MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Dumb And Dumber To’ Is Worse Than It Looks

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Film: Dumb And Dumber To
Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels
Directed by: The Farrelly Brothers
Genre: Comedy

Twenty years have passed since Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) taught audiences about their lives of idiocy, and in that time almost nothing has changed. That’s both the beauty and problem with their latest adventure, which to put it simply falls far short of everyone’s expectations.

When I say nothing has changed between Harry and Lloyd since we last left them, I’m almost being 100% truthful. At the opening of Dumb And Dumber To Harry is visiting Lloyd at a mental facility, which is something we’re told he has done every Wednesday for the last twenty years. He informs Lloyd that some medical issues have come up, and though he never wants to leave his friend’s side he must journey far away to find a cure. This causes Lloyd to reveal the fact he has been faking his illness all this time, including the countless days he made Harry change his diaper, and Harry reacts exactly how you would expect: By laughing hysterically and applauding his friend’s dedication to a prank.

Harry soon reveals to Lloyd that he is in need of a kidney, and considering the fact he was adopted he has no knowledge of blood relatives that may be able to help him. That is, until the pair discover Harry has a daughter he never knew about, who just so happens to be a full-grown adult. This gives the duo hope for Harry’s future, and soon they set off on a new cross-country journey, or at least that’s what the Farrelly Brothers want viewers to believe. In reality, the adventure never really takes off, as it is too weighed down with extended sequences whose jokes burn out long before the next scene begins. We see Lloyd eat a mustard-covered hotdog with no hands, insult the parents of a dead friend by explaining his role in their child’s fate, share the second most annoying sound in the world, dream about battling ninjas, and more, all while Harry does his best to get the story off the ground. It’s a weird mesh of half-assed new ideas and updated takes on popular gags from the original that never feel as fresh as franchise fans might have hoped. It’s all little too ‘been there, done that’ to sit well with viewers.

Once things do get in motion, which is well over halfway into the story, Harry and Lloyd’s nonsense is further watered down with a failed attempt at a foray into the action-comedy world that falls flat early and never recovers. It’s an over-complicated and entirely unnecessary twist that only serves to underutilize Rob Riggle, despite the fact he technically appears in two separate roles. When the finale does show its face, the reward for having sacrificed two hours of your time has as little to do with Harry and Lloyd as all the other movies you’ve enjoyed during the two decades they have been away. That is my way of saying it’s pointless, even for Dumb and Dumber.

There is a constant barrage of humor throughout Dumb And Dumber To, but it’s delivered in such a way that no one could ever enjoy everything on display. Instead, you laugh whenever something works and try not to think about the times a punchline falls flat. When the credits roll, you will eventually ask yourself which happened more: laughing or eye-rolling. I’m not going to act as if comedy is suddenly not incredibly subjective, because it most certainly is, but I do feel confident in believing most people will walk away thinking they laughed very little considering just how much so-called ‘comedy’ was on display. The only real highlight that everyone can appreciate is Kathleen Turner, who makes an appearance as the baby-mama to Harry’s long lost child. She’s great, and she knows how to play straight opposite Carrey/Daniels in a way that makes every scene funnier. That said, she appears very little.

This is the Harry and Lloyd you asked for, America, and though they’ve aged significantly, their level of intelligence has only continued to plummet during the decades spent trying to make their return a reality. They’re here now, however, and regardless of how almost painfully mindless their antics have become there is a 109-minute story awaiting viewers willing to take a chance on Jim Carrey salvaging whatever is left of his once great comedic presence. The results are not good, but they’re certainly not without a few incredibly brief moments of comedic brilliance. Most people would not miss a thing if they never saw this film, but if you feel compelled to take a chance on Harry and Lloyd it’s probably best to wait for Netflix.

GRADE: D-

Review written by James Shotwell

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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