Fox // 2000 // 116 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 9th, 2008
From gentle to mental.
Fox, one of the more asthmatic releasers of HD content last year, starts dipping into its catalog some more, unsheathing this, the follow-up to their mega-hit There's Something About Mary and -- for my money -- the kickoff to a sad, slow drop in hilarity for the Farrelly boys.
Charlie Baileygates (Jim Carrey, The Number 23) has always been a low-key, passive spirit. Even when his wife leaves him and their three African American children for a limo driver, he rolls with the punches, mildly continuing his life as a single dad and a Rhode Island state police officer with little fanfare.
One day, he's tasked to escort an out-of-towner named Irene (Renee Zellwegger, Cold Mountain) back to upstate New York, thus kicking off a glorious misadventure with some crooked gold course owners and a dirty cop (Chris Cooper).
But Charlie and Irene won't be alone. Following some light head trauma, Charlie's simmering second personality, Hank, a trash-talking, quick-to-anger jackass, rockets to the surface and commandeers the shared body. And with both personalities infatuated with Irene, it will be a fight to the finish.
I don't think it's off base to say that the Farellys hit their comic peak with the brilliant There's Something About Mary and from that point there was a noticeable drop in laugh frequency with their follow-up films. Me, Myself And Irene was the follow-up to that film and while the premise (multiple personalities fighting over one girl), cast (Carrey, Zellwegger, Cooper) and title are promising, the simple fact is that the movie just isn't as funny as it could be.
Missing are the gut-laugh inducing moments like Jeff Daniels' diarrhea sequence in Dumb and Dumber or the Amish work montage from Kingpin or the dog-wrestling sequence from Mary. A few scenes come close in Irene -- the botched cow euthanasia and the one-person fistfight are funny -- but overall the experience was lacking.
Also lacking was the "serious" plotline of the bad guys pursuing Irene because of something she knows. Chris Cooper's awesome and all and his beefy sidekick had a dope mullet, but the mystery angle was more or less filler and an excuse to add some stakes to the fart jokes.
On the upside, Charlie's three genius, big-boned, foul-mouthed sons, led by Anthony Anderson (Transformers) are reliably funny throughout and Carrey really does bring home the bacon with his physical comedy. So all in all, Irene has a few solid laughs and some good performances but it's just not the consistent funny that the previous Farrelly movies promised.
Moving on. The Fox Blu-ray release is a good sign for Blu enthusiasts. The studio's high-def output has been more than lacking and seeing it dip into its vault is encouraging, even if this isn't one of the greatest movies. The highlight of the new release is, as you would guess, the improved picture quality. Transferred in a 1080p, 1.85:1, the video is clean and noticeably upgraded from the look of standard-definition. The New England terrain that encompasses most of the film's locations looks fantastic, pushing a variety of strong color levels. Details are crisp, adding to the overall clean look. A DTS 5.1 lossless audio track provides the sound and while this is a movie that doesn't boast an aggressive sound mix, it's still a sharp presentation. Extras disappoint, recycled from the original DVD release (and actually lacking some of the previously released bonuses): commentary by Bobby and Peter Farrelly, deleted scenes and trailers.
Keep working your HD mojo, Fox. This movie is disappointing, but hopefully it's a sign of more catalog titles to come.
The court isn't really laughing a lot.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic (Widescreen)
* DTS 5.1 Master Lossless Audio (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (Spanish)
Running Time: 116 Minutes
Release Year: 2000
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
* Deleted Scenes
* Theatrical Trailer