Movie review: Victor Frankenstein is a monster flop

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Victor Frankenstein

Director: Paul McGuigan

Featuring: James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe

2/5

Victor Frankenstein is not ­exactly an intuitive release for Christmas, and those who choose it over the family and franchise fare might have wished they’d ­waited for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

On paper, this one’s a winner – it’s headlined by two of Britain’s hottest young actors, James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, and directed by Paul McGuigan, the man behind the ­Benedict Cumberbatch reboot of Sherlock Holmes on TV.

So far, so good, except that having picked a twist – that the story is told from the perspective of Igor (Radcliffe), a character absent from Mary Shelley’s original novel – the film makers get lost in the spectacle.

The set designers do a smashing job; the costume designers too. The final scenes shot during real storms in a specially built cylindrical set are ­impressive.

The trouble is that Radcliffe is far too fresh-faced and, well, boy-wizard-like, to pull off the tortured, hunchbacked Igor of horror-movie lore.

McAvoy, who is a much better actor (sorry, Harry Potter), is good as the insane visionary Dr Victor Frankenstein, but not good enough to make this compelling viewing.

The film makers only get into the nitty-gritty of ­Shelley’s science-vs-God debate by setting an evangelical detective on Frankenstein’s trail. It’s a wasted opportunity, which pretty much ­describes this film.

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