Lightyear Entertainment // 2007 // 95 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 8th, 2008
Fear the monster within.
The latest take on the emaciated Jekyll and Hyde storyline stars Matt Keeslar as the titular doctor whose research allows the good doctor to access the deep recesses of his psyche and bring the malignant, horny creature that is Mr. Hyde into reality. Despite the attempted intervention from his fellow doctor and BFF (Jonathan Silverman, Weekend at Bernie's), Jekyll quickly loses control of Hyde, who proceeds to start bar-fights, harass strippers, coerce hapless girls into threesomes and wear a cape.
Soon, this dangerous experiment will affect everyone in Jekyll's otherwise normal orbit, including his friends, his fiancée, her powerful father, bouncers and, ultimately, the local law enforcement.
Wow, this one's bad. Jekyll does little to sharpen the well-established and -- dare I say it -- bled-dry Jekyll and Hyde mystique and an argument can be made that it so dilutes the story that it would take a Scorcese-helmed $150 million mega-project to rehab the brand.
How does it go so wrong? Let us count the ways:
Instead of developing chemicals or getting blasted with gamma rays or having a genetically modified insect biting his neck, Dr. Jekyll develops the goofiest mechanism yet to bring forth the savage Mr. Hyde -- a video game. That's right, the key to unlocking the mysteries of the human mind lies within a gaming rig with a kick-ass Nvidia graphics card. Dr. Jekyll constructs an avatar (nerd-speak for fake computer game persona) and when he sticks two diodes into his eye sockets and presses PLAY his cyberspace creation infiltrates his head and unleashes Hyde. So that's the key to turning into a crazy id-driven psychopath, firing up your console of choice and impaling your eyes with a Wiimote.
Cape and Sideburns
Once Hyde enters the scene, it's easy to tell: see, Dr. Jekyll, who looks normal, suddenly pops into two Arctic Blue contact lenses, dyes his hair black, slicks it back with industrial strength adhesive, magically grows some huge-ass sideburns, squeezes into genital-hugging leather pants and puts on a cape. Needless to say we're supposed to be awestruck by this galloping creature of masculinity and awesomeness, but the guy looks like a sixth-place finish in a Count of Monte Cristo look-alike contest.
Consumed with an unchecked libido and enslaved to his impulses and apparently boasting twice the strength of a normal man, Hyde makes his presence known through talking dirty to strippers, punching bartenders in the face, dancing around the strip pole smacking guys on the head with his cane (bad-ass!), and engaging in a threesome. All of that sounds pretty hardcore, I know, but all eroticism/violence/tomfoolery was effectively nullified by Matt Keeslar's gobsmackingly overwrought performance. His Hyde (heh) likes to talk in sweeping, accent-tinged poetic nonsense that comes across a good five notches below small-town New Hampshire community theatre. Just brutal.
Sorry, I just can't forgive him for The Single Guy. Man, that show sucked.
The disc: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and 2.0 stereo that perform as well as they need to, though the sound work in general for the film is amateur hour (can someone eliminate the freeway noise?), a commentary track and a making-of featurette.
Jekyll should earn some belly laughs. The fact that it's not a comedy could be a problem.
Guilty. Let's all hope Jekyll's computer gets the Red Ring of Death.
Review content copyright © 2008 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Lightyear Entertainment
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated