Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Film Review With Sam Larner

Burke and Hare (15)

Burke and Hare is the new film by John Landis (Blues Brothers and An American Werewolf in London), he’s well known for directing dark comedies and also Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis star as the two title characters, I like both actors although as Pegg has turned up in more and more Hollywood movies the number of laughs per movie seems to have been on the decrease. Jessica Hynes (nee Stevenson) stars as Lucky, William Hare’s (Serkis) wife and is one of the best things in the film along with the brilliant Ronnie Corbett.

Okay, so I watched Burke and Hare on a Wednesday (big movie night) at a preview in the East End and there were 5 of us in the cinema, 5! That wasn’t a great start and in terms of box office success it hasn’t been particularly stunning. The question is, is this a dark comedy or a dark comedy? If it’s the first one then there are not nearly enough jokes in the film. I had one chuckle during the film when Ronnie Corbett announced that he was Jewish, that in context is quite amusing. The audience I was with had a similar non-reaction to the jokes. Also the filmmakers seem to believe that the film is much funnier than it actually is. There’s many a pregnant pause after a joke seemingly to allow the audience to pick themselves up, but I must admit there was no laughter ahoy.
So therefore it must be a dark comedy. Well if that was the plan then there was no horror throughout the movie and literally no period where I was scared or had to look away. That’s not some kind of macho, “I’m not scared” kind of attitude but rather because there is literally nothing happening remotely scary during the film.

So what does that leave the film with? Well honestly, nothing, it’s pretty much a massive disappointment. Simon Pegg’s films have left me feeling a bit underwhelmed recently, actually ever since Shaun of the Dead. I thought that Hot Fuzz was quite dull and not very amusing, Run Fatboy Run looked promising but again was not massively amusing and this is really the worst of the lot. They cram as many British comedians into the cast as they can for seemingly pointless reasons. For instance Stephen Merchant as a footman is in it for about 2 lines. In the end it’s not enough fun and it’s not enough scares.

Sam's Star Review: *

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