From Hell via The Prestige
Originality, that’s overrated, right? Well don’t worry The Limehouse Golem is here to remind us that history always repeats itself, but the reel question is will the period murder mystery be From Hell or A Game Of Shadows?
Let me paint the scene for you… it’s a dark and cold night, you are walking the cobbled streets of Victorian London, there are noises for every avenue and window you pass, only gaslights counteract the overwhelming darkness that embraces you, from out of the shadows comes a voice, enticing you forward, it’s somehow reassuring as if you want to join with it, you step forward and then you see the glint of the blade. OK that, THAT is better than anything in The Limehouse Golem, and I just made that up on the spot, people actually shot a movie and thought it would be a credible idea.
I wonder to myself which of the impending lawsuits that The Limehouse Golem will face will win the most cash could it be Sherlock Holmes, Jack The Ripper or Penny Dreadful? Each of them have a reasonable stake, with one of them being the main character; the other being the inspiration for the murderer and the other being the overall feel of the movie, I reckon it’s even odds.
My personal problem with The Limehouse Golem is that if you drop one of the narrative threads (that being that inspector Kildare is a homosexual) you could have done the same story in any time period and it would have been AWESOME! If you don’t believe me, take some time out and watch Whitechapel sometime. This is a film that screams of wasted potential.
The biggest waste is, of course, the actors, they all have a talent far superior to the script they have given. With Bill Nighly headlining and Eddie Marsan putting in a strong turn it’s obvious that The Limehouse Golem is more play than a film. Olivia Cooke does well supporting Nighly, with Daniel Mays and Sam Reid all contributing well, however, it is Douglas Booth who is the true star. Booth puts in a performance somewhere between Russel Brand and Kevin Spacey. He is hypnotic.
Something I did enjoy about the movie is that firstly it touches on reality with one of the suspects being Karl Marx but also I enjoyed how the flashback to the events of each murder was portrayed. I guessed the ending of the film around half way through, which either makes it obvious or me clever. I believe the former.
I expect more from Jane Goldman (Who wrote the script), this is the writer of Kingsman, Stardust, X-Men Days Of Future Past, The Women In Black and so many others, she should know better than to write a single line of dialogue that is anything less than magnificent
While I sound like I hate The Limehouse Golem, I don’t. I believe that it has just enough flurries of creativity to keep the audience entertained, the cast propels it to a higher level but it is beaten down by a script and plot that can never let it reach its full potential.