A Cheap Copy of the Original
Acute Observer | Jersey Shore USA | 05/21/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The film opens at night on a big city. [Boston?] A prostitute meets a customer who wants a lot from her. The next morning the man returns to his mansion and laboratory. His experiment isn't working. Dr. Jekyll works in a big hospital. Brutal murders are being committed in the city by a monster. Dr. Jekyll visits a lawyer to confess his crimes, but she doesn't believe him. People who confess to horrible crimes are usually innocent. Dr. Jekyll has a near accident in the street. Back at the hospital a survivor of a brutal attack dies. The lawyer visits Dr. Jekyll's mansion and snoops.
Dr. Jekyll wonders how one person can have both good and bad thoughts. He found a rare South American flower in the Amazon that had psycho-tropic effects. He experimented on himself. Theme music gives a clue to the split personality of Mr. Edward Hyde. This dark side keeps taking over. His lawyer suggests a voluntary commitment to a hospital. But Hyde escapes! The police arrest Dr. Jekyll. Will the antidote cure him? His lawyer tries to defend him by finding the Mr. Hyde who is the real killer. Will the jury believe this? Will there be a happy ending?
I understand the economics of a modern dress version to cut down on expenses. But the story is inferior to the original, and the cast is too small as well. When the copyrights expire other writers can use the characters in their stories. But they are rarely equal to the original. If they had the talents they would create original stories, not a modified version. The original story was about a kind physician who became a devil after drinking a potion. It seemed like an argument for Prohibition. Or could it be a symbol for a cyclical economy?"
A Modern Take on a Classic Tale
Mark Baker | Santa Clarita, CA United States | 05/28/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"A series of gruesome murders are rocking the city of Boston. The latest to die is a prostitute. The next morning, Dr. Jekyll (Dougray Scott) wakes up with blood on his hands. That puts him in a panic, and he quickly returns home to his basement lab to work on some experiments.
But when things don't get better, Dr. Jekyll decides to turn himself in. Going to his old friend Gabe Utterson (Tom Skerritt), he hires pretty lawyer Claire Wheaton (Krista Bridges) to help him quickly wave his trial and appeals so he can turn himself in and then be given the death sentence. Why? Because he is responsible for the crimes. Almost.
Dr. Jekyll, it turns out, has been experimenting with the extract of a rare Amazon flower, rumor to be able to separate the good from a bad in a person. And it has sort of worked. Jekyll has created Edward Hyde (also Dougray Scott), and evil person responsible for the murders. Since there seems to be no antidote in sight, Jekyll figures the only way to stop the monster is to die himself. Will Claire go along with the plan? Is there a cure? Can Hyde be stopped?
I seem to have become more forgiving of literary adaptations, not expecting them to stick to the source page for page. Still, the closer a book is to my heart, the harder time I have letting go. I love the novella that is the inspiration for this story. As a result, I find this movie pretty bad.
Most of the problem is that the movie strips the book of its power. The original story is a tragedy and morality tale about allowing evil into our lives. While that is still here, it isn't nearly as prominent, instead becoming a courtroom drama.
Even letting the book go, I find the movie hard to enjoy. It's very slow. I couldn't find the character's actions very believable. I hated the "surprise" ending. And the performances are only acceptable.
Other than that, I liked it.
The idea of filming the story in a modern setting could certainly work, but this isn't the film to do it. Skip it and read the original novella instead. It's a much better use of your time and won't take that much longer."