I, Frankenstein: Lo, it is January, for the movie studios have seen fit not to release a single wide-release movie this weekend to challenge I, Frankenstein, the movie that seeks to do for Frankensteins what Underworld did for vampires and werewolves: engulf them in cartoony CG and pointlessly convoluted mythology. Aaron Eckhart cashes in his Harvey Dent cache to play Frankenstein (‘s monster), while Bill Nighy jumps ship from the Underworld movies to chew a presumably similar flavor of scenery. It makes sense that Lionsgate would gaze with envy upon Sony’s Screen Gems arm and its steady stream of low-cost effects-heavy nonsense like the Underworld and Resident Evil series, and wonder why exactly they should be left out of the creaturesploitationology game. It makes somewhat less sense that I am absolutely going to see this movie, because I didn’t particularly care for the first Underworld or Resident Evil movies, or other similarly blueish night-set Screen Gems pictures like Legion or Priest.
The movie is near-universally described as being based on “a graphic novel and original screenplay” by an Underworld writer, which is code for “a screenplay that was reverse-engineered into a graphic novel so it could be sold under the pretense that it’s a hot comics property.” I’m pretty sure not a single person walking this Earth has read the graphic novel this movie is allegedly based on, unless it was given away for free like that Cowboys and Aliens book I got for free and either have on a shelf somewhere or threw out when I moved; either way, unread. And yet: the Underworld and Resident Evil series wore me down and kinda got me into them, and sometimes you just want to watch Frankenstein (‘s monster) fight some gargoyles, which is what I understand him to be doing in this movie based on the somewhat confusing advertising materials. Lionsgate also seems to have picked up on the Screen Gems why-screen-this policy, so fine, I’ll fork over money to peep the adventures of Handsome Frankenstein (‘s monster) and find out how this gargoyle mythology compares to my vague recollections of Disney’s Gargoyles cartoon from the late 90s.