Carrey On Laughing!

Two Jim Carreys? The mind boggles...

This is Jim Carrey's comeback vehicle to the world of crazy, inane and super-hyper-ventilating comedy. And true to form, he comes up with a blast.

Charlie Bates (Carrey) is a police officer with the Rhode Island Mounted police. Happily married, disaster strikes when he's betrayed by his wife who subsequently leaves him after being confronted by Charlie. This devastates Charlie, who settles down to taking care of his three children. In the process, Charlie also becomes something of a wimp, taking orders from everybody and being treated like a joke. One day, Charlie snaps and his crazy, violence prone alter-ego Hank emerges to take charge. After leaving a trail of devastation in his wake, Charlie is diagnosed as being schizophrenic and is duly medicated.

At this point, Irene Waters (Zellweger), a former golf course gardener, enters the scene. Accused of a hit-and-run in New York State, she has to be transported back. The onus falls on the chivalrous Charlie, who delivers her into the hands of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They believe that she is in danger from her ex-boss, who used to use the golf course for nefarious purposes. However, the cops are in cahoots with the bad guys and headed by the crooked Lt. Jackson (Chris Cooper), attempts are made on her life. She escapes and enlists Charlie's help. Unfortunately, in the confusion, the crucial medication is left behind. Then begins the long trek back home, divided between equal appearances by Hank and Charlie.

The movie has a very simple plot and as such, details are kept to a bare minimum. Crucial details like what exactly the bad guys do are skimmed over. The rest is left to Carrey. He grimaces, groans, smirks and hops all over the screen in one crazy incident after another. However, in keeping with his antics in "Ace Ventura", there are several gross scenes, which the Indian audiences will thankfully not get to see, courtesy the censors.

The cast is basically dependent on the lead pair. Zellweger provides an ideal foil to the unstable Charlie/Hank with her combination of lost waif and tough cookie. While trying to get out of the mess she's in, she doesn't hesitate to beat up Hank when he gets too personal. The rest of the cast fill up the spaces and occasionally provide a few laughs, especially Charlie's three huge boys.

There are many reasons to see this movie - Carrey's antics, the beautiful Zellweger, the general dumbness of the whole film. However, for some, the movie may be a tad too overdone, especially scenes in which Hank feels compelled to be gross. In the end, however, the movie is worth a few laughs and not bad for an evening's entertainment.

This article was first published on 17 Aug 2000.