Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde
1995, PG-13, 90 min. Directed by David Price. Starring Tim Daly, Sean Young, Lysette Anthony, Harvey Fierstein.
REVIEWED By Joey O'Bryan, Fri., Sept. 1, 1995
Not to be confused with the similarly plotted 1971 Hammer horror picture Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde, Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde is instead a terminally lame special-effects comedy with next to no laughs, smarts, or originality. Tim Daly stars as a young scientist who inherits the research notes of his old relative Dr. Jekyll, and, in his attempts to improve on his ancestor's formula, winds up unleashing what he refers to as “his dark side” -- a manipulative man-eater named Helen Hyde, who proceeds to wreck his relationship, steal his job, and generally ruin his already unstable life. Whatever “battle of the sexes” wit might have been wrung out of this potentially provocative story line has been all but lost on these unimaginative filmmakers, who, despite the efforts of four (count 'em) screenwriters, still couldn't avoid the time-worn music video sequence of our heroine trying on clothes. The actors are uninspired in the extreme, with Daly confusing a goofy smirk with a good performance, while the normally energetic Young walks through her (admittedly thankless) role, displaying absolutely as little interest as possible. That said, about the only thing that comes across as marginally successful in this mess is the effects work, which includes a couple of eye-popping transformation sequences, although the endlessly repeated gag of Daly's/Young's breasts either swelling or deflating becomes quickly tiresome. Director David Price, who is also credited with coming up with the story (never mind the aforementioned Hammer opus or, God forbid, Robert Louis Stevenson's orginal story… which this film claims to have been “suggested by”), stages the whole affair with the most pedestrian of hands, failing to grasp anything but the most rudimentary elements of individual scenes (which, thanks to the choppy editing, often last little more than a minute or two each). Overall, this PG-13 bore is neither crass enough nor intelligent enough to hold anyone's attention.