So I was in between binge-o-ramas on Netflix, looking for something different when I saw the black comedy section. Now, since I love dark comedy, I went for spin down the list. That is when I saw a Simon Pegg movie from 2010 I’d never heard of called Burke & Hare. I was a bit confused by this, as I love Simon Pegg and the other principal cast, which included Andy Serkis and Ilsa Fisher. I also saw it was directed by John Landis, his first movie in 12 years. So, I was surprised I had missed its release and quickly hit play. Quickly, I realized why I had never heard of the movie; I will let Immortan Joe give my opinion.
It is very tough for me to give this an unfavorable review, but the dull script gives me no choice. Ultimately this film is incredibly predictable and its ultimate sin is just not very funny. This is not the fault of the actors, because everyone is charming in their roles and there is no real weak link in the performance department. It all goes back to what makes the movie not work: the script. While it does fit the dark comedy sub-genre, something about it does not click; as if they did not want to go too dark, for which the comedy suffers. The film has a goofy quality that detracts from the murders taking place, so I wish they would have doubled down on the darkness to get some uncomfortable laughs. Instead all I get out of this film is a sensible chuckle.
Honestly it is not all bad, as the two standouts of the film are the costume and set designs. There was definitely a lot of money spent on these two areas as everything looks very authentic and all the extras are in believable period costumes. They also shine past the dull script. As every scene is nice to look at, and it truly carries the film. It is nice to see that the below-the-line people can really show their worth with this film. In a lot of ways costuming and sets are the unsung hero of films, because if done correctly, they slip into the background practically unnoticed.
In the end it is not an horrendous movie but it is truly nothing to really go out of your way to watch. That being said, if you are like me and wanted something different to watch, I would give it a go, as it is not a complete waste of time. The sets and costumes are fun to look at, and everyone gives a good performance, but it just can’t save an unfunny script.