‘Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond’ Review Roundup: Jim Carrey’s Tribute To Andy Kaufman
Jim Carrey stars in the Netflix documentary Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton, which begins streaming Friday. In it, Carrey portrays the late Andy Kaufman, whom he played once before in the 1999 biopic Man on the Moon. This time around, we see behind-the-scenes footage from that film, and see how Carrey stepped into his predecessor’s shoes. The film interweaves old footage with new interviews to create a portrait of Carrey as Kaufman and as a comedic actor.
Jim & Andy really delves into the process that Carrey underwent to become Kaufman. Stories have been shared about his method, but the reality is much more intense than originally thought. Firstly, this new film is a reflection on Carrey, and secondly, on Kaufman’s career. Overall, the film feels like a pat on the back for Carrey rolled into a feature length film.
JIM AND ANDY: THE GREAT BEYOND REVIEW ROUNDUP
“Watching Jim Carrey in Jim & Andy feels like a man reflecting on the time he walked on the surface of the sun. Man on the Moon was ultimately a modestly successful film. Carrey won a Golden Globe, and his performance is a well-remembered one, but the film never quite lifts off the ground like it should. Carrey ultimately poured his entire psyche into his high-wire act of character and imitation in service of a film that turns out to have been far less fascinating as the process that created it. In many ways, Jim & Andy is the movie that truly puts paid to what Carrey invested in his performance. Where the lines get blurry right before our eyes and a major movie star disappears himself into the skin of entertainment’s greatest provocateur.”
–Joe Reid, decider.com
“Ultimately, “Jim and Andy” works best as a reminder of the skill level and commitment of its two title performers… What’s more fearless than never leaving character and demanding people refer to you as Andy or Tony? The only problem with “Jim and Andy” is that you’ll get most of this in about half of the film’s running time. It doesn’t quite justify a feature, and would have worked phenomenally as a tighter doc short. Of course, Tony Clifton never would have allowed a film about him to be anything less than feature length.”
–Brian Tallerico, rogerebert.com
“Jim & Andy folds a lot into its 95 minutes. It slides from art to life — thoughtfully poking around in that blurred space between them — and jumps around in time, all while flipping from Kaufman to Mr. Carrey and then to Mr. Carrey as Mr. Kaufman. You never get lost amid all these multiple identities and realities, which [director Chris] Smith amusingly, at times alarmingly, gathers together. It’s funny watching Milos Forman — who directed “Man on the Moon” — refer to Mr. Carrey as Andy, but when Mr. Carrey turns into Tony Clifton something more sinister and menacing comes through. Is this art, indulgence or madness? As this documentary reminds you, with hard laughter and startlingly intense emotion, comedy always needs its pound of flesh.”
–Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“Much of the movie finds Carrey – in the past and in the present – praising Kaufman for his boldness, saying things like ‘I don’t think he liked structures.’ But the documentary builds to an extremely structured, touchy-feely final act, and cuts some noticeable corners to get there. It doesn’t mention the meh reaction the film earned from audiences… Along the way, it loses sight of Kaufman himself: The man becomes a hazy figure, replaced by Carrey’s interpretation of him. Jim & Andy is fascinating, but it lands on a weird message: Thank goodness Andy Kaufman existed so Jim Carrey could play him in a movie.”
–Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly