I just came back from seeing it (Friday afternoon show).
Badly written. Badly directed. Badly edited. Badly acted (except Jason Flemyng and Sean Connery do what they can with their roles). Thudding soundtrack. I didn’t even like the set design, which is the most complemented aspect of the film in the reviews.
And I’m not even bitter about it being unfaithful to the source material. Though I’m a fan of the comic, I am completely open to a reinterpretation of the material, if done well.
Not even close to being done well.
The screenplay is at the level of a first-year cinema-school student. The dialogue is atrocious. There are so many gaps in logic – from the motorcar that smashes through stone columns, to the vampire that tropes around in the African daytime sun, to the regular human beings that somehow survive physical traumas unscathed – it taxes the most open-minded suspender of disbelief. There are some allusions to the comic, and to other works of literature of the era, each dropped in with the subtlety of a boot to the ear.
Truly, it gives me hope that I can be a screenwriter some day.
The direction is careless, actions scenes are mechanical, laughable, or banal; editing is of the rapid-fire method that leaves you wonding if you can catch ADD from watching it; the soundtrack is thudding.
Sean Connery does what he can. Jason Flemyng gives both Jekyll and Hyde some depth, as much as can be given in the time limitations attributed to each character. Petra Wilson is miscast as Mina. You never believe she’s a haunted British woman. Tony Curran is irritating as the replacement Griffin. Stuart Townsend is awful as Dorian Gray. Shane West has no clue as how to play Tom Sawyer. The guy who plays Nemo (N…something Shah) is occasionally wooden, occasionally respectable. Richard Roxburg is much to young to play…who he’s playing.
They might have been helped with a competent director, one more interested in character development or atmosphere rather than slam-bang kung fu, gun-fire, CGI effects and car chases.
I guess that’s my review.