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Monday, 5 March 2018

My 10 Personal Favourite Jim Carrey Characters/Performances

For those who were around to experience popular entertainment and mainstream Hollywood movies, they would have seen that Jim Carrey was the '90s cornerstone of wacky comedy. A guy who talked out of his butt, like literally, I always saw him as the alternative/ an eventual successor to the likes of Eddie Murphy and, but moreso, Robin Williams with his improvisational comedy. Much like the latter, the Ontario-born performer first made his real impact in the comedy circuit and later on via television on the Fox comedy sketch series, In Living Color: African-American's answer to the ever-popular Saturday Night Live/SNL. 

The huge success of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective in 1994 finally broke the mould for Jim Carrey and in assuring that he had finally made it as a Hollywood movie actor. His brand of high-end energetic, physical slapstick humour won him new admirers and fans, who enjoy laughing their butts off to his silliness, whilst also turning heads with his serious dramatic performances, he has shown that he can cater to a range of audiences, young and old to fans of comedies and dramas. Even though he hasn't had such an extensive filmography insofar as movies go, he is still one of my favourite movie funnymen of the big screen. Love him or loathe him, Jim Carrey, for me anyway, still brings a smile to my face with his performances. 

Here are my 10 picks of my favourite Jim Carrey roles of all-time:

The Mask/Stanley Ipkiss - The Mask (1994)

Comic book movies before they went the Marvel/DC route, Jim Carrey goes all out in the wild and wacky stakes as the hapless - yet mild-mannered bank clerk, Stanley Ipkiss and his zany green-faced superhero alter- ego, The Mask. After the phenomenal success of The Mask, many were hoping for a sequel, just like with Ace Ventura and Dumb & Dumber; unfortunately, it just never materialised and yet had it happened, there would have been no doubt Carrey would have reprised his dual role. Once again, utilising his improvisational skills to greater effect, he brought The Mask to life and in ways, none of us could have envisaged. 

Ace Ventura - Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

The zany pet detective with a fancy quiff, Hawaiian shirt and the famous role that put Jim Carrey on the map to stardom, Ace Ventura may not be the best performance from him, but in terms of characters, he is certainly the most memorable and when people think of this performer, probably the first film that springs to mind is Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. He is the definition of zany all right with his animal-like mannerisms that he nails to a tee.

Joel Barrish - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Like Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy and so many post-successful '80s & '90s stars, the 2000s were a rough and mostly indifferent decade, but one bright spark that shone with critics was the indie drama, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with Carrey as a revelation in one of his fewest dramatic roles he had obtained. His performance was really good, the film itself, however, was underwhelming, unfortunately. & it's a pity Jim Carrey never secured more of the dramatic roles and to further demonstrate his talents as a serious actor because in efforts such as this one and I Love You, Phillip Morris, he truly deserved them. 

Bruce Nolan - Bruce Almighty (2003)

Jim Carrey hasn't acted alongside many star actors and actresses, but with the team-up of then-Friends star, Jennifer Aniston, who was already one of the world's biggest actresses and of whom he has great rapport with, their unlikely pairing worked like a charm. Carrey is at the top of his comedy A-game, which hadn't happened since Liar Liar and is the last best comedic performance of Carrey's since which he hasn't replicated. As a TV news reporter, Bruce Nolan aspiring to go onto greater things, Carrey also shows how restrained he can be at times and how adept he can be in a rom-com based role, thus striking that balance between amusing and heartfelt. A film and role of Carrey's that many people tend to overlook, probably due to the biblical and religious overtone, Bruce Almighty, for me, is still an entertaining comedy, regardless. 

Fletcher Reede - Liar Liar (1997) 

Liar Liar is probably the most family-orientated comedy Jim Carrey has done, or perhaps I was or am wrong as Fletcher Reede he makes a wish to his son not to tell a lie in 24 hrs. As well as the usual Carrey funnyman schtick he lets loose here, he shows his emotional acting side as well.

Ernie ''Chip'' Douglas - The Cable Guy (1996)

Cited as the first real failure of Jim Carrey's career, as well as one of Jim Carrey's attempts at playing dark character roles, this is a better effort than that of The Riddler in Joel Schumacher's much-maligned Batman Forever. Not enough to be considered a cult classic and a movie many people weren't ready for back in the mid-1990s, these days The Cable Guy is an enjoyable un-Jim Carrey comedy romp with atypical Jim Carrey performance still showing off his funny chops.

Andy Kaufman - Man on the Moon (1999)

Captures Kaufman's mannerisms well in his depiction of comic, Andy Kaufman. Although I was both underwhelmed by Man on the Moon and The Truman Show as movies, it is his turn as the late comedian, Andy Kaufman that edges it for me over the surreal Peter Weir fantasy-like drama. The biopic was a bit of a disappointment, but Carrey's portrayal of the ex-Taxi star was nothing short of impressive and one whereby the performance is better than the movie itself.

Horton - Dr Seuss' Horton Hears A Who! (2008)

One of Jim Carrey's fewest animated voiceover roles and innocent and child-like, Carrey portrays Horton the elephant admirably and so naturally as well. 

Steve Gray - The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

This magic-based comedy has Steve Carrell and Steve Buscemi in it and whilst their turns in the film are more straight-laced and great, Carrey's Steve Gray is flamboyant -yet edgy. Compared to his other antagonist turn in Batman Forever as The Riddler, street magician Gray is far cooler and charismatic, swaggering his way and belittling & showing off in front of the people he meets and thus, is a better fit for his comedic talents, which was wacky as it is is not too over-the-top. He makes the film more entertaining. Plus, I loved how Carrey looked here with the long hair and that '80s rocker style. He is back to his best as a comic actor, which was a long time coming since 2003's Bruce Almighty

Various - In Living Color (1990-1994)

From the background guy, Fire Marshall Bill & steroid abusing bodybuilder Vera De Milo to Vanilla Ice, the comedy sketch show, In Living Color, which existed as an African-American version of SNL, much like with SNL, served as a launch pad for the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Jamie Foxx and the Wayans family to branch out towards other TV and movie projects. But out of the cast, it was Jim Carrey who went on to bigger things and his character influences and traits can be found in the likes of Ace Ventura and The Mask

Honourable mentions:

Lloyd Christmas (Dumb & Dumber), Steven Russell (I Love You, Phillip Morris), Truman Burbank (The Truman Show), Grinch (How The Grinch Stole Christmas), Colonel Stars & Stripes (Kick-Ass 2)

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