Gargoyles, who are actually angels, who transform into humans dressed like they’re from Prince of Persia team up with Frankenstein’s Monster who has super strength, speed, and has been alive for 300 years to stop a Demon Prince from creating an army of the undead using the dead Dr. Frankenstein’s journal. I feel like that sentence and that gif could be the entire review.
I could do a full length 5000+ word review on this, but nobody is going to remember this movie 2 months from now. Nobody remembers it now, but unfortunately I have Redbox and a drinking problem so here we are.
Well, it’s about as dumb as I thought it’d be. The plot is as simple and barebones as humanly possible, everyone’s fake accents are awful, the dialogue is a mixture of genre cliche and lines that were clearly only said so they could be used in a trailer, there’s a forced romantic interest, and it’s PG-13 so you don’t even get heinously over the top violence.
I was going to put something really snarky and shitty about Aaron Eckhart in the title. Something like “heh, what is he going through a divorce or something? Is that why he needs the money so bad that he'd take THIS movie *tips fedora*” Then I realized that if someone told me I was going to be an immortal monster who fought alongside angel gargoyles I would rip the contract out of their hands and sign it faster than this movie left theaters (heyoooooooo).
Aaron Eckhart tried. No matter what I say about this stupid garbage I’ll give him that. He got absolutely ripped for this dumb movie and really tried while all of the human characters read their lines like high school kids putting on a production of Hamlet. The other bright spot is Bill Nighy, Shaun’s dad in Shaun of the Dead, as the demon prince. He’s just an old asshole who hates everyone around him and routinely treats them all like shit. You know when he got this script he read it and realized that he was just supposed to be the evil British Dr. Claw that’s the main villain in every generic movie like this. Instead of sleepwalking through it like 99% of the cast does, he’s just old and British and mean, and watching him belittle all of the actors around him who are stammering through Asylum Films-level ye olde english is a definite bright spot.
Everyone else aside from the two of them are pretty awful. All the gargoyle angels (my absolute favorite word combination) are different races, but they all speak in the same terrible faux-Shakesperian accent. Watching Lil John McClane from A Good Day to Die Hard read lines out of a 16 year old's Game of Thrones fanfic is hilarious, and between this and him working with Bruce Willis' corpse earlier that year you almost feel bad for a guy who's just trying to catch a break in Hollywood. I don't even know how much I can put on the actors, though. What's on the screen definitely isn't good, but I'm not sure there are many people who could work with what they're being given.
The human girl sidekick/forced love interest is as bland as you can imagine. It’s even got the arc where he rescues her and they hide and she stitches up his wounds and he tells her about his mission and she sees things from his perspective and takes his side and ultimately helps him in the climax. The best part about her though is the fact that he explains the plot about angels and demons and his identity in about 3 sentences and not once does she question it. He tells her that him and his gargoyle friends have to stop the devil from using Dr. Frankenstein's notebook to reanimate tens of thousands of corpses to create a demon army and she’s like “…aight.”
There’s three things above else that stick out to me. First off, his name is Adam. It annoys me to no end when people refer to the monster itself as Frankenstein. Although the title is misleading, they refer to him as Adam, the name Mary Shelley gave the monster. Second, the end credits roll at an hour and twenty two minutes. Good on ya, movie. And finally, the last line. After the movie ends with a big, dumb happy ending where all the evil forces are destroyed and everyone’s ok and happy, he delivers your standard “end of the movie heroic monologue.” And I quote
"I, descender of the demon horde. I, my father's son. I, Frankenstein."
He says it. He fucking says it. I had a smile on my face like a kid on Christmas morning. There's not a semblance of a tongue resting in a cheek, and I laughed my ass off.
All in all, it's basically the SyFy Channel version of an Underworld movie. The plot is admirably stupid and some of the visuals were a lot cooler than this garbage deserves. Most of the demons look like the masks in The Haunted Mask episode of Goosebumps, it has generic lines like "this ends tonight" that are interchangeable with a hundred other movies, and it's only PG-13. I will say though, everyone who dies explodes into a giant fireball so I'm willing to take that trade-off.
If I had seen this in a dark theater where I couldn't focus on anything but the movie, I would've been miserable. But I was at home sprawled out on a couch with other people in the room so I could tune out until Aaron Eckhart punched someone wearing a demon mask so hard that they exploded into Hell. It's a movie that started with a dreaded February release and got pushed back an entire year - into an even more dreaded January release. It has "piece of shit" written all over it but if you do like God intended and watch it with others, drink heavily, laugh, and then immediately forget about it the next day, it's serviceable. If I catch it on TV I won't immediately scramble to find the remote, and I think that's about the highest praise you can give this.
Fingers still crossed for I, Frank N Furter