Starring: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Douglas Boothe
Director: Juan Carlos Medina
In Victorian London, a woman (Cooke) stands accused of her husband’s murder, but the crime may be part of a spate of vicious killings attributed to the killer known as the Limehouse Golem. Can Detective Kildare (Nighy) clear the accused and solve the murders? Or is an innocent woman doomed to die?
To solve the case, Kildare must look deep into the woman’s past as an orphan to her rise as a well known music hall actress.
This film looks and feels like it should have been a BBC TV miniseries, and I think if it had been, it might have been a better film. As it is, it’s a rather confused mess where it’s easy to guess the killer very early on. The film starts out suggesting that it’s going to be a detective story set in Victorian England, which sounds wonderful, and just when you’re settling into that, it starts being about Lizzie Cree and her really long flashbacks. Which are quite dull, and really could be summarised in a sentence or two. They tend to focus over long on any salacious detail rather than really furthering the story, and are full of obnoxious and rather cartoonish one dimensional characters. And then it flips back to trying to be a detective story. It’s quite annoying.
Bill Nighy barely phones in a performance as the detective on the case, who has a backstory that goes nowhere and therefore is rather pointlessly added. He looks like he’d rather be anywhere else than in this film, which starts to become kind of amusing to watch after a while. Especially as the other actors try so very hard.
Where this film excels is in it’s costume and locations. If you love watching anything set in this era, then there is something here for you. I love the foggy streets and the embroidery and lace of these kinds of films. It’s a pity that it’s not really that entertaining otherwise.
See It If: lack lustre and confused, this is disappointing fare best avoided other than for lavish costume lovers.