If you’re looking for something to begin your holiday weekend from 20th Century Fox and director Paul McGuigan is another take on the story of the man we all know as VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN.
A young man with a hunched back is the ridicule of the circus. The punching bag for those who run the circus, he takes the beatings if only to see the smile of acrobat Lorelei (Jessica Brown Rindlay). One particular night, the circus had another unique visitor in Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy). When Lorelei falls from the trapeze, both the young man and Victor run to her aid.
Within moments Victor would see this sad faced clown save Lorelei’s life. The circus owner was not as impressed throwing the clown into a cage. That wouldn’t last long as Victor invites him to taste freedom.
After escaping, Victor jumps quickly into action to put the young man right, including giving him the name of Igor (Daniel Radcliffe) and realizing the medical knowledge he can bring to the lab. In a few days posters were being circulated looking for two men who were responsible for the ruckus at the circus. Leading the charge was Inspector Turpin (Andrew Scott), a man of religion who feels it his duty to find sinners.
When an experiment goes wrong at the medical college, Victor and Igor disagree on what will happen next. Ready to help Victor financially is Finnegan (Freddie Fox) who doesn’t mind spreading the money around if it will get him the fame that goes with it. Igor only wants to be with Lorelei and after a disagreement, Victor and Igor part.
What happens next brings Igor back to the man who saved him.
McAvoy as Victor Frankenstein is a whirl wind from beginning to end. From the moment his character enters the scene it is clear this Frankenstein is like none we’ve seen before. Flitting in and out and all around, it is completely exhausting trying to keep up with what he was thinking or planning. McAvoy not only makes it look good, but look fun! I have always enjoyed his performances and with VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN he has elevated it to loving his performances.
Radcliffe as Igor has spent the last several years moving away from ‘the boy who lived’ and he continues to widen the gap. As Igor he gives this character such a depth of emotion that, at first, is hidden by disfigurement and clown make up. Taking on the name and becoming Victor’s assistant, he introduces himself into the world to discover love, friendship, loyalty and fighting for what is decent and just. It was amazing watching this character grow and Radcliffe excels.
Rindlay as Lorelei is lovely. She sees the best in Igor and although doesn’t see the benefit of what they are both doing, steers clear. Fox as Finnegan is a rich kid who has no problem spreading his family’s money around. Making sure he does get his worth, he sees a brilliant madness in Victor and wants to be part of it.
Scott as Turpin is a cop with serious problems. Investigating the animal parts stealing becomes an obsession that leads him to Victor. When he doesn’t get the support of his superiors, there is a disconnect that becomes a tad scary. Scott gives the dead-stare a whole new meaning.
Other cast include: Bronson Webb as Rafferty, Daniel Mays as Barnaby, Robin Pearce as Baron Bomine, Callum Turner as Alistair and Spencer Wilding as Prometheus 2.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Told from Igor’s perspective of events, I have to say I was thrilled with every aspect of the film. The vintage feel is absolutely brilliant and the costuming, as I always say, is an important aspect to getting that feel so well done.
The story telling was extremely fast paced and that is due mainly to McAvoy’s hyperactive speech and actions. Frankly he wore me out trying to keep up with him. There is a scene where Radcliffe joins into the fast paced madness and they both made it look so damn easy.
One of the things I most enjoyed about the film was the infusion of humor into a story that, previously, didn’t find much to laugh about. Of course that is with the exception of Mel Brooks’ 1974 YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN but that’s pure comedy. Here it is in an incredible infusion of everything with McAvoy and Radcliffe zapping us along for a fantastic ride I can’t wait to see again.
This is definitely a can’t-miss film to see on the big screen so add it to your wish list this weekend and enjoy!
In the end – get ready to meet your makers!