|Index||8 reviews in total|
This film has as much to do with the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, of
same name, as the Pope has to do with "break dancing." I don't know where
the producers scraped up the chutzpah to give it that title, but they have
turned the term shameless into an Olympic event.
Those flaws aside, it's not bad. No, it's not GONE WITH THE WIND; but by no means is it a Pauly Shore vehicle, either. It has some good messages (i.e. Drugs bad, Mafia bad, Old people and orphans good, Chinese herbal medicine good, etc.) and a few good moments of action. If they had toned down the violence and had been honest with the title, this film could have made a pretty decent feature for adolescents. Unfortunately, of course, that's not the case. Also, the ending came up so fast and unexpected, I unintentionally laughed.
If you like your story pretty obvious, sprinkled with some so-so attempts at humor, then this is for you. Indulge, just don't tell your neighbors.
Not recommended, unless you've been burgled and that's the only movie they left...and it would be...*sigh*.
When it comes to interpreting classic horror novels to the silver screen,
Francis Ford Coppola is a funny one. Having already directed "Bram Stoker's
Dracula" (a bad film) and co-produced "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" (a good
film), it seems only natural that he would try his luck with a version of
Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Unfortunately, the only
thing you'll find in common with Stevenson's mini-novel and this film is the
One can only imagine how this funny little film got into production. Coppola must have never even read the script. I imagine his agent gave him a call and said, "Hey, they need an executive producer for another Jekyll and Hyde picture. You've already done Dracula and Frankenstein. Another wouldn't hurt...we could sell them in a three-in-one DVD pack, because we're clever Hollywood marketers. What do you say?" Well, someone got fired over this deal, and I have a feeling that it was Coppola's agent (and quite possibly Adam Baldwin's as well).
Adam Baldwin, judging from his previous work (thankless but well-acted roles in "Independence Day" and "The Patriot"), was an ideal choice to play a young, charismatic Dr. Jekyll in Victorian London. Instead, this treatment gives us a Henry Jekyll who adopts a martial-artist crime fighter secret identity as Mr. Hyde, a being he mutates into (think the Incredible Hulk) after being revived from the dead by a mysterious herb while vacationing with his wife in Hong Kong. He then seeks out to avenge the death of his wife by transforming into Mr. Hyde, kind of like a really ugly caped crusader. Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that he is the prophesized "White Dragon" or something to that effect, destined to save the world, yadda yadda yadda.
The makers have taken what would have been a mediocre martial artist movie and made it worse by adding the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde theme, and loosly at that. My question is, who put this thing together? Judging from its low production values, I can only assume that it was originally a made-for-tv, would-be television pilot in the tradition of "Invisible Man," and, when it didn't find a distributor, was dumped on video as a feature film for the sake of Coppola's name. While some of the martial-arist fighting is indeed quite nice, for a cheap production like this, and Adam Baldwin shows potential as a would-be Jekyll and Hyde, I cannot recommend this film on any level. Gothic horror fans will find no Gothic horror, and martial artist fans won't find anything that hasn't already been done better.
To be fair, however, Coppola's previous efforts at Gothic horror have featured deceiving titles: "Bram Stoker's Dracula" had little to do with the Bram Stoker's novel, and "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" was more an effective homage to it than a literal interpretation. At least he successfully leaves the "Robert Louis Stevenson" out of the title (it might be because he is tired of Stoker's ghost haunting him and he'd rather not take his chances).
Final verdict: C-
*1/2 out of ****
This is the loosest adaptation of anything I've ever seen. In fact,
loose doesn't even begin to describe it. What Sci-Fi has done is taken
the title of the Robert Louis Stevenson's novella in order to draw
viewers in, and nothing else.
The TV movie follows Dr. Henry Jekyll, now a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. The entire supporting cast of Stevenson's story, even in name, is nonexistent. Jekyll travels to China with his new bride for a honeymoon. There he encounters Chinese mobsters who maim the doctor, kill his wife, and leave him for revenge.
