Movie Review #912
|Wide release on November 14, 2014. Comedy. This film is rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, partial nudity, language and some drug references. Runs 109 minutes. American production. Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly. Screenplay: Sean Anders, John Morris. Writers: Mike Cerrone, Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Bennett Yellin. Cast: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Rob Riggle, Laurie Holden, Rachel Melvin, Kathleen Turner, and Brady Bluhm.|
AIN’T LOOKING FOUR NUTHING BUT A DUMB THYME, AND IT DON’T GET DUMMER THEN THIS.
By Alexander Diminiano
Harry and Lloyd are back, and though they may have physically aged 20 years since we last encountered them, they’ve aged backward mentally. You only needed one inner child to enjoy “Dumb and Dumber” (1994). You might need as many as seven to enjoy “Dumb and Dumber To”.
What’s good about this from the get-go is that it completely ignores that there already has been a follow up to “Dumb and Dumber”. Remember “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd”, from back in 2003? Yeah, it sucked all right. There’s flashbacks in “Dumb and Dumber To”, but none that pay any sort of mind to that forgettable prequel. “Dumb To” is nothing like that failed attempt to follow the ’90s classic. One thing’s for sure: only Jim Carrey is Lloyd Christmas, only Jeff Daniels is Harry Dunne, and only the Farrelly Bros. have the unexplainable funny power to direct the two of them.
The poor critical reception “Dumb and Dumber To” has received continues to escape me. I laughed my ass off at the movie. Just when I was under the impression that Jim Carrey’s sense of humor was permanently in the dumps, and that I’d never see Jeff Daniels in another movie again, here we are with the two of them doing just what they did twenty years ago. The whole point of “Dumb To” is to make us laugh with whatever stupid antics they can pull, but is that very much different than the first one? All right, this one does kind of slack off on its narrative end. It’s structure seems pretty shallow, once you realize that the movie’s playing out almost exactly as the first movie did.
If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve already gotten a little taste of the one-joke premise. Harry (Jeff Daniels) needs a kidney transplant, and when he learns he has a 20-year-old daughter who was adopted, he sets off to find her down south, where he’ll request that she give him a kidney donation. Meanwhile, Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) fantasizes about marrying Harry’s daughter, but he doesn’t want to put their friendship at risk, so he tries strenuously to keep hushed about it. There’s a bit more to it that comes into play once the two amigos reach the casa de Harry’s daughter, but it already fits its title in a sense that’s just too great. For most of the movie, you can’t argue with the direction the story’s taking, but that’s all up till the last twenty minutes. There’s more twist endings in this one movie than there are in the entire career of M. Night Shyamalan. But “Dumb To” is still one of the most pleasantly, surprisingly, and dumbly (and dumberly) hilarious comedies of 2014.
It’s got to be a challenge to make a sequel this funny twenty years after the release of the first movie. It took two directors and six screenwriters, but I’d argue that the end justifies those means. I can’t see myself having any other reaction to it. Except maybe disgust. If you’ve seen the first “Dumb and Dumber”, I can’t imagine that you’ve forgotten the infamous Turbolax scene. There’s at least three equally disgusting scenes in “Dumb and Dumber To”. You’ll either be laughing shamelessly or shielding your face. Or both.
Postscript: If you want to see the directors’ cameo, stay after the credits. It’s one of the best scenes in the movie, actually.