There are very few actors as divisive here at the RockMovieProject than one James Carrey — which is to say that Bret thinks he is capable of moments of brilliance and Erin wishes he was trapped for eternity in the Well of Souls from Raiders of the Lost Ark, rendering him incapable of appearing in any future films.
Bret’s contention is that Jim Carrey at 75 percent “Jim Carreyness” is a fun actor to watch. The problem? Jim Carrey is only barely ever at 75 percent in his movies, he’s usually at 150 percent or so, which is what drives people crazy.
He’s not an actor as much as he is an over-actor. He doesn’t chew the scenery as much as he gorges on it.
There is a moment in every Jim Carrey performance where you can actually watch him cross the line from “okay, that’s laugh-out-loud funny” to “ugh… how long is this movie again?” It happens in the blink of an eye in most cases and it’s a shame.
What is Jim Carrey capable of when he tones it down a notch or 10? How about The Truman Show which scored 90 percent among Top Critics on Rotten Tomatoes? He probably should have been nominated for an Oscar for his performance in that film (which we’ll get to on the RockMovieProject sometime in 2014).
Look at some of the reviews of his turn as Truman:
“Carrey is a surprisingly good choice to play Truman. We catch glimpses of his manic comic persona, just to make us comfortable with his presence in the character, but this is a well-planned performance”
“As Truman, Carrey projects a warmth and goodness we haven’t seen in any of his face-pulling slapstick comedies. He’s funny and engaging, but he also brings a touching believability to this far-fetched tale of a man whose trust and innocence were violated from the day he was born.”
“That truly makes Mr. Carrey the ideal actor for the role, since his beaming affability so often conveys an edge of secret fury. Warm, affecting and refreshingly shtickless, he occupies center stage here through sheer, beguiling force of personality. And Mr. Carrey is charismatic enough to make Trumania a nearly plausible conceit. He intensifies ordinary emotions so powerfully that perhaps this guy’s Warholian 15 minutes, on a television show of halfway satirical blandness, could have lasted 30 years.”
We only understood a part of that last one, but each review hits on the same note: “wow, Jim Carrey was pretty good when he stopped mugging so damn hard.”
For our Beverly Hills Cop review we pleaded with Eddie Murphy to start making movies that were in his wheelhouse again, the R-rated comedies and action comedies that made him the star he once was. Here we’ll do the same for Jim Carrey and wish that he would stop making goofy, high-concept comedies (like, for instance, one where he bitches so much about his life that God gives him all of his powers) and start making more grown-up, quirky movies like the The Truman Show. Otherwise Erin is going to really ramp up her efforts to lure him to Tannis.
As for Bruce Almighty, it is exactly what you would expect from a Jim Carrey movie. Moments here and there that make you laugh out loud, but otherwise, an over-the-top performance where Carrey uses goofy voices and catch-phrases that make you cringe until the credits start rolling.
Two-and-a-half Stars from both Erin and Bret.