Twenty years ago today, we were introduced to a fresh-faced actor named Jim Carrey in the comedy film The Mask, hot off his success from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. We also got our first look at a beautiful young Cameron Diaz, who like it or not, would never reach that peak of hotness ever again in film. I mean trust me, that was ground zero. The Mask told the story of Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey), a mild-mannered and socially awkward banker who stumbles upon an ancient mask, that when worn, transforms him into a zany prankster and wild man, dancing and shit all over the place, and smashing things with a giant hammer, like a cracked-out Gallagher with less watermelons. Dumb and Dumber came out later that same year, and the two films together pretty much cemented Carrey as a comedy mega star, who up until that point had really only been known for being the all-purpose white guy on the show In Living Color.
Based off the success of Ace Ventura, The Mask, and later Dumb and Dumber, Jim Carrey would go on to make some pretty amazing comedy films, and more surprisingly, deliver powerhouse performances in movies such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and I Love You Phillip Morris, but that’s not to say that he didn’t drop some real turds along the way. In today’s article, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of The Mask, we will discuss the five worst films of Jim Carrey’s career. Enjoy!
#5 – Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)
Fresh off the wild success of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Jim Carrey returns as the titular character, to rape the original movie of most of it’s originality and uniqueness, for a pure grab at extra box-office cash. The movie did win a Kid’s Choice Award in 1996 for “Favorite Movie“, narrowly edging out Apollo 13, because children are dumb and this is why we can’t have nice things. The Hangover should have taken a lesson from this film and left the franchise alone after the success of the first movie, but then again, they knew people would come and see it anyways, and Hollywood has always been good at wringing extra money out of a shitty sequel, like a fat person liking the top of a pizza box. When Nature Calls made Pet Detective look like Ben Hur.
#4 – Once Bitten (1985)
I’ll give Jim Carrey some slack on this one, because it was his first major film role, and if you want to be a star you have to get your foot in the door somehow. Think Jennifer Aniston in Leprechaun (which is ultimately a better movie, and it had a death scene with a midget on a pogo-stick). In Once Bitten, Carrey plays a teenage virgin, who’s stalked and seduced by a thousand year old vampire, who needs the blood of a virgin before Halloween night or she will die. Because yeah, it’s so hard to find male virgin blood, I guess. I’m glad this movie wasn’t real, I would have been fucked in high school. The vampire pursues, he persists, and wackyness ensues! Yeah it’s pretty awful.
#3 – Yes Man (2008)
This is what I picture happened in some Hollywood studio executive’s office one day: “Hey, I have an idea for a great movie! How about we take Liar Liar, and change it around so that instead of not being able to lie, he has to say yes to everything! It’s comedy gold, we’ll make millions!” And the same people who went to see Yes Man (and liked it) are the same people who think Geico Commercials are hilarious, and that the people on Duck Dynasty are not just actors, embellishing for the cameras. When I heard this movie was coming out, I seriously cringed, but when you throw in Jim Carrey and zany circumstances, you know people will go see it. Again, this is why we can’t have nice things.
#2 – Batman Forever (1995)
Joel Schumacher inherited the widely successful Batman franchise from Tim Burton, who managed to paint a dark and complex portrait of Gotham City with Batman and Batman Returns. This move ended up being akin to handing over the keys to a Jaguar to a five-year-old, and watching him crash it into a brick wall. All of the characters were over the top, and even Roger Ebert called the film “bubble gum for the eyes”. In all fairness, Batman And Robin was even worse, and the series never really recovered until Christopher Nolan became involved with his release of Batman Begins, so I guess you can’t completely blame Carrey for just being involved in a bad turn of a franchise. The only common denominator of the worst two Batman films was Chris O’Donnell, so I’ll mostly blame Chris O’Donnell.
#1 – The Number 23 (2007)
The movie was undoubtedly named The Number 23, because that’s about how many minutes into the film you realized you made a horrible mistake, and it was time to find something else to watch. With how shitty the twist was at the end, I was surprised that this wasn’t directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Oh wait, it was directed by Joel Schumacher, so never mind, that makes sense now. The film tries to convey a paranoid and complex web of thrills and suspense, but ultimately it’s just boring as shit to watch. The Number 23 is basically The Machinist, if The Machinist sucked, which it didn’t suck, it was awesome. So just go watch The Machinist.
And for old time’s sake, here’s Cameron Diaz, hitting her pinnacle of hotness: