After a long night of drinking and bumbling banter, two men sat together on the cold wood floor in front of the fire, gazing into each other’s eyes. “I couldn’t have done anything without you. Do you know how brilliant you are?” Perhaps it was all due to the Scotch or the warm friendship he was extended by this young, captivating doctor, but the Hunchback of Notre Potter was sure he felt Dr. Xavier Holmes caress his hand. “You’re my partner from now on,” said the Doctor. Yes, I’m his hunchback now, he thought. Now and forever.
But as their relationship deepened, he grew paranoid and noticeably jealous of his interactions with female acquaintances. The doctor became more and more dependent on Quasi Magic’s genius, something he had dealt with when he stayed with Andy Warhol for two months. This Daddy-issues case was more than he could handle, but as hard as it was, in his heart, Harry Hunchback knew he could never leave him.
This is Scottish director Paul McGuigan’s newest movie Victor Frankenstein, the story of a tempestuous, abusive domestic partnership that ends in the destruction of the fruits of their relationship. McGuigan has combined what he has learned directing the popular UK show Sherlock with his wannabe Boondock Saints gangster movies like Lucky Number Sleven and Gangster No.1 and has created a loud action sci-fi bromance.
Gather ‘round the Thanksgiving feast kids, and listen to yet another adaptation of the book you had to suffer through in high school. It’s the same old story about a mad scientist and his “unholy” creation, except with a twist of homosexual romanticism and Guy Ritchie-inspired action sequences. In this version of Mary Shelley’s tired prose, the story is told from the point of view of Frankenstein’s traditionally creepy, practically illiterate lab assistant Igor, played by former Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe. Before working for the mad scientist- entertainingly portrayed by James McAvoy (X-Men: Days of Future Past)- Igor was apparently a circus clown and an on-site physician, as well as the true genius behind the scientific breakthrough. Igor escaped circus prison, underwent a grotesque procedure to remove the hump on his back, took a shower and went on to become Steve Wozniak.
The two set out to make scientific history by attempting to build a more perfect man out of a medley of body parts. Unfortunately, they are at constant odds with elements beyond their control, like too much lightning, disturbed theological detectives, pretty trapeze women, evil Drako Malfoy benefactors and so on. Nonetheless they still manage to give life to a white Hulk wearing only black panties who then tries to climb on top McAvoy and sexually assault him, I mean kill him. Same difference.
Leading the story department is an up and coming writer in Tinsel Town, Max Landis, the son of director John Landis (famously responsible for a generation of public misdemeanors inspired by Animal House and Blues Brothers). His son Max is well known among die-hard comic enthusiasts for unnecessarily clarifying comic book super hero stories on YouTube (as well as penning the screenplays for Chroncile and American Ultra, self-conscious millennial takes on long-standing cinematic troupes), which is why it comes to no one’s surprise that Frankenstein and Igor appear as Batman and Robin. The story of this dynamic duo is complete with combat fighting, repressed homosexuality, bros before hos, and big fires that go boom. It’s a big loud mess that doesn’t know whether its wants to be a comedy, romance, action thriller, or horror.
Verdict: 1 out of 5
McGuigan truly took a dump on Mary Shelley with this pointlessly resurrected adaptation, playing out like a muddled stitching together of five different genres. Much like the repulsive and violent animal that Frankenstein and Igor create, someone should bludgeon this movie to death before it can escape and attack people. Too late, I suppose. So be sure to head away from theaters showing Victor Frankenstein and straight into a Black Friday Best Buy throng. A botched story like this one truly shows that there is no end to the cultural poisoning brought about by nepotism in Hollywood, and Max Landis is no doubt a star rising on the back of his father’s work, bringing to our detriment this shambolic comic book style interpretation of an exhausted story.