Film review: The Limehouse Golem (4 out of 5)

A crime thriller starring Bill Nighy is pretty much guaranteed to secure an audience in this country.

The Limehouse Golem
The Limehouse Golem

In the UK we generally love murder mysteries (the TV is full of them) and Nighy in his various roles never disappoints.

So this has all the hallmarks of another success... with a few reservations on my part.

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Based on the excellent author Peter Ackroyd’s novel and adapted by the now world famous Jane Goldman, Nighy plays police inspector John Kildare who is pitched into leading a murder investigation which has baffled his colleagues.

Several people of all ages and backgrounds have been murdered in very grisly fashion (Jack the Ripper style) in the Limehouse area of east London.

Such is the ferocity of the killings that the public and press give the person involved the nickname ‘the Golem’ (a mythical creature created out of inanimate matter).

Kildare is helped by sergeant George Flood (played by the excellent Daniel Mays) and the case soon becomes linked to a wife accused of poisoning her husband.

Former musical hall starlet Lizzie Cree (Olivia Cooke) faces the hangman’s noose if convicted, but do her theatre friends hold the key to the murders?

It’s down to Kildare to find the truth and save Lizzie.

It’s a good tale with twists and turns aplenty and there’s great support from Eddie Marsen as the theatre manager and (Freddie Mercury look-alike) Douglas Booth as legendary real-life comedian Dan Leno.

I wasn’t too sure about having philosopher Karl Marx turning up briefly and the hinted at secrets of Kildare’s and Flood’s personal lives didn’t really add anything.

Plus the film starts at a great pace but does drag a bit on occasions.

However, if you like your murder mysteries and don’t mind a bit more gore than normal, you’ll enjoy this movie.

Film details: The Limehouse Golem (15) 109mins

Directors: Juan Carlos Medina

Starring: Olivia Cooke, Eddie Marsan, Bill Nighy

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol