Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Dumb and Dumber To: Movie Review

Dumb and Dumber To: Movie Review

Cast: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Rob Riggle, Laurie Holden, Kathleen Turner, Rachel Melvin
Director: Bobby and Peter Farrelly

"Comedy's all about timing"

These words uttered by Jim Carrey's Lloyd in this sequel couldn't be more prescient or pertinent when it comes to Dumb and Dumber To.

Over 20 years ago, Dumb and Dumber stole my heart; a sweet, unabashed film about two idiots whose stupidly sweet innocence seemed a throwback to the prat-falling silent schtick of a Hollywood from yesteryear.

Needless to say, 20 years on and the sequel rides roughshod over any nostalgic glow I may have had for the first.

In this latest, Jeff Daniels' Harry discovers he has a daughter and sets out with Jim Carrey's gurning Lloyd to find her - because he's in dire need of a new kidney. So begins another road trip....

In some ways, it's pointless to rail about how unfunny and crassly crude Dumb and Dumber To is - not to mention casually racist, because it's all done by these two leads who are supposed to be nothing more than a pair of loveable knuckleheads blundering from one encounter to the next.

But in updating the adventures of Harry and Lloyd and re-teaming with the Farrelly Brothers, those involved have actually lost sight of what made the original pair so successful and so amusing - their naivete and sheer chutzpah for any given situation propelled it along its sweet and endearingly dumb journey. This time around, by making the pair so stupid and occasionally offensive (perhaps a sign of the times we now live in), they've lost that audience empathy from the start, preferring to concentrate on a series of silly pranks over everything else. (Even those were present in the first, but dialled down)

Equally, there are plenty of scenes within the film that seem aimless with nary a punchline or moment to punctuate them; it's almost as if the writers lost sight of the actual gags they were trying to aim for. I'm not suggesting there's a sophistication with the Dumb and Dumber series at all - or even needs to be - in fact, it works better because of a lack of it. But an excessive number of flat jokes really stand out as this road trip "comedy" saunters onto its destination.

Carrey, Daniels and even Turner have their moments (possibly more Carrey as he does manic moments such as scoffing down a hotdog and greeting a dog at a gas station) - but they're too few and far in between a scattered plot that's lacking in real gags with warmth and heart; Melvin appears to be playing a brunette bimbo as the daughter and even Rob Riggle looks a little lost as the film tries to match some of the comic highs and even plot points of the first. (A fact made even more pertinent when the closing credits replay scenes from the first movie, making you realise all the more what you've missed)

All in all, Dumb and Dumber To is a massive comic disappointment - I hadn't expected the world but to see the legacy of Harry and Lloyd dumbed down a step too far after too many years too late makes this a contender for one of the worst films of 2015 already.


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