Dumb and Dumber To (2014)
Dumb and Dumber To (2014)

Genre: Slapstick Running Time: 1 hr. 50 min.

Release Date: November 14th, 2014 MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly Actors: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Rob Riggle, Laurie Holden, Rachel Melvin, Kathleen Turner, Tembi Locke

 


 

A

t the Baldy View Psychiatric Ward, after two decades of mourning the loss of his one great love (a woman whose name is still incorrectly referred to as Mary Samsonite), Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) finally decides to move on (suddenly awakening from his catatonic state). His best pal Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels), who has been visiting Lloyd every Wednesday, informs him of a failing kidney, leading the unintelligent duo to seek out a Dunne family member for a possible donor. But arriving at Harry’s childhood home brings up a new roadblock when it’s revealed that his parents (who are both clearly Asian) are adoptive guardians.

An incredible amount of the film recalls jokes from the original, which debuted to great acclaim back in 1994 and put the Farrelly Brothers on the map. In its efforts to present homages to the famous characters, environments, and shenanigans, “Dumb and Dumber To” feels too familiar, as if a significant portion of the film is recycled. But so much time has passed that surely these repetitive nods aren’t intended to compensate for a complete lack of fresh ideas for madcap adventures to put these scatterbrained goofballs through. While there are a few surprises, none are so outrageous as to be truly memorable, thereby prompting the question of the point behind reuniting this modern classic couple – especially after 20 years.

The blind kid with a thing for birds returns, along with the same apartment building sparsely decorated with a Bo Derek poster (and a new meth-cooking roommate played by an unrecognizable Bill Murray) and the trademark Mutt Cutts van. The road trip plot is also nearly identical, forcing the simpletons to trek from Rhode Island to Maryland to El Paso, Texas, where a tech symposium (the KEN conference or Knowledge Engineering Nexus) is held. Along the way, they’ll be chased by homicidal maniacs (Laurie Holden and Rob Riggle), unwittingly foil sabotage efforts, woo a young woman (Rachel Melvin), and get mistaken for scientific geniuses – all activities with obvious counterparts from their previous outing. Serious events are mocked, insulted, and disrupted to fairly hilarious degrees, but even these uncomfortably embarrassing scenarios can’t warrant an entire movie.

Carrey and Daniels fall back into their roles with impressive ease, each entirely capable of convincing that, although considerable years have elapsed, Lloyd and Harry are very much the same. The only unexplained item is how they could have survived for so long without jobs or money. The humor seems to have degenerated even further toward the spectrum of raunchy subjects, not content with just ethnic jokes, animal absurdities, and butchered idioms galore. A stubborn catheter, punches to the groin, horseplay, urine, pubic hair, farts, embalming fluid, and toe-sucking are but a few of the current inclusions, clearly showing that the writers couldn’t think of much beyond total immaturity for eliciting simple cachinnations over hopelessly infantile men.

The whole film is lighthearted and devil-may-care, even when guns are brandished or mortality confronted – which is preferable to the demoralizing realism of their limited mental capacities. In the end, the story boils down to an unshakeable friendship (and good-intentioned notes on woefully unprepared parenting), which was never really variable. If the plot was merely designed for random laughs (evident in daydream/fantasy sequences and asides that have little to do with the story) and opportunities for the imbecilic twosome to prank one another, it should have been less complicated and much shorter. But even with substantial edits, it’s a nearly impossible task to come close to, let alone top, the original “Dumb and Dumber.”

– Mike Massie

  • 5/10