Monday, 8 July 2013

Stars: 2 / 10

Disappoints. Unbelievable, silly, predictable tripe. Depp doesn't even look English and his accent is awful!


Director: Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes
Year: 2001
Main Cast: Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Sir Ian Holm


Expanded Review: 

I've seen a handful of Jack the Ripper stories, and this is, hands down, the worst of the lot! How anyone could take such a fascinating, gruesome, and mysterious case and flush it down the toilet is astounding! I came close to walking away from this movie, several times, in its miserable 122 minutes of bullshit, but decided to stick it out, only out of curiosity: how much worse can it get?! And it does, I promise you, get worse with every stupid, plodding scene.

I'm all for fiction and fantasy, and I can excuse a film for taking certain creative liberties with a story (not everything in real life plays out well on screen,) however, From Hell's implausible and fanciful conclusions are totally disrespectful to the real-life victims and the factual history of the actual (and yet unsolved) case of Jack the Ripper... and the filmmakers certainly weren't bothered by portraying Freemasons as anything less than evil, demonic conjurers. Harrumph and bahumbug.

I realise that this film is based on a graphic novel, and as such, takes liberties with the facts. And... ? So what. Just because someone comes up with a crappy idea, writes it down and draws some illustrations to go with it, is no reason to turn that crap into a feature film.

Johnny Depp would have been my very-next-to-last choice for this role. Depp is a fine actor, a master of his craft, and this is the first role of his that I have not liked. In fact, he's one of my most favourite actors, ever, so the shock of this appalling performance cut me deep in the Depp love.

And Ian Holm, how could you?! How could you possibly sink so low... for shame! Usually the mark of excellence is upon a film when Sir Holm is involved. Where was the intensity and finesse that we all know this Shakespearean is capable of?  They're nowhere to be found in this film, that's for sure.

As for Heather Graham... what can I say? I wasn't impressed before this movie, and I'm even less so now.

The wigs are awful. The music is forgettable. The script is ridiculous, with lame fantasy and several misconstrued facts. The acting is sub par, particularly considering that they had a stellar cast. The action scenes are boring and cliché. The effects are not at all special (the blood looks wholly unreal,) and not in a pig's eye would I ever sit through this tripe again.

You might as well save yourself from this colossal time-waster, and see "Jack the Ripper" (1988), with Michael Cane, instead:

Or, if you prefer a bit of Jack the Ripper history-meets-fantasy weirdness, check out "The Ruling Class" (1972), with Peter O'Toole:


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