There is something initially captivating about this reimagined version of the classic tale of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, featuring Eddie Izzard as the gender-swapped Dr Nina Jekyll under the revived Hammer studio brand. However, it ultimately becomes confusingly slow-paced and self-aware, with Izzard frequently falling into his signature style of rambling monologues, which may be entertaining in his stand-up comedy but feels out of place in this context.
The main actor’s comedic performance is not quite right, taking away from the potential for horror in the film. Additionally, the exaggerated musical score and poorly executed jump scares also take away from the effectiveness of the horror. The two legendary characters in the story are not distinct enough, both being portrayed too similarly by Izzard.
Scott Chambers portrays the character of Rob Stevenson, whose middle name is Louis. Rob is a recently released inmate who is obligated to find employment in order to satisfy his parole officer. He also hopes to gain visitation rights to his beloved baby daughter through this job. With the help of his brother, Rob is hired as a live-in caregiver for the reclusive and wealthy scientist, Dr Nina Jekyll. It is rumored that Dr Jekyll has withdrawn from society due to her health problems.
Although Dr. Jekyll’s strict and judgmental housekeeper (portrayed by Lindsay Duncan) disapproves, there is something about Rob’s genuine and kind nature that amuses Dr. Jekyll. As a result, she hires Rob to take care of her and ensure she takes her medication in her large, isolated mansion. However, things quickly take a turn for the worse. With appearances from Simon Callow and Jonathan Hyde, it seems like an intriguing experiment, but there is an underlying sense of stagnation.