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Dumb And Dumber To

November 20, 2014

Dumb And Dumber To
(** 1/2) PG-13

Lloyd and Harry, the beloved characters from the 1994 film Dumb and Dumber, have finally been reunited in the long gestating sequel Dumb and Dumber To. One would expect that with a twenty-year wait the comedic ideas would have piled up in the ensuing two decades but, unfortunately, that’s not quite the case. While Dumb and Dumber To certainly has some belly laughs, too many of the film’s gags seem to fall flat and the film coasts simply on the great chemistry of its two lead stars for far too many stretches. Two decades later fans of the original film continue to quote dialogue from that earlier installment. Dare I say that not too many people are going to be quoting dialogue from Dumb and Dumber To twenty years down the line. One can’t help but wonder that if the career of the film’s directors (The Farrelly Brothers) and its two lead actors (Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, who won an Emmy as the lead actor of The Newsroom last year) had not cooled considerably in the last several years if this film would have even gotten made. Though it’s far from unfunny, a certain air of desperation permeates the proceedings.

The film’s opening scene pretty sets the tone of things as Harry (Daniels) is seen visiting Lloyd (Carrey) in a rest home of some sort where, apparently, Lloyd has been in a state of catatonia since the events of the first film.

Carey & Daniels in Dumb & Dumber To

Turns out that it’s just an elaborate hoax of Lloyd’s making and an excuse for Lloyd to get his adult diapers changed by Harry. Shortly thereafter, Harry attempts to remove a catheter from the screaming Lloyd in front of horrified onlookers. It’s the typical type of gross-out humor one would expect from the Farrelly Brothers but it has an air of trying too hard to tickle the audience’s funny bone and falls curiously flat.

A little later on Harry admits to Lloyd that he’s in need of a kidney donor, while almost simultaneously (and fortunately for the plot), Harry discovers the existence of a child he fathered nearly a quarter century ago. The dumb duo hope to talk the now grown child into donating a kidney and go about locating the child’s mother (Kathleen Turner, in a hilariously self-deprecating turn and one of the film’s brightest spots) who alerts them that the child was adopted soon after she gave birth. This leads to another plot development where it’s revealed that the child’s adopted father is a scientist whose cheating wife is attempting to kill him for his money. Of course we all know that once Lloyd and Harry enter the picture there’s good chance that this plan won’t come fruition.

One of the funnier bits in Dumb and Dumber To is the acknowledgement of one the earlier film’s signature gags, which involved a blind kid and his parrot. Let’s just say the kid from that first film makes a return appearance here and it’s one of the film’s most inspired moments. It’s just too bad there weren’t more of them in a film on which I had pinned such high hopes.

Questions or comments? Write Adam at filmfan1970@hotmail.com.

 

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