Daily Archives: December 29, 2022

Frankenstein (2015)

*. Back in 2010 DC Comics stirred up a bit of controversy by putting Superman in a hoodie on the cover of a new graphic novel series called Superman: Earth 1. A hoodie seemed not the kind of thing Superman would, or even should, be seen wearing.
*. I had a flashback to that cover when I saw the DVD box cover for this version of Frankenstein, which gives us the monster in a hoodie. That’s not false advertising either, as Adam (or the Monster) wears a hoodie through most of the second half of the movie. This conceals his decaying appearance and gives him street cred.
*. The tie-in to Superman also works because this monster is a superhero too. He actually hasn’t been put together out of spare parts taken from corpses but instead seems to have been turned out with a 3-D printer and then given an elixir of life. For some reason this gives him the strength of ten men and an accelerated life span. So he’s basically rotting daily.

*. Even if Adam isn’t a monster made out of bits and pieces the movie sure is. The gear shifts made my head spin. Things start out very low budget and almost art house in the scenes when Adam is brought to life. Then there is an eruption of splatter when he breaks free. Then it turns into an update of the classic 1931 film, including variations on the scene with the girl tossing things into the water and the Monster hooking up with a blind man. This leads into a bit of social commentary, as the Monster becomes a homeless version of the Elephant Man, living among L.A.’s down and out while looking to get his revenge on the corporate jerks who made him.
*. Some of it I rather liked but the whole thing doesn’t hold together at all. The narrative stitching is as loose as you can imagine, with several elisions where Adam just seems to wander from one part of the story to the next. The larger point of it all is hard to reckon. For example, Adam is fixated on his mother (the always cool Carrie-Anne Moss) but his feelings are not reciprocated. At least they don’t seem to be. But the door is left open I guess, and they do seem to achieve a kind of vision of reconciliation at the end.
*. It seems to have been a project that meant something to Bernard Rose (who did Candyman and Immortal Beloved) but exactly what I’m not sure. I appreciate the independent spirit with which it was undertaken, but I came away confused and underwhelmed.