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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

REVIEW: Dumb and Dumber To

MOVIE
Dumb and Dumber To

CAST
Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels

RATING
PG-13

RELEASE
November 14, 2014

DIRECTOR(S)
Bobby Farrelly,
Peter Farrelly

STUDIO
Universal Pictures

RUNNING TIME
1 hour 51 minutes






STARS
**1/4









REVIEW:

Just for a minute, let's journey back to the year of 1994, otherwise known to many filmgoers as one of the best years for movies in history.  Looking back on it, some of the most widely acclaimed and quoted films of all time, including "Forrest Gump," "The Shawshank Redemption," and "Pulp Fiction," were released in this magical cinematic year.  Another reason why 1994 is so iconic is that it's the year when Jim Carrey became an overnight sensation.  Over the course of 365 days, Carrey went from being just Fire Marshall Bill on "In Living Color" to one of the most notable names in Hollywood, thanks to the three films of his that were released this year: "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," "The Mask," and "Dumb and Dumber."  In case you don't remember, each of these hilarious films had follow-up features that, let's face it, didn't do the originals any justice whatsoever. (I'm looking right at you, "Son of the Mask.)  However, for some reason, people kept crawling back to the idea of a sequel to "Dumb and Dumber."  Well to those people who spent two decades asking for a "proper" follow-up flick to one of the smartest yet most juvenile comedies of the modern era, I say congratulations, because your wish has finally been granted.

If only I could write that last sentence with a smile on my face and with some type of enthusiastic joy, because not only is this sequel not as funny as the original, (an impossible feat if you ask me despite the returning actors and directors/writers) but it's just unfunny and unoriginal as a whole.  To be honest, I actually laughed a lot during the initial trailer that was released.  It looked absolutely dumb, but it looked like it had the right amount of dumb to balance the potentially hilarious humor that was promised.  Unfortunately, aside from a couple of scenes that made me laugh out loud, the trailers featured the film's better moments and weren't even that funny to watch in the context of the film.  I wouldn't be so disappointed with this movie if it hadn't copied exact plot points, jokes, and moments from the first film, ala "Wayne's World 2" and "The Hangover Part II."  Yeah, it's one of THOSE kinds of comedy sequels.  The idea of seeing Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne initially sounded great, especially since Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels were coming back.  Unfortunately, that's all the film should have stayed as: an idea.  It pains me to say this, but "Dumb and Dumber To" was absolutely stupid, and not even in a good way.

I will give credit where credit's due and say that Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are great in this movie.  They fit back into the roles of Harry and Lloyd, as Ace Ventura once said, "like a glove."  Both men try their hardest with the material given and do what they can do, and for the most part succeeded at being these lovable idiots once again.  Jeff Daniels especially impresses considering that he's been doing dramatic work on "The Newsroom" for the past few years.  Jim Carrey is great too, but then again, this is the type of performance to expect from Jim Carrey considering his last few films being a bit of the same as this.  However, this sort of leads into one of my biggest issues with the movie: the Farrelly brothers somehow managed to make Harry and Lloyd even DUMBER than they were in the first movie!

I know what you're thinking: Well what do you expect with a movie called "Dumb and Dumber?"  Well, as a fan of the original and having seen it many times, I can confidently say that I expected a smarter film.  In the first movie, the characters were stupid, but they had some type of intelligence that made them tolerable and more interesting.  Here, they just do stupid things for the sake of looking and sounding stupid.  I would give an example of this, but the one example I want to give would give away the ending of the film, so just think of the stupidest scenario to occur with a plot like this.  The other supporting characters, particularly the one played by Laurie Holden from "The Walking Dead," are also written and performed pretty poorly.  Then again, what else is there to expect with such an unfunny and clich├ęd script?

Let's face it guys: The Farrelly Brothers haven't exactly been great in the past few years.  On one side of the spectrum, "The Three Stooges" had some incredibly clever jokes and its three leads taking on the iconic roles incredibly well.  On the other end, "Hall Pass," at least from what others have told me, wasn't funny and instead was just despicable and mean-spirited.  With this movie, we fall on the latter end unfortunately.  The humor isn't entirely funny, and instead just gets repetitive, juvenile, and even downright mean at times.  Like, it gets shockingly mean compared to the first movie.  I'm all good with shock humor when it's done right.  Here, it just felt like the Farrelly's were trying to be mean and see how others would react to it.  Well guys, here's my reaction: shock, disgust, and sadness.

As mentioned before, this film is practically a rehash of its 1994 predecessor.  Even though it mentions "Mary Samsonite" and her whereabouts in the beginning, as well as show characters like Billy the blind kid all grown up, the story for the most part is identical to the original.  The villains and their motive is the same, the love-esque storyline is the same, and a decent amount of the jokes from the first movie are given a slightly new edge to them, but overall are unfunny. Even when they have one of the most iconic vehicles of 90s cinema,the Mutt Cutts car, to bring back nostalgia, the opportunity with it is wasted and is only used for a really dumb and pointless gag. It's a shame too because recent sequels like "Toy Story 3" and "22 Jump Street" proved that movies can get away with older versions of beloved characters while still having fresh and hilarious jokes to compliment that.  Aside from a few moments involving jokes that made me laugh out loud and a few twists that were actually pretty inventive, this movie wasn't remotely original and simply copied its former almost identically.

The last thing I wanted to do is to bash on this movie, because as I've said before, the original "Dumb and Dumber" is a modern comedic classic to me.  Not to mention, the only other sequel Carrey made to one of his films, "Ace Ventura: Nature Calls," was a decent enough film with some solid laughs.  Here, we have an unfunny, stupid as hell, and piss-poor follow-up that left me shocked and sad when walking out of the theater.  In fact, the movie itself left me in my seat in shock, which I consider a good thing now since it introduced me to the song "When I'm Alone" by Lissie (if you hear the song, you'll be questioning why it's even in the credits to begin with) as well as a rather awesome post-credits scene that teases a "Dumb and Dumber For" to come out in 2034.  After seeing this movie, the last thing I'd want to see is another one of these movies.  As much as I wanted to like this movie and get past its sheer stupidity, I couldn't help but criticize how repetitious, predictable, unfunny, and just all around mediocre "Dumb and Dumber To" sadly is at the end of the day.  I guess it makes sense now as to why Warner Bros. dropped this project in the first place before Universal picked it up.







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