Frankenstein's monster is back, and, boy, is he one sullen son of a gun.

Frankenstein's monster is back, and, boy, is he one sullen son of a gun.

In "I, Frankenstein," he's 200-plus years old, and looking pretty good for his age, scars and all. But if he thought dealing with a mad scientist and excitable villagers was tough, now he's really in for it. There's a war between gargoyles (think of them as unattractive angels) and demons (think of them as demons) going on, and our living-corpse protagonist is caught in the middle.

No wonder he's grumpy.

Played by Aaron Eckhart, the monster - or, "Adam," as he's called by the gargoyle queen (Miranda Otto) - gets to channel his anger as a kick-butt action hero. He soars through the air, punching and kicking and killing gargoyles and demons like an oversized video-game ninja. That is, when he isn't delivering pronouncements like "I am like no other," and other cornball lines ("Descend in pain, demon!") that provide unintentional chuckles.

In fact, it's hard to believe Eckhart and the other actors - which include Yvonne Strahovski (formerly of TV's "Chuck") as the modern-day scientist who becomes Adam's love interest and Bill Nighy as the top demon - can deliver the over-the-top dialogue with a straight face.

For that reason, "I, Frankenstein" is best viewed as camp - though it's not quite campy/funny enough. It's also not at all scary, and the story is uninvolving. And while it's fun to watch gargoyles perched on top of a cathedral come to life, the special effects are - surprise! - excessive and ultimately boring.

Even the great Nighy can't save this one.

"I, Frankenstein"

Star rating: **

Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy and Yvonne Strahovski

Written and directed by: Stuart Beattie

Based on: the graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux

Running time: 93 minutes

Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of intense fantasy action and violence throughout)

Tim Miller's reviews can be found at To follow him on Twitter, go to