Dumb and Dumber To – 2014
Director Peter and Bobby Farrelly
Starring Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Laurie Holden, Kathleen Turner, Brady Bluhm, Steve Tom, Rachel Melvin , Rob Riggle, Paul Blackthorne, Dalton Gray, Swizz Beatz
Screenplay Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly, Sean Anders, John Morris, Bennett Yellin, Mike Cerrone
Dumb and Dumber is one of those movies that seemed like a great movie when I saw it. Watching its sequel, the tone and the feel are almost exactly the same. Given as much time that has passed, the feeling it evokes is less nostalgia and more weariness. Jeff Daniels still has the ability to convince us that he truly thinks every tired scene is funny. Jim Carrey still has the broken tooth. There are still many of the quirky players we’ve learned to appreciate over the years as Peter and Bobby’s friends.
The difference this time is those peripheral characters are further in the background than normal. Instead we get two characters played by Rob Riggle. It’s not that I don’t like Rob Riggle, but maybe one character’s worth is enough for me. Laurie Holden is there too, as a black widow in waiting. She does her best severe acting best, but she can’t come close to Lori from the Walking Dead. Kathleen Turner is here too, and for that I am thankful. I wish she was around more often, but anyone who wants only the version they saw in the 80’s will know why she isn’t. The Farrellys are good like that.
Harry and Lloyd are together again after a 20 year prank. Shortly after they come together, Harry informs Lloyd that he needs a new kidney. They begin a quest to find a donor. Soon after, Harry finds a postcard indicating that he is the father of a child. Sensing the opportunity for a donor, they embark on a quest to find the child.
From here, the movie takes on a lot of the same characteristics that the first one did, with some tweaks here and there. As I watched, I began to realize that, as tired as the jokes were, round one did not seem as funny to me now as it did then. KingPins, Shallow Hal and There’s Something About Mary always were funnier, but I thought at least Dumb and Dumber belonged in the conversation. No more.
Look, I am not one of those who just detest Jim Carrey. I never did think that the Farrellys went too far. Okay, well maybe the hair gel thing, but my word it is funny. It’s just after 20 years and 12 movies directed, the material tends to run dry. They needed 6 writers to create a movie that is a facsimile and there doesn’t seem to be an original scene in the film.
Take Riggle’s road scene . We get it, he’s stuck in a hearse with them in the back. Do we have to wonder if he is going to come out on the bad side of their “jokes?” Then the scene where they get the free beer. How many people don’t see what happens afterword coming from a far distance?
If you liked anything they’ve done after Stuck on You, you will probably like this. If you find that everything they’ve done since then has been ‘each one better than the next,’ this will fall right in line.
Our pop culture is better for having the Farrelly Brothers. Their humor gave comedy the kick in the junk it needed to get out of the romantic comedy era and into the Judd Apatow age of reason. For this I will be forever grateful. Really, I am impressed that it too this long for them to make this film. It was something less confident film makers would have done in a heartbeat.
Even so, waiting to put out a bad film doesn’t make that average film any better. This is not the worst thing we could be given the option to watch. It’s definitely not something even fans would want to pay that much to see.
(**1/2 out of *****)