REVIEW: Mary Reilly (1996)


Mary Reilly: D-

The classic tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is experienced from the perspective of the doctor’s maid, Mary Reilly. If you don’t think about it, that sounds like a cool premise. But, think about it: why would I want to experience a story that already has a lot of the action cropped out of it from the perspective of a character who is even more peripheral? Jekyll is always blacking out when he turns into Hyde and part of the story deals with him filling in the horrifying blanks. In this movie, they switch the point of view, but it is pretty pointless because she is a goddamn supporting character.

Maybe I’m biased: I’m not into Julia Roberts, but I’m not going to go into that here. She’s America’s Sweetheart, but she ain’t my sweetheart. She isn’t awful, but she is really hit r miss for me, personally. However, I love Malkovich, so maybe my biases cancel out.

The movie is boring. That is the best word for it. It is just glacial in every way. Hyde gets into some murderous shenanigans, almost getting caught like fifty times by various flat characters with really really fake accents. Julia Robert breathes through her mouth a lot and her eyes get really big. Wow, what a talented actress. She views most of the movies excitement from around corners or sort of hears it from the other room. Fucking WHY? Such a pointless film.

There is some shameful CGI when Malkovich morphs; it makes the snake from Anaconda look like real life. The only reason it doesn’t get an “F” is because it is worth watching so you can see Malkovitch prance around like a sexual werewolf. He’s pretty funny. If there’s some paint drying anywhere in your home, you might want to watch that instead. But just glance at the paint from around the corner and occasionally gasp and go “oh dear!” in your worst British accent.