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The Cable Guy (1996)

Theres no such thing as free cable

Directed by:

Ben StillerBen Stiller

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 96 minutes

UK Certificate: 12


If there's one thing worse than being stalked, it's being stalked by Jim Carrey. Just imagine living with the constant threat of bumping into the hyperactive face-puller whenever you step outside of your front door. It's a chilling thought – particularly for Steven Kovacs (Matthew Broderick) who, in “The Cable Guy” is living just such a nightmare. Scary stuff indeed.

Having just been punted by girlfriend Robin (Leslie Mann), things are already going pretty darn badly for Steven. But when he asks cable TV installer Chip Douglas (Carrey) to slip him an illegal hook-up, the nightmare's only just beginning. For Chip is, to put things simply, a complete mentalist. He forces his ever-so-slightly warped idea of friendship on Steven and, when his attentions are inevitably spurned, begins to twist the knife.

This is a darker-than-dark comedy, and is vastly different from Carrey's previous lightweight roles in the likes of “The Mask”, “Dumb and Dumber” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”. Of course, the rubber-faced over-acting is still there (isn't it always?), but there's a deeply-creepy intensity to his character and there are more than a few moments where the atmosphere overtakes the laughs.

There are also some very funny scenes, however – notably in the “Star Trek” parody played out in Broderick and Carrey's medieval joust, and an uneasy family round of “porno password”. Ben Stiller – who also directed – pops up in cameo mode, as does Owen Wilson as a slimy suitor to Steven's beloved. Look out for Jack Black and Andy Dick with similarly small roles in the proceedings as well.

It's Got: An underlying message about the dangers of growing up in front of the box. There are a lot of little cable boys and girls out there. Apparently.

It Needs: A decent range of DVD extras – is one measly theatrical trailer really supposed to be good enough?

DVD Extras Theatrical trailer. Poor. DVD Extras Rating: 1/10


Man on the Moon, The Truman Show


Not your average Jim Carrey outing, but certainly one of his better ones. Just don't be misled by the “12” classification – this is a bit of a chiller and isn't for the kiddies.

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