frankenstein will take him to that next level -- that David Duchovny/Tom Berenger type of level.
The biggest problem with this adaptation, and one of the major reasons I don't think it will make back its (ridiculous) reported $68 million budget, is that there's little to no connection between the film and the seminal Frankenstein story. Demons? Gargoyles? I get Frankenstein's assistant was ugly, but still.
Creative adaptations of established characters can be interesting, as long as the writer's choices are actually creative -- any fan of Wicked would agree. Frankenstein itself has been the source of numerous clever adaptations, like Young Frankenstein, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Frankenweenie and, eh, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
But it doesn't make sense to re-purpose a character name just to draw attention to a basically irrelevant plot. The dead deserve our respect. And the reanimated dead deserve it, too.
Follow Pete McQuaid on Twitter and Tout @sweetestpete.