“Daniel Radcliffe. James McAvoy. Victor Frankenstein. Those three names were all I needed to know that this was going on my MUST list. Hell, even just two of those names in any combination would have probably done it. Those are both actors I adore (Radcliffe especially), and I’m excited by the thought of a classic gothic horror. Heck, it even drove me to see I Frankenstein, despite knowing that it would be one of that year’s worst. Victor Frankenstein is a thankfully a few steps up from that, but didn’t quite reach the higher expectations I had for it.
What’s cool about this telling of the tale, is that it’s from Igor’s perspective (Radcliffe). We meet the initially nameless hunchback who is discovered in a circus by young student Victor Frankenstein (McAvoy). Recognizing his talents for medicine and biology, Frankenstein helps the huncback escape. He provides for him, including giving him an identity as Igor, in exchange for his assistance at his lab. We pretty much know what happens from there.
Or we sort of know. Before the big monster experiment, there’s a smaller scale one involving an ape-like homunculus. I was with it that far. Diving into creating and animating the future monster is where it lost me, since it felt like a lot of repetition from the smaller scientific endeavor. Simply put, it just got downright dull and predictable.
Our leads were fantastic, as to be expected, and the gothic vibe was wonderful. There were some wonderful references to Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein, and even Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. I just wish more attention could have been paid to the story and pacing. This could have been a real knockout, but it just never got that necessary bolt of electricity needed to jump start it.
Victor Frankenstein – \m/ \m/ \n”
“When I was binging on movies in Chicago with a buddy of mine, we saw a trailer for Legend, where Tom Hardy plays the gangster Kray brothers in the swinging 60’s London. He commented that they really blew it by not naming the film “”Kray Kray””. Sure, it may not work tonally, but you gotta admit it’s kinda perfect, esp given how insane (at least one of) the brothers were.
Right, so the Kray brothers, Ron and Reggie, both played by Tom Hardy and both incredibly different. Reggie suave and smart, Ron insane and impulsive. Reggie fits what you’d expect from Hardy, which is why he was bent on playing Ron. In meeting with director Brian Helgeland, they made a deal that if Helgeland would give Hardy Ron, Hardy would give him Reggie. This is truly one of the best execution of dual roles I’ve ever seen. There was never any question as to which brother we were watching in any given scene. Appearance, demeanor, cadence, attitude, every possible differentiator distinct. Both were fascinating to watch for their own reasons. I love the unpredictability of Ron and the smoothness of Reggie. Either on their own could have made for an interesting film, but the combination was unreal.
If only the rest of the film could measure up to those two characters and their expert portrayal. Plotwise, it felt a little generic and predictable. While we may not have had this exact story before, we’ve seen enough like it (and better executed) that it felt like a drag. Basically combine something from Scorsese with Guy Ritchie, and water it down a bit to get Legend. And that really bums me out because there was so so much potential in Hardy, that I really wish I could have been more involved in the story. No worries. Hardy’s been prolific of late, and he’s even getting awards talk around his next film. We’ll just wait for that one. Bringing this back full circle then, I guess it makes sense for a mediocre movie to get such a generic title.
Legend – \m/ \m/ \m/”