Up to this point, the movie had potential. An action-adventure vigilante retelling of "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" might have been worth seeing. Unfortunately, the movie never even tries to live up to its source material. Dr. Jekyll apprentices himself to a local medicine man and studies martial arts under the name "Edward Hyde." It looks like Sci-Fi had to throw both of those names in there somewhere in order to keep the title. Eventually, in the final third of the movie, Dr. Jekyll does make a medicine that gives him glowing eyes, sharp teeth, and a killer edge. But Stevenson's theme of the struggle between good and evil inside of every man is unexplored. If Sci-Fi was going to take the title, they should have at the very least tried to stay true to the theme. Under the influence of the medicine, Dr. Jekyll is aware, even more aware, of what he is doing. Mr. Hyde is all alias, no altar ego.
The acting performances are solid, but the movie is hard to enjoy when it begs to be compared to its classic source material. Before the halfway point of the movie, the "Based on the book by Robert Louis Stevenson" in the credits seems like a bold-faced lie. If you enjoy American-in-China-kung-fu-action movies, and you have nothing better to watch, try this on for size. If you're looking for an adaptation of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", avoid this, or you'll be sorely disappointed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It all starts as your typical Hong Kong supernatural movie, the bad guys known as "The Dragon" seek to kill a person who is known in legend as "the tiger" in fear that he or she may destroy them one day. Along the way they run into Dr. Jekyll and his wife while on vacation. They know of Jekyll's reputation of being a professional chemist and want him to produce their drugs. He of course says no and they blow up his wife while not only leaving him for dead but at the same time framing him for the crime. He is rescued by an ancient Chinese medicine man who teaches him martial arts and the secrets of the medicine. He uses this knowledge to construct a chemical that increases his strength speed as well as change his personality into the revenge hungry Mr. Hyde, who single-handily took out the Dragon gang. It later turns out that he is the Tiger that the gang prophesied about. to me this movie is OK, but that's only a matter of opinion. I still recommend those whom haven't seen it to watch it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Recap: Dr Jekyll has just married and he and his beautiful wife has
left for Hong Kong on their honeymoon. Apparently random events mix
them up with the triads and their organ theft trade. His wife dies but
Jekyll is rescued by an old man proficient with the old Chinese
medicine. He nurses Jekyll back to life, under the assumed name Edward
Hyde, and later tells him that he is part of an ancient Chinese
prophecy and battle between good and evil.
Comments: Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde vs. Hong Kong action clearly was a knockout victory for the Hong Kong action. The only thing that links this story with the original classic is the names Jekyll and Hyde. The result is almost laughable. Why they try to include the classic theme is beyond me, as it is actually a decent low budget Hong Kong action. If they only had left out the ridiculous names.
Adam Baldwin is a personal favorite since Firefly, and he brings some of the same elements here. He is action with an edge of humor. He is what a movie of this kind needs. Just wait until he gets out of the silly wig/hair extensions.
I'm not quite sure if this was intended as a pilot for a TV series that never materialized or what the writer and director planned. Because the end is one of the worst endings I ever seen. It's not what you might call an open ending that can continue, because the movie just isn't finished at the ending. It's like the production ran out of money three quarters into the movie and just shut down. It's ridiculous. My spontaneous reaction was basically "What the ?" Can't really recommend this to anyone. The end ruins it all, because the silly Jekyll/Hyde reference can be ignored. Otherwise it is decent Hong Kong action.
I never can figure out how turkeys like this get green-lighted by movie
studios. Are they that desperate to make money?
I just wasted two hours of my life watching this giant pile of fail. It looked as if Coppola took 3 different movies: a martial arts flick, an east-west cop/buddy pic, and the Jekyll-Hyde story, and tried to stitch them all together Frankenstein-style into one movie. Add some crappy dialogue, cheesy one-liners that fail miserably and hambone acting (everyone in this movie is pretty bad, an Adam Baldwin chews the scenery like a beaver on crack) and the result is a confused, unappealing mess.
Don't waste your time like I did. Watch a good movie instead.
Perhaps this was a pilot for a TV series? The ending was left
wide open for a sequel; it was an incredibly abrupt ending (not
saying more so as not to spoil).
It was entertaining, but not great. The connection to the original story is pretty slight, but I enjoyed the new twist on it.
Ouch, this one sucks big time. Too many plot holes, atrocious acting (if you can call it acting in the first place), rotten one-liners, wisecracking Chicago cop, this film just has no saving grace except some lovely shots of Hong Kong. Take my word, skip it.
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