“Dumb and Dumber To”: same tired jokes, haggard attempt

Dumb and Dumber To:  Same tired jokes, and a very haggard attempt.

Twenty years ago, we met Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunn, a pair of dunces who drive an Econoline van covered in shag carpeting across the country, on an adventure that took them to Colorado and wackiness ensued.  Bobby and Peter Farrelly made a name for themselves, and Rhode Island, by breaking into the comedy movie scene with this gross-out movie that made over $120 million domestically and over $63 million on DVD.  This film was quite funny and showcased a young Jim Carrey getting his traction in the world of comedy feature films.

Flash forward to last month’s reheated version of the same movie, it misses the mark by using the same tired old jokes.  It’s 20 years later and Lloyd is wallowing in his misery of the events from the last film, Harry comes and visits him only to find the same old lame joke played out…and this is just the first few minutes.  The movies leads you from there into the same old played out clichés that sequels tend to throw on you.  The reunion, the parole, the child you didn’t know you had, and the ‘where are they now,’ are all possible candidates for sequels such as these.

The focus the Farrelly brothers chose was a mixture of all, but primarily focused on the ‘I have a kid’ aspect.  Apparently, Harry (played by Jeff Daniels) happens to be a dad, according to a very aged and not pleasant Kathleen Turner, who plays a character distastefully named Fraida Felcher.  From there, shenanigans ensue as they quest for a reunion with his daughter that takes them through lame situations that seem to be the throw away jokes from the original screenplay.

The journey takes them from Rhode Island to Delaware, which in the words of Wayne Campbell, “I’m in Delaware…” with a shrug.  I felt the same way.  From there, the chase for the elusive offspring brings the boys to Austin, Texas, for a brainiacs convention for more monotone laughs.  As they leave Delaware, they spot the centerpiece for the first film, the Mutt Cutts van aka the Shaggin’ Wagon from the first movie, which gave me a short moment of hope for lightning in a bottle and a chance to kick this movie into gear.  No dice, they even ruin that moment and quickly segue into their third act in Texas.

With welcome glimpses and images from the first film, they quickly delete them and bring you back into this horrible reality that is maybe a step or two above the horrific sequel the studio put out in 2003 that DID NOT have anything to do with the Farrelly brothers at all.  The film then spins out of control with bad plot directions and jokes that are every bit as weathered and tired as Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels both look at this point.  Saying that this sequel is five, 10 or 15 years too late is delusional at best.  If this is what we would have expected even 18 years ago, I would have passed even back then.

Ham-fisted and badly written, I may caution even finding this movie on DVD unless you have a morbid curiosity of what our lovable boys from Providence have been up to.  This was a misfire by the Farrelly brothers, and that is saying a lot for these guys who tend to take comedic risks and sometimes come up winners. This time, the movie title lives up to its claim.  I give this one 2 stars out of five for at least managing to bring back the original primary players and a couple of other memorable moments from the first.

This movie is now showing at the Parkwood Cinema in Waite Park and the Quarry Cinema in Cold Spring.

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