“Check out the hotties at 12 o’clock.”
“That’s three hours away, why can’t I check them out now?”
It is comforting to know that some people never change. 20 years since their last adventure, Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) are back at it in Dumb and Dumber To. In that interim time, Harry has returned to the old apartment in Providence, while Lloyd has been committed to the local mental hospital as a result of his failed attempt to woo Mary Swanson. His 20 years spent there is all an elaborate prank played on Harry because…that’s what these guys do.
Harry does have something important he has to get done, and its importance involves finding a daughter he never knew he had, given up for adoption (you guessed it) around 20-some years ago. Lloyd, a man who finds love at first sight, does so again and this gives him motivation to travel with Harry. And so the journey begins with the dense duo, traveling the terrain of the U.S. getting into and out of various situations like only they can.
Nostalgia is an interesting feeling, and it exists with this one. Seeing Lloyd and Harry once again is really a marvel in itself, which gives Dumb and Dumber To a great deal of intrigue and wonder. In many instances, nostalgia wears off after a while, giving way to the realization that what was once adored or even loved isn’t the same anymore due to the changing times. That doesn’t mean that the “thing” adored was never good or great or awesome to begin with, it just means that looking at it now doesn’t inspire the same feelings once had. This is the feeling that came over me with D&D2.
Obviously, this is different than the 1994 movie, but the structure and key players involved are the same. It is a little harder to be amused by the exploits found this go-round. Once again, this is written by the Farrelly brothers in Peter and Bobby, who haven’t completely fallen off the face of the Earth, but have definitely seen a dip since the early 2000’s with regards to public reception to their movies.
There is a lot more reliance on crude jokes, visible butt crack, and toilet humor. Every now and then one finds the mark, but most end up missing and missing bad. I can only speak for myself and to a smaller extent those who were present in this show, but there were many periods of silence and “forced chuckle.” To be honest, it was a little depressing.
Rest assured, there are some call-backs that pay homage to the original. And nonetheless, again it is cool to see Daniels and Carrey together again playing off of each other with the very solid chemistry they possess, even if their characters feel totally unbelievable. They are able to bring a few laughs on their skills alone despite this issue, but it is harder because this time Harry and Lloyd feel more like caricatures rather than sort of believable people.
Even in all of their prior, over-the top craziness, (and it may just be me) there existed a sort of “realness” to the pair and in what they encountered that made the comedy that much more gut-busting. Lloyd and Harry antics come off as tired and over-amplified to the point of becoming cringe-worthy. A small part of it may just be what was included in the trailer. The first scene could have been an amazing way to reintroduce the dimwits if it wasn’t already shown. It is a delicate line to toe for sure as interest has to be drummed up, but if another trailer could have been made without showing key moments, it should have been used.
Supporting characters can often be so key in comedies, and here hardly anyone is able to garner laughs. Rob Riggle is alright, but almost everyone between “Pee Stain” and Fraida Felcher feels melded together. There is one character that comes through to be a major part of the plot, and it is clear they are relied upon to garner many laughs due to who they are in relation to the main characters. They are not a complete failure, but for how much they are used, the act becomes old quickly.
It is really unfair to compare movies, but when one is a sequel to a well-known original, it is sort of inevitable. As it stands for yours truly, Dumb and Dumber To is a poor follow up when stacked to its predecessor, and on its own quality may be out of place in today’s comedy landscape. There’s a chance to be pleasantly surprised, but remember that 20 years is a long time to be away from people.
Photo credits go to comingsoon.net, thechive.com, and freshnessmag.com.
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