I don’t know why I haven’t reviewed this sooner as it’s one of my favourite films from way back in 2001… Come to think of it I need to re-watch Summer of Sam some time soon too! Considering this film is almost 20 years old, it has aged really well and as it doesn’t need to rely on loads of cgi etc. I think it will continue to stand up as a great film from this ear.
I think that Johnny Depp does an amazing job at playing a clairvoyant detective in Victorian London with a opiates addiction – which may or may not be an aid in his clairvoyant abilities.
During this film we follow him as he tries to solve the case of Jack the Ripper while he is active. They take the story of who Jack was (a question which has still not been answered in over 130 years) in a really interesting direction, with the story being so cleverly woven together that you do wonder whether there was a chance that they might be right.
It’s based loosely on the graphic novel of the same name and I think that the effects which they use lend themselves nicely to playing homage to that graphic novel heritage without feeling like a moving comic (like movies such as Sin City have tried).
A lot of critics over the years have criticised it for not being close enough to the source material, but for me, as I haven’t read it, I have always come in to it from an open mind looking at it for its own merits. One thing which most people agree on is that it evokes an awesome gritty atmosphere from the streets on London, and the acting from an a-list cast including Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm, Jason Flemyng, Ian Richardson and Robbie Coltrane was absolutely on point.
It is at it’s heart a crime drama / thriller, which is not usually a genre I’m hugely interested in but it does also contain just enough of a slasher, horror and paranormal vibe to keep me interested as well.
Not just that it does keep developing throughout the film as well, building on what you already know as the blame game gets constantly kicked around the streets of White chapel. If you haven’t seen this film yet, I highly recommend that you check out what I think is one of Depp’s most underrated performances to date.