Burke and Hare (2010) – Film Review
by Joss Spry
The latest offering from Ealing Studios is, at best, a missed opportunity. It pairs the erstwhile genius of director John Landis with a slew of actors with talent to strangely dire effect.
The old maxim that tragedy is comedy plus time unravels before our eyes. Burke and Hare somehow never finds its feet, instead stumbling into awkward slapstick at almost every turn.
The problems lie in the script. It never manages to convincingly reconcile pratfall-comedy with the uncomfortable facts surrounding the central pairing of body-snatchers Pegg and Serkis. Genial knockabouts they may be – but they are also murderers-for-money. You can never really forget that real-life horror underpins the pantomime antics on show here.
It’s not all bad – welcome relief comes in the unlikely form of Ronnie Corbett as Captain McLintock. Plus, cameos galore at least keep you watching from between your fingers – albeit for all the wrong reasons.
After all, you might miss yet another great actor visibly wondering what on Earth their agent is thinking.