Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Movie Review: Dumb and Dumber To

Dumb and Dumber To
Directed by: Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly.
Written by: Sean Anders & Mike Cerrone & Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly & John Morris & Bennett Yellin.
Starring: Jim Carrey (Lloyd Christmas), Jeff Daniels (Harry Dunne), Rob Riggle (Travis / Captain Lippincott), Laurie Holden (Adele), Rachel Melvin (Penny), Steve Tom (Dr. Pinchelow), Don Lake (Dr. Meldmann), Patricia French (Ms. Sourpuss), Kathleen Turner (Fraida Felcher), Bill Murray (Ice Pick), Tembi Locke (Dr. Walcott).

I re-watched the original Dumb and Dumber for the first time in about 15 years last week, and was rather disappointed in it. Yes, there are still moments in it as funny as any movie the Farrelly brothers have ever made – but when compared to their best work – Kingpin, There`s Something About Mary or even Stuck On You – it doesn’t really hold up all that well. It`s a series of jokes connected by the loosest of plots, some of which work, but many more of them don’t. The long in the making sequel has finally come out, after fans have waited 20 years, and structurally it’s more of the same – a series of jokes, connected by the loosest of plots, that require Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels) to go on a cross country road trip, tailed by people who want them dead to get their hands on something they are carrying, the whole time the two idiots remain oblivious as to what is going on. In a movie like this, it comes down to the individual gags – and how many of them work. Sadly, almost none of the gags in Dumb and Dumber To work. The whole movie stinks of desperation – mainly from the Farrellys who haven’t had a hit in years. Carrey, who is a comedic genius, is trying way too hard to sell his gags, and Daniels barely seems to have committed to playing his moronic character again.

The basic setup for the movie is dumb – of course. Harry needs a kidney transplant, but needs to find a blood relative to donate one to him. When his parents are not a match (you`ll see why if you see the movie), all hope seems to be lost – but then he gets a 23 years old postcard from an old girlfriend (Kathleen Turner) telling him she is pregnant – meaning there is a 22 year old woman out there who could give him an kidney. Lloyd and Harry go on two road trips – first to find where his daughter lives, then another on the other side of the country to deliver a package to her from her genius, adopted father who has sent her to a conference on his behalf, even though she is decidedly not a genius herself.

I find there really isn’t much to say about the movie – anything I do will simply ruin the jokes of the movie, which if anyone out there is unfortunate to watch this film at some point will ruin whatever little pleasure the movie offers. I didn’t expect the plot of the movie to be good – the plot of the original was equally dumb, but the film mainly worked because the gags were funny. The original was made by the Farrelly's when they were still trying establish themselves are top notch comedic filmmakers, and by Carrey when he was still forging a film career. They seemed to be hungry then – and willing to do just about anything to get a laugh. Yet the film, like the best work of the Farrellys career, also had sweetness to it – it didn’t ever really get cruel, and mock its dumb characters, because it found them so lovable. This time around, everyone seems to be overly comfortable. There`s no edge to the film, and the film seems content to simply coast. The result is one of the worst films of the year – one that simply repeats what worked the first time, with far poorer results. Normally, even in really bad Farrelly movies, there are a few moments that made me laugh out loud – this time, I didn’t laugh once.

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