Film Grains: Dumb & Dumber To (2014)

 

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Anticipation: 2/5   Most sequels are a bad idea.

Final Verdict:  2/5  Dumb & Dumber was To

Remember that time you were at a party and someone had brought their friend who made everyone laugh?  You had a great time that evening and it’s a pleasant memory of yours; a good party you talk about on occasion with your friends.  And remember, twenty years later, when you ran into that same person, who in your mind was still really funny, and they tried to make you laugh with all the same jokes but it turned out to be really awkward?  You were not unreceptive, they were just full of shit and embarrassed to be using the same jokes and it showed all too well.

Dumb & Dumber To starts with Lloyd (Jim Carrey) having been institutionalized for the twenty years following his heartbreak caused by Mary Samsonite/Swanson. Harry (Jeff Daniels) has been visiting him every day for twenty years to console him.  To get the movie going, Lloyd admits that he has been playing a joke on Harry for the entire twenty years. They both laugh, ha ha ha, we saw this in the trailer…  Harry discovers that he may have a daughter that was given up for adoption by an ex-girlfriend, Freida Felcher (Kathleen Turner). Harry and Lloyd hit the road (again…) and by the time they find Harry or Lloyd or Pee Stain’s daughter, they are entangled in a story involving someone who is scheming to obtain a large sum of money from someone else (again…).

I’ve read that there is no point in comparing a sequel to its predecessor because you are sure to be disappointed.  As much as I tired to not compare both films, the Farrelly brothers did everything to prevent me from not comparing Dumb & Dumber To to Dumb & Dumber.  All the jokes that were in the first movie find themselves in some shape or form in the second. Some would say that that’s exactly the point.  The Farrelly’s are showing that both Harry and Lloyd have not evolved as people, even though the rest of the world has.  It is rather obvious that if both characters have been stagnant for twenty years neither has evolved.  Moving on. The inherent problem is not that Harry and Lloyd haven’t evolved, it’s that the Farrelly’s haven’t. The plot (I can’t believe I used that word while reviewing this movie) is a complete misfire.  Sending Harry and Lloyd on another road trip just to get an audience to grin at the memory of the original movie is beyond lazy. Moreover, the daughter, Penny (Rachel Melvin), turns out to be a MacGuffin with the added edge of trying to bring some sort of emotional depth to both characters of Harry and Lloyd.  Not only do the Farrelly’s over-quote the first movie, they over-tag every new joke in the second.  How many ‘blending-in’ suits does Travis (Rob Riggle) have?  How many fart jokes can you put in a movie? Christ, even a cat farts feathers in this one.

There are three instances where I did laugh. I liked that Harry got back at a sleeping Lloyd by swerving to slam Lloyd’s head on a tree branch while driving a Zamboni down a highway.  Writing it just made me laugh.  I also liked the repulsive yet endearing plan to obtain a free drink the two idiots concoct. And lastly, I chuckled at the “Show us your tits!  Both of them!” sequence because it implies that Harry does not understand that ‘tits’ is plural.  I caught myself laughing at Harry thinking ‘one tits, two tits’ like the moron he is (and I can be at times). But sadly, those instances cannot keep this ship from sinking.

Dumb & Dumber To may have been the Farrelly’s attempt at humoring society’s acceptance of the lack of innovative storytelling that has plagued cinema in recent years, but it would be a pricey $35 million message. By having Harry and Lloyd live in a never-ending present for twenty years only to reproduce the almost exact same actions on their second road trip, the Farrelly’s make obvious that most times it’s better to let sleeping dog-cars lie.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. subitolove says:

    Nice read! You may want to check out my review on The Grand Budapest Hotel! ; )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for dropping by Louisa. Your comment is much appreciated! Your review of Anderson’s latest is also a nice read :) Please feel free to check out the reviews for Kingsman and/or Boyhood or the essays on Hitchcock and/or The Godfather for more in depth analyses than Dumb & Dumber To. Looking forward to chatting soon!

      Like

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