In my late teens I was introduced to one of Jim Carrey’s first movies – Copper Mountain. This one hour long nightmare of a comedy/music film is a complete disaster and is one of those “so bad it’s good” movies we used to watch and quote over a few beers. Think The Room but without the cult success and starring someone who actually went on to be a massively impressive actor.
Carrey’s filmography is filled with both stunning comedian and dramatic performances. From the nuanced, emotional ones to the ridiculous, comedic gems. Bizarrely Dark Crimes has sort of brought Carrey’s career full circle. From the bottom (Copper Mountain), to the top (Ace Ventura, Man on the Moon, Eternals Sunshine, The Truman Show) and now here we are, all the way at the bottom again. And it’s grim.
On the surface, Dark Crimes has everything needed to make a gritty thriller – a talented cast (Carrey is joined by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Martin Csokas), subject matter that is based on a true story as well as director Alexandros Avranas, who’s 2014 film Miss Violence put him on the map with a slew of award nominations.
It certainly had the ingredients to make a successful movie. Unfortunately what we ended up with is one of the most uninteresting, disjointed, uninspired, terribly written and unenjoyable films I have ever had to sit through.
It is hard to put my finger specifically on what makes Dark Crimes such a slog because there are so many elements of the film that fail. The direction is incredibly lacklustre. Dark, moody shots provide nothing appealing to the eye and the expositional dialogue is almost laughably bad.
Carrey’s character looks so exhausted and dead inside that I feel perhaps it is the perfect allegory for how the actor felt performing in such a mess of a film. Add to that a fetishising of sexual violence and complete lack of ability to handle such sensitive subject matter and what we end up with is a film that will surely go down as one of the worst films of Carrey’s career.
Bring me Copper Mountain any day.
– Ashton Brown