Liar Liar

Liar Liar

***

Reviewed by: Stephen Carty

During the must-watch end-credit outtakes, Jim Carrey responds to a prank calling him an over-actor by knowingly joking “they’re on to me!”. Good comeback? Too right. Self-aware? Definitely. But it’s also never been truer, as Jim’s re-union with director Tom Shadyac (who helped launch the funnyman’s film career with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective) results in the most Jim Carrey movie yet. True, the premise is an interesting one, but it’s also tailor-made for the gurning comic’s motormouth abilities, Shadyac knowing that all he has to do is point the camera and let the former Ace do his thing.

Though his ability to bend the truth has taken workaholic lawyer Fletcher Reede (Carrey) to the verge of partnership, the habitual lying has also made him an unreliable father to adoring five-year-old son Max (Justin Cooper). After another let-down, Max’s birthday wish that his Dad can’t lie for 24 hours comes true, and Fletcher has to tell the truth on a career-making day where the ability to lie is crucial.

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Those in the market for nit-picking could argue that Carrey’s lawyer isn’t simply unable to tell fibs, he’s often compelled to blurt out the truth. But still, following the widespread disappointment of Cable Guy it’s the perfect ‘comeback’ vehicle, Paul Guay and Stephen Mazur’s script playing up to all of Jim’s strengths. Think you’ve seen him unleashed and as over-the-top before? Think again.

As such, it’s your preference for his particular brand of zany comedy that will determine how much you like Liar Liar. Granted, there are times when he’s funny regardless (“my plan to phase myself out is almost complete”), but, in general, it’s a one-man showcase where Carrey’s shouty, motormouth antics are the whole dog-and-pony show. That being said, the support isn’t bad and the father-son plotline is occasionally moving (Cooper is very endearing as the requisite cute kid).

Despite being way, way, way (way) over-the-top at times, Liar Liar is vintage Jim Carrey and a nice return to form. Honestly.

Reviewed on: 05 Aug 2010
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A boy's wish that his dad won't be able to tell a lie for 24 hours comes true.
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