Jim Carrey is back…in a roadside ditch
Dark Crimes is like the edgelord internet commenter who thinks he’s being “deep” when he says “politically incorrect” nonsense even though he doesn’t have a concrete thesis to fall back on. I’m laying my cards out on the table because this film is slowly gaining a notorious reputation for holding a 0% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of June 12, 2018. That sort of rating is practically a Siren’s call to me, Mr. Purveyor of Offensively Bad Films, so I had to see what the disaster looked like for myself. After all, Jim Carrey hasn’t been in a leading role since Dumb and Dumber To back in 2014, and to see him grace our presence again is sure to be watchable at the very least…that was until I discovered this film was shot way back in 2015 and is only now seeing the light of day almost three years later. Yep, it’s the kind of movie so bad that studios went out of their way to bury this thing.
So Carrey plays Polish Detective Tadek, who has been obsessively reading an audio book by nihilistic writer Kozlow (Marton Csokas or Baron Quinn for you Into the Badlands fans) that talks about a grisly murder with elements of BDSM associated with it. Tadek realizes that Kozlow’s book almost perfectly describes the murder of a famous Warsaw businessman several years prior along with several details that only the Police could have known. Thinking that solving this cold case could allow him to retire some honor, Tadek successfully petitions his police department to reopen the case and arrest Kozlow; who seems to be enjoying his incarceration as he plays a twisted mind game with Tadek. As the investigation continues, the investigator soon finds himself in an underworld of rape, sadomasochists, prostitution and corruption with strong connections to a former paramour of Kozlow named Kasia (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who is hiding a darker secret.
Naturally, this is some pretty bleak stuff. And to let you know you are about to watch some messed up shit, the film begins with a random series of cutaways throughout a BDSM club as women are found bound and gagged in both sexual and dangerous positions. The funny thing is when watching this film, turns out this series was the biggest shock of life you are going to see in the entire run time. Because we next cut to Jim Carrey starring with sunken eyes at the camera in a really serious way as he begins the investigation into a cold case involving a dude that was super into sadomasochism and rape. And it only gets worse from there as you’re treated to Carrey thinking he’s pulling off a Fassbender-level performance. And he actually is…just, you know, not any of ol’ Mikey’s good ones.
Good Lord this was a slog to get through. First of all, you don’t even know who the hell the victim of this cold case is even supposed to be until the 35 minute mark, AFTER they introduce the one and only suspect in the entire movie. What’s odd is the film tries to hint that something shady went down with the murder investigation the first time around, and Carrey’s character better watch the hell out or…actually the film never properly explains why Carrey should watch the hell out in his investigation. A bunch of acquaintances and family say to him a hushed whisper that his whole life is in danger if he continues on his path, but the threat level is pretty much nonexistent in this boring piece of crap.
Things start to liven up once Marton Csokas shows up to this thrill ride of an experience, but only because he behaves such an obnoxious prick. His character reminds me of what edgelords on 4chan think they look and sound like when they spout their nonsensical, nihilistic, and misogynistic idiocy; but Csokas ironically demonstrates why a real life persona of this garbage would be laughed out of any room he wanders into. He’s such a self-important douche nozzle that he almost comes across as a huge dark joke were the movie not trying so hard to be just like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Except either version of that story had memorable cinematography, phenomenal acting, and a no-holds-barred approach to showing the audience the unmitigated damage of sexual assault. But for Dark Crimes, we mostly follow this dull cat-and-mouse game between Carrey and Csokas while the true victim of assault just serves as a prop, reminding me of an even worse production.
I think Charlotte Gainsbourg was the only person trying to make this crap look legitimate, but sadly the script fails her at every opportunity as well. There are some moments of genuine acting where Gainsboug establishes her relationship with Csokas’ character through body language alone, and it’s a rough watch to say the least. Nothing that can make me recommend this absolute dreck but admirable attempt to salvage this sinking ship nonetheless.
Honestly, this is one of those movies where I really struggled to find anything redeeming about it. It’s abysmally dull, and it’s unpleasing to look at with it’s gunmetal gray color palette. And it’s attempts at being “shocking” just come across as immature more than anything else. So I’ll echo the chorus of film critics who wasted their time on this nonsense and confirm what they have all been saying: avoid this pus bubble. Even if you are into uncomfortable imagery, this movie will bore the living hell out of you. The only reason I’m not giving it a “Fuck This Movie” is because I feel like the movie WANTS me to be so mad at it that I drop my lowest rating on it. But really, I don’t give a damn about this production and neither should you. So this is a low…
SOME OL’ BULLSHIT
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