Thursday, December 25, 2014

Dumb and Dumber To Review

Dumb and Dumber To Review
When "Dumb and Dumber" came out, it was 1994, and it was a movie that is really special to me. I don't understand how someone could sit down to watch a film called "Dumb and Dumber" and not have a good understanding of what they are getting into. Of course this was going to be a movie that as slapstick as slapstick gets. Of course this was going to be a movie filled with weird gross-out humor and immature jokes. I knew, even at a young age, that Jim Carrey was going to be perfect for the role. When I was young, my first exposure to Jeff Daniels was "Dumb and Dumber." As I got older, and I saw more titles in Daniels' catalogue, I was always amazed by his raw talent. I was also equally amazed that he never did extreme slapstick again.
"Dumb and Dumber" was a movie that knew exactly what it was and it was not embarrassed to do whatever it wanted to do. I am still astounded by how awesome it is and how much laughter spews out of me when I watch it. When I heard about a sequel, coming out ten years after the first film was released, I didn't know what to think. Telling by the trailers, I could see that Carey and Daniels were ready to jump right into their characters again. And throughout the entire runtime of "Dumb and Dumber To," Carey and Daniels play Lloyd and Harry almost exactly how they did ten years ago. That, to me, is not a bad thing. There is a specific type of humor you are getting into when you watch "Dumb and Dumber" and if you can't, at least, embrace that type of humor, than this sequel won't be for you. Carey and Daniels anchor this sequel, and they do strong, delirious, comedic work in this sequel and I found most of it affective.
The big, hanging problem I have with "Dumb and Dumber To" is just how lazy it is.
Let's reflect on "Dumb and Dumber" for a moment. The plot of that film was pretty simple, which was good for a brain-dead, slapstick comedy. Basically, Lloyd and Harry competed over the affections of a girl, while inadvertently stopping a criminal plot. "Dumb and Dumber" also mixed that plot with a "roady" type movie. "Dumb and Dumber To" is essentially the same movie. Lloyd and Harry are competing over the affections of a girl, they travel cross-country for this girl, and they inadvertently stop a criminal plot. I thought it was weird that Carey and Daniel felt compelled to come back to these characters after ten years, to essentially make the same movie over again.
Now, before you tell me that lots of sequels tread water, hear me out. When this plot was used in the first film, it was fun and had lots of energy. The problem with this sequel, is the material is a lot less interesting the second time around. Plus, having Harry find his long-lost daughter (Rachel Melvin) in order for Harry to receive a kidney transplant seems like a cliché way to bring these characters back together. It also feels equally cliché that Lloyd would form a puppy-love crush on Harry's daughter, its also a bit weird too. Rob Riggle and Laura Holden show up as the antagonists in this film, and both Riggle and Holden do good work here. But the criminal sub-plot of this movie could have been completely taken out and the movie would have been better. Whereas I thought that aspect of the story in the first films made thematic sense.
But like I say, Carey and Daniels do good work. There are also great cameos by Bill Murray, Mama June and Cam Neely. I just wish there was more purpose behind the making of this movie. I know sequels usually redo the first film's plot, but this film seems so compelled to be just like the first film that it seems odd to watch. I can't believe that Carey and Daniels chose to come back for an idea so unoriginal, so uninspiring and so devoid of fun. When it boils down to it, "Dumb and Dumber To" is rather shocking disappointment.

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