During one scene in Dark Crimes, there’s a light hanging from the ceiling that swings from side to side, mildly irritating the two characters in the interrogation. It’s there to serve as a cliché but watching that movement is like watching a representation of the whole film: clumsily going between ‘twists’ and when really everything should just stay still. Or not be there at all.
This movie starts without a proper introduction for its lead. In fact, nobody really gets properly introduced. There’s nobody to care about, not even the man who was murdered. Essentially, a plot device was thrown in a river. However, that plot device took the form of a businessman. His murder is a crime similar to that of a book, so the author, Koslow, becomes the suspect. Only one man dares go near the case, super-moody-I-think-he’s-supposed-to-Polish-but-his-accent-isn’t Jim Carrey, as Tadek.
Tadek is your usual noir kind of detective. He’s a loner with an old car and nothing to lose. He’s been beaten down by life but is determined to be the one good cop left in this godforsaken town, dammit! Sadly, these surface characteristics are all we really get. It’s his job to solve crimes and his career has seen better days.
This movie wants to be full of twists and turns but it leaves you yearning for a simple straight road. None of the intended surprises even raise an eyebrow. The desperation to be deep, meaningful and powerful pollutes every shot. Nobody’s performance acts as a saving grace, either. The suspected villain (Marton Csokas) is intentionally trying to look guilty in a way that gives away his innocence and Jim Carrey has fallen into the trap of thinking whispering automatically adds gravitas.
The pace of the film never changes, which would be more forgivable if it weren’t achingly slow. When there are three minutes left, you should be wondering how time managed to pass you by so quickly, rather than thinking “180 whole seconds? I’ve got a life to live!”
Dark Crimes was certainly right in one aspect- they were dark. Dark enough to suck out any source of light, lest it fool audiences into thinking there is anything positive lying in wait. It’s an ugly colour palette to match an unappealing flick.
Dir: Alexandros Avranas
Scr: Jeremy Brock
Cast: Jim Carrey, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Marton Csokas, Kati Outinen, Vlad Ivanov
Prd: Michael Aguilar, Jeremy Brock
DOP: Michal Englert
Music: Richard Patrick
Country: UK, Poland, USA
Runtime: 92 minutes
Dark Crimes is out on DVD July 9th