Saturday, 3 August 2013

15 Second Review: Jekyll (2007)

This modern-day adaptation of the Jekyll and Hyde story is a mixed affair. The tone is rather unsettled, swinging between overt comedy, science fiction, thriller, romantic drama, and (unintentionally funny?) stabs at horror. The result does not cohere, and is frequently cheesy. That said, the series benefits from James Nesbitt’s enthused turn as the titular Dr…. Jackman. It genuinely feels like Nesbitt is having enormous fun in his dual role/s. The main reason to watch is simply Steven Moffatt’s writing, which is as delightfully witty as ever. As a master of playful dual perspectives, the Jekyll/Hyde split provides Moffatt with numerous opportunities to merge multiple meanings. Moffatt also pays attention to the practical problems that arise from two personalities sharing a single body, which range from the minor (one wakes with a headache because the other has been drinking all night) to the major (one of them is married with kids, the other is a violent womaniser). Mundane as they may sound, they provide some of the series’ most imaginative and entertaining moments. Elsewhere, Moffatt’s wonderfully economic writing takes centre stage. For example, on a first-date one character is told not to make her usual mistakes: don’t try to be funny, don’t intimidate him, and don’t come across as a gold-digger. When her date opens with ‘what do you do?’, she responds ‘rich men’. It is worth watching Jekyll for these gems alone.

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