Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What's On Netflix?: BURKE & HARE (2010)

Welcome to another installment of What's On Netflix?, where we pick out a film currently playing on Netflix and review it for the fans.  This week's choice is the indie dark comedy...BURKE & HARE.

When I chose this film, I had no idea what I was in for.  I saw the great cast and read the short description on Netflix, and that hooked me, but it did not prepare me for the crazy, wild ride I was about to experience.  It's not often that I get a chance to watch a really good, dark comedy, and I'm glad I watched this one because it has become one of my favorites.

Burke & Hare is directed by the very talented John Landis, and is actually the last film he directed.  Landis is best known for directing such classic films as Animal House, Trading Places, Three Amigos, and Coming To America.  He also wrote and directed Blues Brothers and An American Werewolf In London.  This was a great return to form for Landis and would love to see more like this from him in the future.

Not only were the script and direction great, this film had an amazing cast.  The two leads, Burke and Hare, are played by Simon Pegg (Star Trek Into Darkness, Shaun of the Dead) and Andy Serkis (Lord Of The Rings, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), and their chemistry together is incredible.  Originally, David Tennant was cast to play Hare, but left before principal photography began, which led to Serkis replacing him.  It's hard to imagine this film with David Tennant in that role.  I love him as an actor, especially in Doctor Who and Marvel's Jessica Jones, but Serkis played Hare with a certain level of slime that I'm not sure Tennant could pull off, but I guess we'll never know.  

You also get to enjoy some great performances by Tim Curry (in his last live-action role), Tom Wilkinson, Jessica Hynes, and a nice cameo by the late, great Sir Christopher Lee.  But the one that stood out to me, other than Pegg and Serkis, was Isla Fisher.  Fisher plays Ginny Hawkins, a former prostitute-turned-actress, who tricks Burke into funding her all-female rendition of MacBeth.  It was great hearing her do a Scottish accent, something you don't normally get to hear.  She played very well off of Simon Pegg, even if she was conning him.

The dark humor in this film was incredible and, at times, shocking, especially after learning it was based on a true story.  This is a film that I would absolutely watch again and would highly recommend to any fan of the dark comedy genre.

The Merc's Score:  8/10

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