9 July 2011 | Michael_Elliott
Nice Production, Fine Performances But Much Too Long
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (2002)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Mark Redfield produced, wrote, directed and stars in this latest updating of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson story. In case you've never heard of it, the respectable Henry Jekyll (Redfield) begins to experiment with a potion, which eventually turns him into the murderous Edward Hyde who then sets his violent ways on a prostitute (Elena Torrez). If you're sitting out there wondering why in the world we need yet another adaptation of this often-filmed story then rest assured that we really don't. If you've seen as many versions of this tale as I have you're probably wondering if this one is worth bothering with and I'd give it a pretty big recommendation because you can't help but admire what Redfield was able to do with such a small budget and apparently some production problems when the original backer bowed out of the project. On the whole this is a handsomely produced version as it's obvious there's a lot of care going on in the film. The screenplay does a good job at trying to show us new things that were left out of previous versions and I admire that they tried to tell the story through the view point of the lawyer Utterson. I'd be lying if I said the filmmakers stuck to this 100% of the time but it at least gives us a somewhat different view of the events. The direction by Redfield is another thumbs up because he has no problems telling the story and it's certainly well crafted and paced. Redfield, once again, does a very good job in the lead role and I really loved how differently he played the two men. I really enjoyed how laid back he made the Jekyll character without making him boring or too much of a good guy. On the other hand he also does a very good job with Hyde making him an evil character but slowly building up that evilness. Another major plus that the film has going for it is the performance by Torrez who is simply divine in the role. There's no question that she's easy on the eyes but unlike so many low-budget movies she also has an acting ability. I thought she was very believable in the part and I really enjoyed the sexuality that she brought to the role without over doing it as well as being so vulnerable. The rest of the supporting players are all very good in their parts, which certainly isn't the norm for this type of film. I do think the film's biggest flaw is that it runs ten-minutes short of two hours, which is just way too long simply because we've seen this story so many times that the viewer is going to know all the twists and turns that are going on.