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Dark Crimes (2018)

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Released:  Friday, May 18, 2018  
Length:  92 minutes
Studio: Saban Films
Genre: Drama
Rating: Dark Crimes is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaUnder 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.


When police officer Tadek (Jim Carrey) finds similarities between an unsolved murder and a crime outlined in a book by famed writer Krystov Kozlov, Tadek begins to track Kozlov and his girlfriend, a mysterious sex-club worker (Charlotte Gainsbourg). As his obsession with Kozlov grows, Tadek descends into a deadly underworld of sex, lies, and corruption to find the shocking, deadly truth.

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Dark Crimes Blu-ray Review

When one here's the name Jim Carrey (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective) the first thing that pops into one's mind is generally slapstick, physical comedies and immature, unintelligent characters.  It was a gamble then for him to take on a depraved and serious film such as Dark Crimes.  The story, as the title would suggest, is dark and some would say sadistic.  It explores an ugly underbelly of human nature and how money corrupts.  It is gloomy and dreary and doesn't end well for almost everybody in the film including Carrey.  If you like that kind of thing, it's available on Blu-ray and DVD this week.

Carrey Plays Tadek, A Polish Detective who is demoted when he fails to arrest someone for the murder of a shady businessman a year earlier.  Of course, the crime haunts him and he becomes obsessed. The investigation points to an underground sex club called "The Cage" where wealthy and powerful men could do almost anything they wanted, short of murder, to naked and submissive women. Amongst those women was Kasia (Charlotte Gainsbourg; Promise at Dawn) who was the ex-girlfriend of a writer named Kozlov (Marton Csokas; The Equalizer)

Interestingly, Kozlov wrote a novel about a murder that very closely mimics the murder Tadek investigated causing Tadek to want o to reopen the case and dig even deeper.  He is certain Kozlov is guilty of killing the businessman and wants to bring him to justice.  However, Tadek teeters on the end of insanity as this case becomes his all-consuming Moby Dick. In the end, Koslov confesses and is arrested but Tadek realizes too late that he is, in fact, innocent and the murderer is still at large.  Sadly, the case that was Tadek's obsession winds up doing him in in the end.

Known for his comedic roles I'm not sure anyone is interested in seeing a serious and brooding Jim Carrey, which is exactly what he is in this depressing drama.  His Polish accent also loses steam part way through which makes the film even more out of synch that already was.  Supposedly this was supposed to be Carrey's Come back role but sadly he chose the wrong vehicle so that triumph will have to wait a little longer.  Csokas is stronger here but hen he has played the evil, guilty man before.  The supporting cast are all fairly good and might have been stronger had the material been better.

The script and direction are the major problems here.  I'm not sure if director Alexandros Avranas (Miss VIolence) was trying for an Avant-garde piece but instead, he ended up with a confusing and befuddled mess.  Even when we learn some of what is going one, which doesn't happen until a good 20 minutes into the film, there are still parts that are left unexplained making the movie seem disjointed.  The script does little to assist and there were times when I really had no idea what was happening,

The Blu-ray is the standard 1080p video but since the atmosphere is most often drab and grey the clarity is lost in many scenes.  I'm sure the color scheme was meant to set the scene for a mystery and to portray that dark underbelly but to me, it was simply depressing, much like Tadek's life.  The DTS-HD master audio 5.1 is clear and sharp but doesn't add much to the overall feel of the film. The combo pack offers the Blu-ray and DVD discs and a digital download and only one 20 minute extra that has interviews with cast and crew but doesn't give much insight into the film itself.

Because there is little elaboration as to why things are the way they are, the viewer is left wondering and often perplexed.  For a thriller/mystery, it doesn't offer much in the way of suspense though I will admit I didn't see the ending coming which is a good thing.  

I'm guessing the film might have done well in some circles such as juries at international film festivals but in terms of commercial success, I just can't see the movie, even with Carrey, garnering a big payoff.

Grade: C-


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