These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.
Is it just me, or does this movie feel like a strange mix of both predictably made and out of left field? I mean, like the plethora of sequels, remakes, and adaptations (I, FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA UNTOLD) I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this was made, but… yeah, I kind of am considering that I, FRANKENSTEIN was made just shy of two years ago, and if I remember correctly, there’s a rumored Marvel-like universe being created that will have the likes of Dracula, Frankenstein/his monster, the mummy, something like this or others eventually meeting up. I doubt this is part of that universe (or maybe it is, I haven’t looked into it), but if there is a future mash-up in the works, then we’re going to have at least three Frankenstein movies in the span of less than ten years, none of them related.
Whatever, this one has Harry Potter and young Professor X. What can go wrong?
Starring: James McAvoy (SHERLOCK GNOMES , ATOMIC BLONDE , X-MEN: APOCALYPSE , and upcoming films X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX  and GLASS ), Daniel Radcliffe (NOW YOU SEE ME 2  and SWISS ARMY MAN ), Jessica Brown Findlay (stuff I’ve never heard of or seen), Andrew Scott (DENIAL  and SPECTRE ), and Freddie Fox (KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD )
Director: Paul McGuigan (FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LOVERPOOL  and 2 episodes of LUKE CAGE [2016 – ongoing])
Writer: Max Landis (BRIGHT  and AMERICAN ULTRA )
Composer: Craig Armstrong (BRIDGET JONES’S BABY , SNOWDEN , and ME BEFORE YOU )
Cinematographer: Fabian Wagner (JUSTICE LEAGUE , and upcoming films OVERLORD  and MONSTER BUTLER )
Editors: Andrew Hulme (the upcoming THE DEVIL OUTSIDE ) and Charlie Phillips (TV shows that I’ve never heard of or don’t watch)
This is my honest opinion of: VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN
As told through the perspective of as-of-yet-named Igor (Daniel Radcliffe), who was a circus hunchback/clown attraction, but trained himself to be brilliant in human anatomy (also being the circus physician) through books. After the beautiful Lorelei (Jessica Brown Findlay), the star trapeze artist, falls and suffers grave injuries, and with some help from the visiting Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy) saves her and get her hauled away in an ambulance. Igor gets locked up, but Victor returns with a proposition: work for him or stay in the circus to be mistreated for the rest of his life. Igor quickly accepts his proposition, and the two brilliant men begin to work and study together. However, Victor may be tampering with forces that are beyond his control as his obsession with bringing life back from the dead starts to cloud his judgment and put those he supposedly cares in harms way.
I have to say, it wasn’t bad.
This is due to the strong performances by McAvoy and Radcliffe. McAvoy delivers probably the most eccentric and over-the-top scenery-chewing performance he has ever done. This is certainly a departure from the talented actor who is usually more intense and low-key, but he is so damn fun to watch as he just goes full bat-shit crazy. Despite his near Nicholas Cage performance, and whether or not it was good direction, clever writing, or just raw talent on McAvoy’s part, the story gives him time to calm down, take a breather, and show us the humane side of Victor, which is surprisingly heartfelt. I mean, it’s no INSIDE OUT or anything, but I was expecting poor acting and story. Much to my surprise, there is a surprising bit of development in the characters. There is a method to Victor’s madness. You may not agree with his point of view, but you can sympathize.
And Radcliffe is definitely the heart of the film, the voice of reason. Igor is certainly naive, but Radcliffe’s performance really makes us feel for him and his ideals. Every decision he makes feels like one that he thought through. When Victor does something wrong, Igor tries desperately to calm him down, but you understand why he lets Victor do what he does. They’re both men of science and Igor has an appreciation for the accomplishments Victor makes. But that doesn’t stop Igor from telling Victor that he’s insane and does have a breaking point. But Victor never shies away from telling Igor how valuable and important he is. While it’s brilliantly acted that you can’t tell if he truly means it and is just saying what he knows Igor wants to hear, the sheer commitment he has to every compliment he feeds to Igor always does have a inkling of meaningfulness. You feel for the friendship between the two men, Igor’s loyalty to Victor, Victor’s respect and admiration for Igor, the two actors have incredible chemistry and work off of each other very naturally.
As you can see, I think highly of the two leads. But how does the supporting cast hold up? They’re passable. No one’s bad, but the roles are fairly forgettable. Fox as Finnegan is pretty forgettable a character, I don’t even remember much of the circus folk. Maybe Findlay as Lorelei and Scott as Inspector Turpin are developed enough to be likable and legitimately threatening, respectfully, but it’s obvious the focus is on the immediate cast.
Honestly, beyond the great performances, there’s really not much to say about it. Yeah, there’s a pointless and really stupid fight scene at the beginning as Victor frees Igor from the circus, there’s some creative decisions that were good ideas but ended up being pointless (the Sherlock Holmes-esk x-ray vision thing), and there are more than a few other stupid moments in the movie (shut up, Victor, that wanted-poster with your face on it is dead-on illustration of you), and the CGI isn’t very good at times, though thankfully it’s pretty minimal. But otherwise, this was a fun ride of a movie. It’s not one that people will talk about for years and years, but it’s worth turning off your brain for a couple of hours and kill some time.
My honest rating for VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN: 4/5 for entertainment value, a strong 3/5 overall.