Dark Crimes is loosely based on the crimes of author and convicted murderer Krystian Bala. The film really only employs the core idea of an author utilizing the details of a real life murder, to which he is privy, to fill the pages of a book that is believed to be a work of fiction.
Screenwriter Jeremy Brock had a really intriguing concept to work with in the creation of his script. Unfortunately, Brock used only the most skeletal outline of the case by which the film is inspired and cobbled together a screenplay filled with two-dimensional characters that we learn precious little about during the course of the film’s runtime.
Dark Crimes‘ sole saving grace is Jim Carrey’s performance as disgraced police officer Tadek. Carrey is surprisingly good. His accent is a little muddled at times but he is more than convincing in what is by far the darkest role I’ve seen him play. Unfortunately, the actor’s versatility wasn’t enough to save this picture from itself. We are given very little information about Tadek and even after the credits roll, the viewer (if he or she has stuck around that long) is left with unanswered questions.
Almost everything about Dark Crimes is depressing. None of the characters have any redeeming values; no one learns anything; no real justice is ever served. The entire experience left me feeling melancholy and as if I’d watched part of a film that didn’t have a proper ending.
In addition to being depressing, Dark Crimes is also poorly paced, bland, and outright dull. Director Alexandros Avranas never establishes, let alone maintains, a sense of suspense or mystery. What isn’t spelled out much earlier than it should be is painfully obvious and almost certain to be predictable to the average viewer.
Watching this film is a boring journey that feels much longer than the 92-minutes in which the story unfolds. Without any compelling characters or any great mystery as to what has happened and why, the viewer is likely to lose interest very early on.
It’s not a great mystery why Dark Crimes had a troubled road to release and ended up premiering on DirecTV before a small theatrical bow. It’s just not very good. And it never gives the viewer any real reason to keep watching. Although the film left me curious as to what Jim Carrey can do in a serious role with a better script, I would suggest taking a pass on this one. Dark Crimes is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray, and On Demand.
Director(s): Alexandros Avranas
Writer(s): Jeremy Brock
Stars: Jim Carrey, Marton Csokas
Release: July 31, 2018 (DVD and Blu)