½*/**** Image B Sound A- Extras B
starring Jim Carrey, Téa Leoni, Alec Baldwin, Richard Jenkins
screenplay by Judd Apatow & Nicholas Stoller
directed by Dean Parisot
by Walter Chaw Dean Parisot's remake of Ted Kotcheff's 1977 Fun with Dick and Jane is simultaneously lifeless and desperate, a collection of horrid eleventh-hour edits that result in jokes without punchlines and Carrey's old physical-comedy riffs trotted out in the service of a half-assed redux of a half-assed original. The one nod to freshening up the original's full-frontal assault on capitalism as a means towards happiness (a satirical slot machine tugged to better effect by the act and allure of playing "The Sims") is that it's set in the year 2000 and deals with corporate malfeasance of the kind most conspicuously indulged in by Enron. (In case you don't get that, the last rimshot of the film is taken at Enron's expense, while the first closing credit is a "special thanks" to Ken Lay and his lieutenants.) The fictional big bad fiscal wolf of the piece is Globodyne, presided over by Jack McAllister (Alec Baldwin, in his second corporate bigwig turn after Elizabethtown), a southerner mainly because "southerner" is one of the last cultural groups (along with, say, Asians and gays) you can mock without much fear of backlash. On the day before it's revealed that "Big Jack" has stripped the corporate coffers (including pensions), Dick (Carrey) is promoted to VP of something or another, inspiring wife Jane (Leoni) to quit her job and pushing Dick before the cameras on some Lou Dobbs's "Moneyline" show, where he discovers, in a very public way, that his steed is a paper tiger.