This film is going to become something, maybe just a strange curio but its a very very good fun one. Basically I have a new favourite. Think of it as the Hansel and Gretel:Witch Hunters of Frankenstein movies with just a little of Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes" movies thrown in.
At the beginning of my review I would like to label this film with a giant, massive NOT FOR CYNICS badge. you go in here wanting to hate it you will get nothing but misery. Go in with a open mind and ability to enjoy the silly then you will be rewarded in spades.
SUMMARY TIME: A sad nameless but intelligent hunchback works as a clown and medic at Barnaby's Circus when fate and a fallen acrobat push him into the world of young and brilliant Dr Victor Frankenstein. a man who is up to no good and decides to take our man with him to a new life as the apprentice to a mad yet brilliant scientist. He cures him of his deformity, names him Egor and they embark on the creation of something new, freaky and ethically dubious.
So firstly we need to talk about the incredible performance of James McAvoy. He really stole the show as a proper campy mad professor with his quirky mannerisms, devilish movements and an ability to tone it down and have some heart rending scenes. McCoy is pretty perfect in everything and boy does he prove it again. Not that the lovely Dan Rad is disappointing in anyway. In fact he holds up pretty well as our emotional entrance into the story.
Another important point in this film is that this serves as Landis's redemption from the dull as ditchwater "American Ultra" and brings him back to his "Chronicle" glory days. which is great. Welcome Back Landis I knew you were better than that rubbish.
It's nice and gory too. Not so much that you'll wish you hadn't eaten before hand but enough to make it interesting. Which brings me onto something else, this film is visually breathtaking. If there has ever been an argument for why CGI can make period pieces pop this is the film that really hammers it home. The costumes are also sumptuous and given the chance I wish we'd got to tour around Victor's apartment because it's so beautiful and it visually has so much depth to it. There are definitely some Sherlock influences here too. In fact this entire film serves as steampunk primer for the upcoming Sherlock victorian special!
Finally before I finish this up I must go back to McAvoy and Radcliffe. The chemistry between them was absolutely perfect and it made a particularly gross scene involving Igor's hunchback that much more gripping. I hope the see these two working together in the future and hopefully back as Igor or Victor but that is yet to happen.
Overall go and see this. It is more than worth it. It's fun, it's silly and really really gripping. Hopefully we get more of it but if we don't I'm more than happy. Whilst the script got a little bogged down it kept running really well. Lorelei's plot was the only bit that didn't all quite fit together but the visuals and the performances kept it all alive. Hopefully with it's open ending this may not be the last time we will see McAvoy as Victor Frankenstein.