Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are as devoted to idiocy as they were the first time around, but either the story is wrong this time or the directing is limp. Dumb and Dumber To is by the Farrelly Brothers as was the first, but their moviemaking skills have declined in recent years. In a nutshell, there are some big laughs in the first hour but the last section set at a science symposium where our beloved misfits are shoehorned into a crowd of geniuses, is poorly done. Lumbering, draggy and not that funny. The original was a sloppy movie, but it’s still a classic yuk-fest. It had a zany and spontaneous spirit, pacing, and was clever about being stupid. This sequel has so many forced jokes (the low point being a visit to an old folks home to steal a hearing aid) that the jokes are predictable before they are even told.
But yes. There are BIG LAUGHS. The first scene I didn’t laugh because I saw the snappier, shorter version of the scene in the trailer: Lloyd Christmas (Carrey) has been hiding out at a mental hospital for twenty years faking catatonia for the sake of pulling a gag on BFF Harry Dunne (Daniels). I belly-laughed moments later, at the mere sight of them sharing a one-seat bicycle. Moments later the sight of Carrey eating a banana and throwing the peel into a casket at a funeral home. Then there are the faux-dream sequences – one for Harry, one for Lloyd – that are realms of outrageous immaturity. You might remember the original film where Lloyd engages in kung fu fighting with a mad chef, and then sucks face with Lauren Holly. This time, the Farrelly Brothers’ dream sequences are, while funny, are over-produced with too many cutaways. Too much business. They try too hard.
This time, Lloyd and Harry travel across country to find Harry’s long lost daughter Penny (Rachel Melvin, also a dunce, she takes after her Dad!), not just for family to reunite but so Harry can ask her for a kidney donor. Yes, Harry is dying, or so he thinks. Lloyd motivates the trip because he thinks, why not, Penny is hot. There is also an embezzlement plot with Rob Riggle as a would-be hitman, but they inadvertently avenge him by farting up a storm. This is the funny stuff. The last half hour, I’m still wondering, why is it so slack and hackneyed? Harry says some retarded things that get mistaken for genius at the science symposium, but… “To” is just not that clever about being stupid.
“Airplane!” (1980), “Top Secret” (1984), “The Naked Gun” (1988), “Kingpin” (1996), “Idiocracy” (2006), and of course the original “Dumb and Dumber” (1994), are some great stupid comedies that are clever about being stupid. As I watched Part “To” I got a swell of nostalgia by how [near] perfect the original film was. If you’re a superfan of the original than this sequel is still worth your while, but when compared to the original it’s just never going to be the same.
109 Minutes. Rated PG-13.
COMEDY / TEENS / LATE NIGHT YUKS
Film Cousins: “Dumb & Dumber” (1994); “Kingpin” (1996); “Dumb & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd” (2003); “Idiocracy” (2006).