24 August 2015

I, Frankenstein- Confessions of a Trope-Ridden Film

A few weeks ago, I was feeling especially down in the pretty-much-everything area. In order to cope, I flipped in Netflix. There in the queue to be watched, was I, Frankenstein. In a moment of weakness, I started the film.

Oh, I knew it would be bad. I was actually counting on it. I think I was certain that it would make me feel better about myself as a writer. Surely I can write something better than this.

And...I was so very right.

The story starts where Frankenstein leaves off--with the monster (in this case, called Adam) burying Dr. Frankenstein in his family cemetery. Once that is finished, he's attacked by demons. Lucky for Adam, the gargoyles on a nearby church are actually angels (of some sort) that are in an eternal war with the demons. Adam kills one of the demons, and the gargoyles come to investigate. They save him, then drag him to their leader.

Blah, blah, info dump, join us in our fight to save humanity, because it's the right thing to do.

Adam, "Uh, no thanks. What did humanity ever do for me? Naw, I think I'll go be angry and bitter for a few hundred years. Later."
Member of the Gargoyle Order, "Won't you take a weapon with our symbol on it? The demons might target you again, and only holy weapons can kill them."
"Don't mind if I do." Adam picks up a couple of heavy looking rods about two feet long.
Member of the Gargoyle Order, "Oh, don't take those. They're blunt and unwieldy and heavy."
Adam looks extremely satisfied as he whips them through the air with an ominous hum. "Thanks, this'll do."

Obviously that's an in-my-own-words recap. I was laughing so hard. It was like the writers opened the book of tropes and said, "Which one should we use here? We need something meaningful and *cough* deep."

Some other guy, "I got it! Let's have him choose the weapons that most resemble him. It'll be like symbolism. Fantasy fans love that stuff."

"Good. Do it. But don't make it too hard for them to figure out. Audiences aren't what they used to me."

Sadly, they skip the next 200 years and just give us a basic, Adam trudging through the world always being harassed by demons. He likes to kill them. And that's when the writers drop him in some crazy city where the headquarters of the Gargoyle Order is. Still not sure if the humans can see it or not. I somehow missed that tidbit. Adam is hanging around and he takes down a demon. The Gargoyles get all mad that he got a human killed (but not really) so they grab him and drag him in again.

Apparently the Queen knows he's important, but in 200 years she never tracked him. Can't be that hard when you have a bunch of minions that can fly wherever they want. Sheesh. Adam still refuses to join them, and at this point the demons really enter the story. They attack. The Queen is captured and the others are scattered. Including Adam.

The demons want Adam and/or Frankenstein's diary so they can duplicate the process that brought Adam to life, so that all of the demons the Gargoyles have banished to the underworld can be resurrected into bodies that the Demon Prince (king? Lord? Whatever.) has been gathering for a while. Everyone's got to have a hobby, right?

Seriously, the plot had promise, but the stringing of tropes like popcorn on one of those Christmas tree swags killed every bit of it.

So the queen is captured. Adam goes to get her back. She's all helpless and whatever. Stuff happens. She's saved and I think Adam gets caught by the demons. Doesn't matter.

Fast-forward to the end of the film. Adam goes and gets the Gargoyle's all riled up so they follow him to where the Demon Dude has the bodies stashed. At this point, the stupid queen reveals that she transforms into a bad a** Gargoyle that leads her followers into battle.

Why in the he** didn't she transform when her citadel was under attack the first time and kick the demons trash? Hmmm? It's like the writers didn't even bother to read the whole story at once so they could catch obvious (and stupid) errors like that.

There's plenty more.

I finished the movie, and since my expectations were low, I thought, "It could have been worse."

I'm happy to say that it did, indeed, make me feel better about my own writing. I have mean editor friends who catch that dumb stuff for me. I am more and more grateful to them every day.

Did anyone else spot a trope in the film that they'd like to share?

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