DUMB AND DUMBER TO
By Gary Murray
Starring Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels and Kathleen Turner
Written by Sean Anders, Mike Cerrone, Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly
Directed by Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly
Running time 103 min
MPAA Rating PG-13
Selig Film Rating Matinee
Dumb and Dumber is one of those movies that a certain generation of film geeks has in their collective memory. It is a film like Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Animal House or Young Frankenstein where a flock of film fans have all the best bits memorized to the point where they can be a shadow cast to the work. But unlike those other films, the powers that be have not tried to make a sequel to those comedy classics. Well, the Farrelly Brothers of There’s Something about Mary fame have taken on the gauntlet challenge with Dumb and Dumber To.
The story picks up almost twenty years after we last saw the duo. (The prequel of When Harry met Lloyd is ignored.) Harry (Jeff Daniels) has been coming to visit Lloyd (Jim Carrey) for years in a home. After a few minutes, we find that Lloyd has been messing with Harry for the last few decades. Then we are off on the newest adventure.
Harry tells Lloyd that his kidneys are failing and that he needs a transplant. They go to his parent’s house and find out that Harry is adopted. When given his mail, there is a twenty year old letter that tells him he is a father. And so our quest begins.
Harry and Lloyd visit Fraida Felcher (Kathleen Turner) who tells them that she put her daughter up for adoption. The guys then head to the home of the daughter and find that she is headed to El Paso for a conference. She is to give a keynote speech for her ailing scientist father.
It seems that the father has invented a ‘something’ that is a billion-dollar life’s work for the betterment of mankind. He entrusts Harry and Lloyd to find his daughter in El Paso and give her the package that she forgot. It is all just a set-up for one of the oldest gags in the history of cinema, the road trip.
The two go across country trying to get the package to Penny, the daughter. On this adventure, the two play pranks and generally act like idiots. There are attempts on their lives by those who are trying to get the invention for them. The whole idea is a McGuffin, an object that drives the plot but is of little importance.
Dumb and Dumber To is a stupid movie, which is exactly what it is trying to be. There is no social pretense about being some intellectual pursuit. It is make just for getting silly laughs, which it accomplishes in abundance. It is made by the guys who tried to reboot the Three Stooges.
But at times both Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey seem a bit too long in the tooth to be playing morons. In so many ways, comedy is a young man’s game and both have been out of the game for a long time.
That said, the two actors seem to be having the time of their lives playing morons. There is this twinkle in Carrey’s eye, saying “You think that was stupid, just wait and see what I’m gonna do next!” You have to admire the gumption of that rubber faced comic, a comic whose elasticity is a little wrinkled around the edges.
I could have done with less of Jeff Daniels showing his butt crack. Once would have been funny but fifteen times is overkill. I don’t think even his wife has seen so much of his cheeks.
This film is never going to win any awards but it destined to make a ton of cash. It has the right appeal to the kids and to those who remember when the first film was a smash. Those two audiences should bring backsides to the seats. .