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From Hell

TRENT REZNOR MEETS PROFILER BBC STYLE

A Video Review of “From Hell”

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

First this is yet another movie ashamed of its origins. The credits are at the end so folks won’t know from the start that it’s a comic book movie and disguised with those chic words ‘graphic novel.’ To me, that’s a term used by yuppies that always read their comics on the train behind a copy of the New Yorker or the Wall Street Journal. If you’re a comic book geek, be proud and wear your pocket protector on your sleeve.

If you’re a fan of “C.S.I.” or “Profiler” and are well versed in your Jack the Ripper lore you’re learning nothing new here. What was original and well portrayed in the Alan Moore ‘graphic novel’ have been lost on the screen. That’s not to say Johnny Depp shouldn’t be lauded for his accurate accent and his mesmerizing imitation of Nine Inch Nails rocker Trent Reznor stalking through a BBC Victorian miniseries or that the direction of the Hughes brothers didn’t create the proper MTV meets Se7en imagery – but the film just doesn’t try hard enough.

There is more than adequate talent here with Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies) and Heather Graham (Lost in Space, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me) outstanding. There’s also a lot of throwaway screen time given to the ‘romance’ between Depp and Graham which essentially is doomed and Depp’s drug abuse. I would have rather seen more of his ‘psychic’ ability.

As I said if you know your Jack the Ripper this is all old hat, if not you’ll be mystified and entertained no end. Enjoy or be bored at your own risk.

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