Dark Crimes shows that as much as Jim Carrey can be a great comedian, he excels in drama, and if you’ve never seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, directed by the great visionary that is Michel Gondry, you are missing a treat.
As for what sort of crimes can get committed in this world – Dark? They’re absolutely pitch black!
In Poland, there’s a man called Daniel Sadowski who frequents an underground sex club known as The Cage, which makes Fifty Shades Of Grey look like a trip to Disneyworld. He’s now brown bread as a result of his trips. Echoing an idea from Basic Instinct, the person in the frame for the murder is an author who writes about gruesome deaths.
Krystof Kozlov’s (Marton Csokas) latest work is fiction with female torture scenes. He also describes his writing as “shit”, which reminds me of when Gerald Ratner said the gold products he sold were “complete crap”, and then his company collapsed VERY quickly!
Carrey plays Tadek Pietzek, who’s considered ‘Old Poland’, i.e. a rather old-fashioned detective whose reputation has gone to seed over time, and is one of those cops who lets his work life overshadow family life.
There’s also a top cop, Gerber, who’s corrupt, but can he be brought down when he calls the shots and tries to shut down any investigation he doesn’t like?
Dark Crimes contains fantastic and stunning cinematography – all of which brings the dark world of Dark Crimes to the screen, which is sadly dealt a not-brilliant hand by only being on DVD where the picture is rather soft at times. With no Blu-ray in the offing, it’s sad to learn that there’s not even an HD version on Amazon Video. I understand it’s available digitally somewhere, but I link to Amazon and there’s no release on there which is a shame.
However, do still try and enjoy the director’s often brilliant composition, as quite a few scenes are made with one static shot, and the characters revolve around that.
At times, the film can feel a little disjointed, but overall it’s a great drama and Jim Carrey gives a career-best performance in this drama role. In similar style to the superb Allure, and since I often seem at odds with what other people think about a lot of films, Dark Crimes is showing a criminally under-par score on IMDB of 4.6/10, which makes me wonder what OTHER film they were watching! It can’t have been this one.
Interestingly, re-watching it straight afterwards, while I wrote the review, does highlight a few lines of dialogue which are called back later in the film.
Note that this film is based on a newspaper article in 2008 by David Grann entitled, “True Crimes – A Postmodern Murder Mystery”. However, I can understand the change in title because ‘True Crime’ could easily get confused with the recent series with Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell and Woody Harrelson, True Detective. Plus, Dark Crimes makes it stand out more.
The DVD is such a bare-bones release, it’s practically naked. There are trailers stuck before the main menu as if it’s still 1983 and we’re using VHS (bleah!), there are SIX chapters, and ZERO extras, so quality control really took the week off with this one. There’s also NO subtitles, which is annoying if you’re trying to fully understand the Polish dialect – or English-speaking actors using the Polish dialect.
As I post this review online, the DVD is just a mere £6.99. If you don’t care about the presentation of a disc which may as well just go straight into the film, then buy it, but either way, do see it in some form.
Dark Crimes is released tomorrow on DVD.
Running time: 93 minutes
Studio: Signature Entertainment
Released: July 9th 2018
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format: DVD9
Director: Alexandros Avranas
Producers: John Cheng, David Gerson, Simon Horsman, Brett Ratner and Jeffrey Soros
Screenplay: Jeremy Brock (based on an article by David Grann)
Music: Richard Patrick
Tadek Pietzek: Jim Carrey
Krystof Kozlov: Marton Csokas
Kasia: Charlotte Gainsbourg
Mr. Malinowska: Kati Outinen
Piotr: Vlad Ivanov
Greger: Robert Wieckiewicz
Marta: Agata Kulesza
Victor: Piotr Glowacki
Hanna: Julia Gdula
Lukasz: Zbigniew Zamachowski
Kozlov’s Mother: Danuta Kowalska
Kozlov’s Father: Zygmunt Jozefczak
Olga: Marianna Figurska
Tadek’s Mother: Anna Polony
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.