From Hell (2001)


Based on a graphic novel, this pseudo Gothic serial killer movie based on the case of Jack The Ripper would probably have gone largely unnoticed if it weren’t for Johnny Depp’s presence in the lead role.

This Americanized version of Whitechapel is populated by “corlummeluvvaduck!” spouting cockernee extras wandering dark cobbled streets in a way that resembles The Comic Strip Presents…Strike! a little too closely for comfort, a fact not helped by Robbie Coltrane’s appearance a literary cliche-spouting sergeant. But the biggest problem is that it’s all so half-baked; all of the characters are superficially realized stereotypes and the initially intriguing elements of mysticism – particularly Johnny Depp’s drug-fuelled visions – are completely irrelevant. The plot could possibly be of interest to those not familiar with the whole Jack The Ripper conspiracy theory, but anyone with The Discovery Channel will have heard it all before.

From Hell does have its moments – most notably when its star and Ian Holm are together on the screen – but they are rather too few and far between.



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