Meet the Devil. Shes giving Elliott seven wishes. But not a chance in Hell.
Running Time: 93 minutes
UK Certificate: 12
Country: United States
Collecting plaudits for remaking an already popular flick from the past is always going to be an uphill struggle, particularly in the case of Bedazzled. Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, who wrote and performed the original, will always be fondly remembered as comedy greats. Its safe to assume Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley wont be.
Mind you, Fraser does display a surprising comic knack in the various guises and personality shifts hes asked to play out. Perhaps, if Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy ever fall simultaneously ill, he might even have a niche in the market for himself. He certainly looks more at home playing an out-and-out doofus than he does as the unconvincing hero of the Mummy movies.
Fraser plays Elliot Richards, the irksome office git who gets the chance to try out a few different lifestyles thanks to a pact hes formed with the devil (Hurley). It seems a simple deal: he gets seven wishes, she gets his soul. Of course, his wishes for fame, fortune, power, popularity and the girl of his dreams (Frances OConnor) dont quite go to plan, and he ends up wondering if entering into a contract with Beelzebub was such a good idea after all.
Its unashamedly lightweight stuff from director Harold Ramis, who has brought us much better in the past with the likes of Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day. But Bedazzled also has a reasonable number of titter-worthy moments among its sketch-like production, such as when Fraser gets to play a super-sensitive dolphin-lover.
Hurley, meanwhile, does her job which basically involves standing around in various states of undress and trying to look wicked. It has to be said, though, that this incarnation of the devil isnt particularly devilish. A little mischievous, perhaps, but Id hardly have thought that would be qualification enough to land the job of grand high ruler of all things evil. Its no wonder Elliot never seems especially bothered about the prospect of letting her have his soul.
It's Got: Some decent laughs and a better-than-average-looking Devil.
It Needs: A stronger plot to stop viewer interest from waning.
DVD Extras Two deleted scenes (Basketball Game and Rock Star), audio commentary, two featurettes (Making of Bedazzled and Bedazzling Signs), behind-the-scenes stuff, theatrical trailer, TV spots, and a stills gallery. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10
A watchable and sporadically funny comedy, with a decent comic turn from Brendan Fraser but little to drag it above the average.