In the unbelievably strange world of Hollywood, sequels to box hits have now become automatic. Granted with the proliferation of comic book action movies this has become a no brainer. But with every summer blockbuster getting the automatic sequel or even a movie series treatment, it comes at no surprise that successful comedies are treated the same way. Look at what happened with The Hangover, they filmed not one but two dreadful follow-ups, but some movies actually get better with the sequels, or look at the Austin Powers franchise, okay the second one was good the third one not so much. The minute a film makes a profit you can tell the studios are plotting their next move. The case of 1994’s Dumb and Dumber is a unique one, the film took off when Jim Carrey’s career was just taking off itself. Considering the fact that same year Ace Ventura and The Mask both came out earlier that year. There was no reason to think that Dumb and Dumber would not be a huge box office hit, which of course it was. What makes this case unique is why did it take more than twenty years for the brother duo behind the film Bobby and Peter Farrelly to conjure up the sequel in the first place? As uninspired in both name and concept Dumb and Dumber To was not the sequel fans should have expected or deserved.
Why Do It In The First Place?
Let’s face it, Dumb and Dumber and it’s newly released sequel Dumb and Dumber To was not going to receive a ton of critical acclaim. But what made it on screen actually makes me question the overall motives of everyone involved to actual produce and film this picture. Dumb and Dumber To is one of the most unimaginative, unfunny, and most poorly thought out scripts to make it to the big screen in long time. And that’s saying something. Which is not to say the original film’s most loyal fans will eat it up. They will, as judging by the film’s first weekend receipts, they clearly did. But what does it say about Hollywood when the people involved are clearly producing a film just to cash their pay check because that’s the only explanation I can think of that would explain why the Farrelly brothers, and Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels and Kathleen Turner would ever agree to doing this picture especially after reading the script. Some things in Hollywood never surprise me, they disappointment, but never surprise.
So What Happened?
Where to begin? If you saw the first one then you know you’re not gong to get a witty farce in the realm of Noel Coward. But give the credit to the Farrelly brothers for having had some of the most unique and funniest concepts make to the big screen. What other duo can come up with the concepts behind There’s Something About Mary and Shallow Hal? Okay they’re clearly not the Coen brothers, but hey they provide deliberate, crude and slightly ironic laughs with an audience yearning for a little self-indulgent fun, and who’s to stop them. But clearly the brothers Farrelly have lost their mojo for quite sometime, I mean after duds like this, not to mention their interpretation of The Three Stooges, you have to wonder what going on with them recently. This recent attempt had very little to do with ironic comedy, at my screening I think I heard real laughter from the audience perhaps only twice throughout the entire film. You could tell the audience wasn’t feeling their so-called fresh take on the lives of Harry Dunne (Daniels) and Lloyd Christmas (Carrey) and what they were up to now that they are in their mid-fifties now, yet somehow they’re still not grown up.
Here’s the Story…
In this incarnation, as we begin, Lloyd still at with the practical jokes, thinks he’s pulled the biggest practical joke on Harry when he announces that he’s been faking the whole time while committed to a mental institution. After the audience barely smirks after this revelation, the hijinks continue with Lloyd announcing he needed a kidney transplant and they find out he has a long lost daughter out there who just might be give hers to him. Long story short, and it is a long story indeed, Harry and Lloyd set out to find his suspected daughter Penny (Rachel Melvin) her biological mother who Harry thinks he may have slept with (Turner) and eventually wind up with Travis (Rob Riggle) who through a totally contrived plot point winds up with our dastardly duo on the road attmpting to kill them as they try to get to El Paso to meet up with young Penny at the KEN Conference. Get it? The laughs just keep coming a mile a minute!
Dumb and Dumber To is so pointless, so thoughtless and so utterly lacking in laughs both deliberate and ironic that I was left scratching my head on why anyone would want to be involved in this mess. It seems that everyone who’s involved with this sequel career is at a different point in their lives. It’s preety obvious on why the film’s star Jim Carrey chose to do this movie after years of saying he disliked doing sequels. He is not the star he used to be that ‘s obvious. One point Carrey was getting paid 20-25 million per picture, now after a string of flops, much of which was supposed to jump start his career and launch, ironically enough, more franchises like Lemony Snickett or Mr. Popper’s Penguins, now his career is stuck in neutral. I could see why he wanted to do a sequel because it seems so familiar and the film is a guaranteed winner.
As for Jeff Daniels, well his career has had a nice comeback thanks to his Emmy® award winning role in HBO’s The Newsroom, but apparently he too thought his career could use a nice pick me up especially when it came to being noticed on the silver screen. Then there are the founders of this entire concept, the directors and co-writers of the film, Bobby and Peter Farrelly, I feel they have the talent to rival another brother duo in the Coens in the creatively avante garde realm of Hollywood, yet for years they’ve been disappointing fans with worthless projects that have them going nowhere, Movie 43? The Three Stooges? Yeesh. The fact it took six, yes SIX total writers, including the Farrelly brothers to come up with this junk of a movie is worrisome for everyone involved.
There’s a lot of disappointment and blame to go around when it comes to this pointless sequel to the actors to the directors to the writers. I was most disappointed with Oscar® nominee Kathleen Turner playing the pivotal role of Fraida Flecher who may or may not have screwed around with Harry and Lloyd when they were young. Why an actress as talented a Turner would take on a thankless and quite frankly offensive role where she is the recipient of nothing but crude jokes and put downs is beyond me. Why any of the actors would agree to do this movie after reading the script is beyond me. Skip this sequel, to what many people feel is a landmark, yes I said landmark film of the mid 90’s, go out and VOD the original or hell watch a far superior film of that era called There’s Something About Mary that’s also from the Farrelly’s. Trust me they’ll thank you for remembering their good work.