The Review: Jim Carrey is from the Robin Williams School of Acting – those who have a manic energy in mainstream roles, but tend to be more restrained in smaller, less showy films. So the first positive here is that this is a smaller, less showy film with an absolutely unrestrained performance that has a satisfying undercurrent of lunacy.
The film itself is a strange hybrid of road movie and caper movie, almost as restless as Carrey himself. It takes a little while to find something to anchor the movie, but that comes along in the shape of McGregor’s Phillip Morris, who has a normality and honesty in complete contrast to Carrey’s Steven Russell.
The unreliable narrator is a well-used device, especially in modern fiction, but is given a new slant here, in that it’s Steven’s character, rather than his actual narration, that is generally not to be trusted. This does give the fim most of its forward momentum, as Steven gets into one scrape after another.
There’s a slight fear at the beginning that the tone might just be on the wrong side of mocking, especially when dealing with the gay revelations, but when Phillip arrives, this gives way to a warmer, even tone, which still allows for some fantastic set pieces, such as a slow dance in a prison cell. By the end, there’s a real emotional honesty, but then the movie at the last manages to have its cake and eat it, and leaves you smiling at the cheek of it all.
Why see it at the cinema: Because Brennan Brown, as Mr Dresden the star of those annoying Orange “turn off your mobile” ads that run before every movie in the major cinema chains in the UK, has a major part in the movie. You will think the walls of reality are starting to break down.
The Score: 8/10