Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 2, 2016


James McAvoy as Victor Frankenstein 
VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN (2015). Director: Paul McGuigan.

"An exquisite show of depraved lunacy."

Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy) rescues a hunchbacked clown (Daniel Radcliffe) from the circus where he is horribly mistreated, discovers his hump is merely a fluid sac and removes it for him, christens him "Igor" after a missing friend, and importunes the grateful fellow, who also has much medical and scientific knowledge, to help him in his research into cheating death. However, a pious Scotland Yard inspector, Turpin (Andrew Scott), is determined to find out what the two are up to and stop them from their unholy mission. Victor Frankenstein hasn't much to do with Mary Shelley's novel -- no surprise there -- but it is very well-acted by all, including Jessica Brown Findlay as Lorelei, another circus performer whose life is saved by Igor (but who doesn't really fit in smoothly with the rest of the movie); Freddie Foxe as the wealthy and sinister Finnegan, who supposedly wants to help Victor; and Charles Dance [Alien 3] as Victor's highly disapproving father. Victor Frankenstein is entertaining and fairly unpredictable for most of its length, but the final quarter, with the birth of monster Prometheus (Spencer Wilding), is very busy but not as thrilling as intended because of insufficient direction and editing. The scenic design is striking, however, and there's a nice enough throbbing score by Craig Armstrong with some very pretty end title music. McAvoy [X-Men: First Class] continues the recent tradition of rather handsome Victor Frankensteins, such as Harry Treadaway of Penny Dreadful.

Verdict: Doesn't quite cross over into camp. **1/2.


angelman66 said...

Where have I been, had not even heard of this one. May be worth a look.

What do you think of Penny Dreadful, Bill? Yay or nay? I have heard both very positive and very negative reviews.

William said...

I reviewed the first season a few months ago and basically liked it -- with reservations. There is an amazingly homoerotic scene between Dorian Gray and the Wolfman and lots of other interesting stuff and some splendid acting! Shortly I'm going to start watching season 2 and we'll see if it holds my interest. I think it's about to start season four so I better catch up.