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REVIEW OF VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN

year: 2015 cast: James McAvoy, Daniel Radcliffe, Andrew Scott, Jessica Brown Findlay
At first, the famous monster movie hunchback is like someone straight out of AMERICAN HORROR STORY FREAKSHOW as the prologue is bizarre and confounding, but then we meet our title character and he's got more than a cure for an abused circus clown who, after a MATRIX style action-packed suspense fight/escape, is re-named Igor and becomes more than an assistant to VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN, an eccentric young man with ambitions just beyond his reach, which is where the surprisingly brilliant Igor comes in...

Is it Alive? 
Mostly it feels like James McAvoy's flamboyant Victor, holed up in a laboratory in the center of town, is trying to steal his own movie from the quieter, ultimately more vulnerable and significant Daniel Radcliffe, who, once cleaned up and cured of his ailment, resembles a dapper Edward Scissorhands. Add an element where the law gets involved, and throw in a peripheral love interest, and this costume melodrama/suspense becomes a hybrid of an old British Hammer Film and especially the recent big budget American vehicle, I FRANKENSTEIN... yet this is far more creative and entertaining than that particular catastrophe.

After so much running around and madly discussing science and creation, when the iconic Monster is finally unleashed, it's not only anti-climactic but a shame he's a climax at all since the boys (backed by a greedy young tycoon) spend so much time discussing what eventually winds up, despite being quite large, meaning very little overall. Guess that's why it's called VICTOR instead of just FRANKENSTEIN. Or perhaps I, IGOR would have fit best.

RATING: **1/2
FRANKENSTEIN CANON TRIVIA: Peter Cushing played Frankenstein in the Hammer movies, Colin Clive in the earlier, original Universal double feature also including Dwight Frye called Fritz, not Igor, and starring Boris Karloff as the Monster while Christopher Lee was created by Cushing. Meanwhile Kenneth Branagh and Robert De Niro tried being closer to the source Mary Shelley novel many years later, and, like Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula, it turned out pretty bland.
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