Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Things To Do

Review: 'Victor Frankenstein' better left for dead

RECOMMENDED READING


At this time of giving and being thankful for life's blessings, I give you the advice to stay far away from Victor Frankenstein. You can thank me later.

Victor Frankenstein is misshapen as the bad doctor's creature itself, straining without wit or viscera to be a devilish horror romp. The movie could use a body snatching or two, maybe a few villagers with torches, to better connect with Mary Shelley's myth. Something besides a raging chimpan-zombie for the gore crowd.

Paul McGuigan's movie is really about Igor but that title was taken by a bad animated movie. Actually, his name isn't really Igor but that's a short story Victor Frankenstein makes long. Igor (Daniel Radcliffe) begins as a nameless circus freak, kicked around by bully clowns, mooning over the trapeze girl Lorelei (Jessica Brown Findlay).

At night, the deformed man teaches himself the new science of anatomy, complete with helpful animated thought-diagrams of sinew, tissue and bone. What do you know? Dr. Vic (James McAvoy) has the same visions, and he's not shoveling dung in a circus. Come with me, he offers, and we'll build a monster together. Their escape makes them wanted men by Inspector Turpin (Andrew Scott).

Victor hides Igor in an abandoned soap factory where he experiments in re-animating dead organs resembling deli slabs. The doctor also removes that pesky hump on Igor's back with a siphoning splash. A grateful Igor becomes a well-postured assistant for the good of medicine, growing wary of that glint in Victor's eyes.

McGuigan's movie goes pretty much where you think from there, less distastefully amusing than expected, in a cliche steampunk setting. There are misused ingredients here for a nicely Gothic bloodbath comedy, like Crimson Peak with a sense of humor. Radcliffe and McAvoy are certainly game for more daring material than Max Landis' screenplay provides.

Several people asked lately why anyone still makes Frankenstein movies. After seeing this one I don't have a good answer, only good advice.

You're welcome.

Contact Steve Persall at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

Comments
Teen idol David Cassidy, ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Teen idol David Cassidy, ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

LOS ANGELES — David Cassidy of "The Partridge Family" fame has died at age 67. Publicist JoAnn Geffen released a statement Tuesday evening saying Cassidy had died "surrounded by those he loved." No further details were immediately available, but Geff...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Here's where to see Christmas lights in Tampa Bay

Here's where to see Christmas lights in Tampa Bay

Once the Thanksgiving leftovers are put away, you can stop grumbling about it being too early for Christmas lights and decorations. Let the grand illuminations begin! Despite our tropical climate, or maybe because of it, Tampa Bay goes all out when ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
‘Roman J. Israel, Esq.’ is a sad waste of Denzel Washington

‘Roman J. Israel, Esq.’ is a sad waste of Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington’s labored portrayal of a shambling legal savant named Roman J. Israel, Esq. is the least of the movie’s worries. This is a story of shifting ethics that should be dramatic, but shaky logic prevents that from happening.Dan Gilroy’s f...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Michael W. Smith talks about Texas shooting, Christmas music and Bono

Michael W. Smith talks about Texas shooting, Christmas music and Bono

On the morning after the mass shooting at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Michael W. Smith had pain in his voice. "It’s awful, it’s just awful," said the Grammy-winning Christian music superstar. "Everybody’s going to have their opinio...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Plan your weekend: Indie shopping, Lindsey Stirling, ice skating, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

Plan your weekend: Indie shopping, Lindsey Stirling, ice skating, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

Plan your weekendShoppingBlack Friday: Avoid the madness of the malls at a variety of indie shopping experiences this weekend. Skatepark of Tampa has one of the best sneaker selections in Tampa Bay and free skating all day Friday to celebrate. They’l...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Meet Amazon’s bawdy, opinionated Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Meet Amazon’s bawdy, opinionated Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Miriam "Midge" Maisel seems to have it all.It’s 1958 New York City, Upper West Side, and she’s a quick-witted Jewish housewife with two kids. She and her husband live in a plush apartment just a few floors below her meddling yet endearing parents.He’...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Baron Cohen to pay fine for Czechs sporting Borat mankinis

Baron Cohen to pay fine for Czechs sporting Borat mankinis

PRAGUE — Comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen has offered to pay the fines for six Czech tourists who were reportedly detained by authorities in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana for dressing up as his character Borat. Sporting lime green "mankinis" and black wig...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 24

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 24

St. Petersburg Tree Lighting: Mayor Kriseman flips the switch to illuminate the city’s Christmas tree at this celebration with live entertainment. 5 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth Avenue NE and Bayshore Drive, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 893-74...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Five ideas for easy Thanksgiving appetizers

Five ideas for easy Thanksgiving appetizers

Thanksgiving can put a heavy burden on the host. We’ve assembled five appetizers that are quick and easy to prep. Some, like our risotto balls and goat-cheese figs, cater to vegetarian diets, so you can be sure to please all your guests. Even i...
Updated: 11 hours ago
The Eagles, Jimmy Buffett coming to Camping World Stadium in Orlando

The Eagles, Jimmy Buffett coming to Camping World Stadium in Orlando

Now you know what to get your dad for Christmas.The Eagles are hitting the road in 2018, and they're bringing along one of their best friends from the '70s: Jimmy Buffett. The tour will hit Orlando's Camping World Stadium on April 14 before moving to...
Updated: 11 hours ago