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Dumb and Dumber To – Movie Review

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Dumb and Dumber To – Movie Review

Rating: D (Very Bad)

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With Jim Carrey having evolved his career past the silly faces that defined his earlier work and having rejected reprising his characters for so long, there has to be an added incentive for him to return to one of his first major successes. The Mask and Liar Liar seem like more logical movies for Carrey to make a sequel to than Dumb and Dumber. While that film still attains a fond audience, I will admit to not being one of them as it mostly felt like a bunch of stupid and annoying gags strung together. Dumb and Dumber To repeats that formula, only it seems Lloyd and Harry have gotten even more idiotic in the twenty years since the first movie. The nicest thing that can be said about this sequel is it’s not as annoyingly terrible as the Saturday morning cartoon, which I’m still mystified actually exists.

One of the biggest problems with Dumb and Dumber To is its length. Watching Jim Carrey make ridiculous facial expressions and push Jeff Daniels into bushes gets old very quickly when the movie runs at almost two hours. The story is obviously the least important part of a movie that is more about seeing the interaction between Carrey and Daniels and that would be fine, if the gags delivered. In total, there are about three major laughs in Dumb and Dumber To, including the film’s one PG-13 allowed f-bomb. Most of the humour tends to revolve around Harry and Lloyd physically harming themselves or those around them, including a frequently annoyed Rob Riggle. Although we are thankfully avoided the sight of Daniels defecating for two minutes, there are still unfunny moments like Harry changing Lloyd’s diaper in a psychiatric hospital and the two of them shouting obnoxiously during a science convention. I don’t expect much wit from a Dumb and Dumber movie and there’s nothing wrong with stupid humour, but these jokes border on irritating.

Reflecting back on the first film, Harry and Lloyd did have their heads on their shoulders and could believably get jobs and attain a driver’s license, despite their stupidity. The characters even got serious when the story called for it. In Dumb and Dumber To, their IQ has been dropped several digits to the point where one wonders how they could possibly function in society. Carrey and Daniels now portray them as having the intelligence of rocks and it also makes other characters look idiotic, especially when Harry gets confused for a respected scientist. It also gives Carrey even more excuses to make stupid faces that quickly grate. There are even two extended dream sequences that fall flat, including one that adds a cameo from somebody plucked from the evils of reality television and who doesn’t deserve any extra promotion.

Everyone else in the cast seems to fade into the background. One wonders how they got Kathleen Turner to play an old flame of everyone in town, since she is given little comedic material, outside of one genuinely funny reaction to Harry and Lloyd’s stupidity. Rachel Melvin basically has to play dumb in her role as the adopted girl they both look for and like the main characters, the material she’s given outstays its welcome not long after she’s introduced. As Dumb and Dumber To enters its third act, the whole film really starts to show how tired it’s getting as more and more jokes keep piling on. With its bare bones plot and simple characters, there is no reason for this to be more than ninety minutes. Along with the other four credited writers, Bobby and Peter Farrelly seem to be so in love with their jokes, one gets the sense there was a fear to cut some of their material. Most of those jokes probably would not have been missed, though. It was reported that Jennifer Lawrence filmed a cameo which ultimately didn’t make the final cut. One wonders how that would have broken the monotony or whether like Turner, it would just be another case of an actress having no reason to be there.

From the perspective of somebody who never had a fondness for the first Dumb and Dumber, this sequel doesn’t do much to endear me to these characters and their antics. Whether fans of the first film will find this more enjoyable is something I can’t answer. I think The Mask or Bruce Almighty would be more interesting properties for Jim Carrey to return to. There’s only so much Harry and Lloyd one can take and watching them make idiotic faces and stupid jokes for two hours straight is just too much. The whole film just feels like a repackaging of old jokes and characters and the aging really shows.

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Review By: Stefan Ellison


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