DARK CRIMES **
Directed by: Alexandros Avranas, Starring: Jim Carey, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Marton Csokas. Crime/Drama/Thriller, Poland 2016, 89mins, Cert 18.
Released in the UK on DVD and Digital HD on 9th July 2018 by Signature Entertainment.
The last film I saw which starred Jim Carey was MR POPPER’S PENGUINS. I liked that film far more than DARK CRIMES. Based on an article in ‘The New Yorker’ magazine, the script adds a fictional final twist which can be seen from a mile off in spite of the murky cinematography which accompanies this dour ponderously paced non-thrilling thriller.
A wealthy businessman is murdered after attending a BDSM underground club called ‘The Cage’. Unsolved for a year, disgraced near-to-retirement detective Tadek (Jim Carey) reopens the investigation partly to regain some of his lost honour, and partly to get one over on his superior. Kozlow, a controversial novelist (Marton Csokas), releases an audio book which appears to chronicle details concerning the murder which were never made public. Detective Tadek sets his sights on the author employing decidedly underhand tactics in order to get a confession out of him. In fact, so blinkered is Tadek in his pursuit that he fails to notice the toll his obsession is taking on his wife, daughter, and elderly dependent mother.
Straining with every sinew to suppress even a hint of expression, Jim Carey is a shadow of his former self, even his beard emotes more. To be fair the script is so underwritten there’s little to get his teeth into, and minimal dialogue for his attempted Polish accent, although I did like the methodical way he clinically dissected his bacon and eggs in the morning.
Charlotte Gainsbourg steals the film as the author’s on/off girlfriend Kasia, displaying a searing vulnerable rawness of emotion. In one key scene her bare shoulders alone out act Carey, and I wondered whether the narrative might have worked better had her character been the central focus rather than Carey’s (under)hardboiled detective.
The ‘18’ certificate is briefly earned through some glimpses of naked female torture and humiliation and a couple of frankly ludicrously staged sex-scenes, one of which features Carey in a singularly unconvincing attempt to convey his moral degradation.
DARK CRIMES is a dark film: literally. Unfortunately, it’s under lit lack of colour extends into every aspect and as a result the final fictionalised reveal deserves little more than a shrugged ‘so-what?’ And as to why Carey chose this underwhelming vehicle in the first place, frankly I’m completely in the dark.
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