(out of 5)
Annoyingly boring movie about Jack The Ripper that was intended by directors Allen and Albert Hughes to be the definitive movie on the world’s premier and most mysterious serial killer, but is really just another lame gorefest. By trying to incorporate all aspects of Victorian England (the Queen and her iron rule, the scandal of the Elephant Man, the price of grapes among other things) into the mosaic of the film, the Hughes Brothers have actually gone overboard and made a movie that has too many unexplained scenes, repetitive murder sequences and absolutely no sense of pacing whatsoever. Johnny Depp plays a detective who, while on the case of the Ripper, becomes friendly with a prostitute (Heather Graham) who could be the next victim. Robbie Coltrane is the film’s only liveliness as Depp’s friend and colleague, a man who helps clear away some red tape and let Depp do his job. Why Depp’s character can see the murders before they actually happen in his drug-induced dreams is never really explained, an oddity considering that his foreseeing the events never helps the investigation nor does he seem to care much about it afterwards (at least Annette Bening in In Dreams felt bad that she couldn’t prevent the murders of the girls she kept seeing in her mind). Why the Hughes brothers keep showing every single murder in full detail is also never justified; it’s not like after the first few times we’d be so dim as to be unacquainted with the meaning of a quick knife-cutting sound and a woman’s distant scream. The only recommendable aspect of this film is the fact that the directors admirably do use restraint in depicting the film’s more violent scenes, something pretty unique for this day and age of horror films, but the last third of the film will have audiences reeling with anger.
Cinematography by Peter Deming
Music by Trevor Jones
Production Design by Martin Childs
Costume Design by Kym Barrett
Film Festivals: TIFF 2001
Cast Tags: Al Ashton, Amy Huck, Andy Linden, Annabelle Apsion, Anthony Parker, Bruce Byron, Bryon Fear, Carey Thring, Charles Parish, Cliff Parisi, Danny Midwinter, David Fisher, David Schofield, Dominic Cooper, Donald Douglas, Estelle Skornik, Gary Powell, Gerry Grennell, Glen Berry, Graham Kent, Heather Graham, Ian Holm, Ian McNeice, Ian Richardson, James Greene, Jason Flemyng, Joanna Page, John Owens, Johnny Depp, Katrin Cartlidge, Lesley Sharp, Liz Moscrop, Louise Atkins, Mark Dexter, Melanie Hill, Nicholas McGaughey, Paul Moody, Paul Rhys, Peter Eyre, Poppy Rogers, Ralph Ineson, Robbie Coltrane, Rupert Farley, Rupert Holliday-Evans, Samantha Spiro, Simon Harrison, Sophia Myles, Steve Chaplin, Steve John Shepherd, Susan Lynch, Terence Harvey, Vincent Franklin, Vladimír Kulhavý