Jim Carrey’s latest movie, Dark Crimes, opened to little fanfare this weekend, not showing up in any of the box office round ups (which usually means the distributor isn’t releasing its numbers), and, as of this writing, remains 0% recommended on RottenTomatoes, pitching a full Bucky Larson.
Carrey himself is never out of the news cycle for long, though lately it seems to be more for things like being the subject of a Netflix documentary (Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, which I’m convinced is about the incredible patience of Man On The Moon‘s film crew) and his George W. Bush-like second career as an anti-Trump artist. That seems to be going pretty well, actually. Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Jerry Saltz recently reached out to Carrey to discuss his work, and he’s up to 17 million Twitter followers — surely due at least in part to his #resistance paintings.
The point in mentioning all of this though, is that lately we haven’t been seeing him do much acting. He’s been in just two movies since Dumb And Dumber To in 2014, Dark Crimes and The Bad Batch, both filmed at least two years ago. If you didn’t catch The Bad Batch at a festival, it’s getting a theatrical run next month. Dark Crimes, meanwhile, which had one of the funniest posters this year, came out this past weekend.
Why did they only turn one of the Rs backwards? It’s almost too twisted…
The film was directed by Greek director Alexandros Avranas in his English-language debut and scripted by Jeremy Block, who won a BAFTA for co-writing Last King Of Scotland. And the story was based on a real-life murder case described in 2008 in a New Yorker article by David Grann (author of The Lost City Of Z and Killers of The Flower Moon), ‘True Crime, A Postmodern Murder Mystery.’ Which makes it all the more strange that the movie poster looks like it’s for a rejected Law and Order episode.
It should be noted that despite its 0% rating, Dark Crimes doesn’t sound like the most hated movie of the year. RottenTomatoes’ binary tracking system only records “fresh” or “rotten,” and Dark Crimes seems like less a case of intense hatred than of consistent mild dislike (I believe it was Machiavelli who once said, “If you can’t be loved, be consistently mildly disliked). Lots of critics said Carrey was the best part, or above the material, though plenty of others said he was no fun (probably because he wasn’t making his butt talk like he used to). A few pointed out that it was probably in poor taste to have Brett Ratner’s name precede a movie about sexual violence, considering all that’s been going on with him lately.
Anyway, I wasn’t able to catch the film, but as we like to do, I thought we could recreate most of the plot using only exposition from the reviews. The way critics slip into exposition when reviewing a movie they don’t like is magical, I find.
The film gets off to an exploitive start with a series of scenes of nude women being dragged off to a dingy room to be raped. –SF Chronicle [sheesh, talk about a lede -Ed]
One shot shows a blonde woman, naked, her wrists bound by a black cord; that cord suspends her from the curved ceiling of a stone corridor; the woman is revolving slowly as she hangs. The next image is the credit “In Association with Ratpac Entertainment.” –RogerEbert.com
With hair cropped down to his scalp and a white beard, grappling with a strange Eastern European accent that sounds like Ace Ventura Pet Detective enrolled in a crash course at Berlitz, Carrey plays Tadek –Observer
…a deeply troubled veteran Polish detective –Chicago Sun-Times
…a haunted-looking man of few words who moves with an economy of precision. –LA Times
Tardek’s obsession with silence and OCD approach to grooming, and the way he re-arranges the eggs and bacon on his breakfast plate, the daily trimming of his beard. He has a wife and child, but they barely figure in any of this. –Movie Nation
Tadek has a squeaky-clean reputation and -Chicago Sun-Times
…was once a candidate for chief of police, but he has been relegated to cold-case desk duty after he botched a high-profile investigation. -Chicago Sun-Times
Working in the non-digitized unsolved cases stacks of the one-time police state, -Movie Nation