Review: ‘Dumb And Dumber To’ From The Editor
It’s been a long, strange two-decade journey for “Dumb and Dumber To,” the sequel to the Farrelly brothers’ hit 1994 comedy starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as two numbskulls on a cross-country road trip.
Now the follow-up film has finally arrived, raising a question that would be obvious even to Lloyd (Carrey) and Harry (Daniels): Was it worth the wait? In a word, no, at least according to the great majority of movie critics. In many more words — well, read on.
Lloyd and Harry (Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels) travel across the U.S. to find Harry’s daughter, who was given up for adoption.
Even cutting this sequel as much slack as possible doesn’t forgive the underwhelming chore that is “Dumb and Dumber To.” There’s virtually no important plot — at best, it’s a slightly warmed-over version of the original “Dumb and Dumber” plot (road trip to find girl, return item to her). OK, fine – it’s a movie called “Dumb and Dumber,” so it doesn’t need a plot.
Its every attempt at humor falls into one of three categories: bodily-fluid-based gross-out humor, misusing the English language or absurd physical comedy. Apologists for this unnecessary sequel may defend these low-brow gags as the hallmark of the first movie — except most of these jokes are recycled from the first movie. The ‘most annoying sound in the world,’ Billy in (Apartment) 4C, Seabass and several other reused jokes are dusted off in a sad effort to revisit nostalgic jokes that comes off as stale and lazy.
Even if “Dumb and Dumber To” is accepted as a plotless, low-brow misadventure with two morons – it’s most damning failure is the long breaks between even chuckle-worthy bits. With only a vague plot, this sequel is really a string of loosely connected nonsequiter “aren’t these guys stupid” jokes — and most of them are just not that funny. A meager hand full of these bits are solid — but none of them bring down the house with laughter. Even the strongest comedies have the occassional punchline misfire – but “Dumb and Dumber To” has many more jokes that fall flat than ones that are truly hilarious. Even sadder is an apparent awareness that the comedy isn’t working – which is why so many jokes from the original are revisited, only without the timing or execution this time around.
If you’ve seen the trailers — can anyone escape them? — you know that Lloyd’s finally come out of his fake coma, a 20-year gag that Harry deems “awesome.” The two guys pick up where they left off, older but no wiser.
After a recent string of films characterized by more misses than hits, it’s good to see the actor back at the top of his game, contorting that rubber mouth into impossible grins and grimaces before breaking into some manic yuck-yuck-yucking, or using those rubber legs to make one unforgettable entrance after another.
Daniels, destined to play second fiddle in the first, feels like he’s moved to third in “To.” In part it’s a function of a super amped-up Carrey. But some of the blame rests with Aaron Sorkin’s intelligent HBO drama “The Newsroom,” which has turned Daniels’ anchorman into a Walter Cronkite-level brand of flawed headline-disseminating integrity.
‘Dumb and Dumber To’, has some very funny “wow these guys are stupid” moments, but these laughs are too few and far between to call this a worthy sequel or even a mediocre comedy.