In 1994, some two decades ago, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, as Lloyd and Harry, respectively, joined forces with the Farrelly brothers in what became a cult classic from the 90s, Dumb and Dumber. This year, 2014, sees the return of the acting duo reprise their roles, along with the director brothers, bringing the latest instalment back to the big screen in Dumb and Dumber To.
The first film was a major hit, so much so that we easily forgot the animated series that launched in 1995 and the 2003, Dumb and Dumberer, both of which were as big a failure as the first was a success. Although I watched the original countless times, in recent times I chose to avoid it solely to stop myself from despising it as time moved on, and I as grew older. It seems, though, that Peter and Bobby Farrelly were willing to risk losing their cult following in an effort to reignite their careers. I hoped, for their sake, as well as the fans, that the comedy would be even half as good as the original.
Light spoilers ahead, but, then again, it is a comedy film, so there are no real spoilers.
To think that the teenagers and varsity students of today were not yet even born at the time of the original, not only makes me feel a little old, but is an indicator of how things have moved on since 1994. Interestingly enough, the same cannot be said for the Lloyd and Harry, whose lives has almost stood still in this time. The main reason for this is due to Lloyd’s regression into a catatonic state soon after the events of the first film when he lost his love, Mary (Samsonite) Swanson.
Skipping a few scenes forward, the moronic twosome endeavour on a quest across the country to find Harry’s newly discovered daughter, who was given up for adoption after birth. They make this discovery after an attempt to track down a suitable donor for Harry, who is in need of a kidney. If you were ever in any doubt beforehand as to their saneness, it quickly flies out the window in a series of extreme actions and consequences, upsetting almost everyone in their wake. In short, the plot is similar to that of the first, only for different reasons.
Now that the plot is pretty much dealt with, if you really needed on for a film such as this, we can get to the successes and failures of the film. A quick glance at the writers section, you’ll notice that there are six writers credited for Dumb and Dumber To. Throughout the film, it is very evident that many of scenes and humour were as a result of the sextet brainstorming, and adding almost all ideas in some or other scene. Evidence of this is during Harry’s flashback to what he would have been like as a dad to his daughter, or that of Lloyd attempting to get a pair of hearing aids for Harry after temporarily losing his hearing. Note that I do not attempt to describe these scenes, as the mere thought of it makes me cringe. Then there are moments that, maybe would have been humorous some 20 years back, that just don’t have the place in big screen movies today…these include a few racist remarks, a few sexual jokes (although a few are well-timed), and countless fart jokes.
No doubt, there are a good few hits and misses, but overall, there is just enough there to keep you entertained most of the time. There are a few stand-out scenes that left me near tears, almost choking on my popcorn, but they are only a few. It is these moments that made the movie worth watching. While I do understand the difficulty in created a comedy film that hits the spot from start to end, I cannot help but ask myself why there weren’t many more of these, more acceptable scenes throughout.
It is a little unfair to compare the original to this, some 20 years apart, at the same time not having the same appreciation for films so far back as I do now, based on lasting effects alone, the sequel doesn’t come close the same cult status. Knowing now what the movie is all about, and the type of humour (although expected) I’d be facing as a whole, I’d definitely sit through Dumb and Dumber To a second time. The film is your typical slapstick comedy, but has more than enough ‘hit’ moments over the ‘misses’ to have an above-average rating.