DETROIT – First of all I can’t believe it’s really been twenty years since the first, “Dumb and Dumber” came out. I remember seeing the preview for the first movie in the theater with the song, “Funky Town” playing in the background and groaning in my chair. I remember thinking that Jim Carrey really jumped the shark already and his career was barely taking off. I surely never thought anyone would even go for this dumb kind of comedy. Would you believe that I actually skipped out from seeing it. It was only until a family member came to visit did I break down and rent it from our local video store.
But then a really strange thing happened and I ended up laughing out loud throughout most of it. I mean, I really enjoyed it. In fact, this particular film really got me over my funk with Jim Carrey and I actually became a fan of his. It was also my first introduction to the Farrelly Brothers and their outrageous sense of comedy. They later gave us – “Kingpin”, and “The Three Stooges”.
Whew! The reviews are coming in for, “Dumb and Dumber To” and they are calling this thing one of the worst things ever committed to film. Myself, I was ready for some more of that outrageous comedy. After months of zombie movies, talking horror dolls, and Ouija boards I needed something that was fall down hilarious. I am not even going to go into the recent wave of goofy survival movies and this maze runner nonsense. We needed a trip back down to dumb. Dumb it down. Dumb is good.
Why in the world did the Farrelly Brothers wait 20 years to get another one of these things out? We could have used some prime laughs during that long break. In the future some film reviewer will write a discourse on the Farrelly Brothers and classify, “Dumb and Dumber”, “When Harry Met Lloyd”, “The Three Stooges” (remake) and this latest one, “Dumb and Dumber To” as part of the same series. Thematically they do have a lot in common. It’s the common people vs the rich in grandiose characterizations. The plots have interesting life and death consequences and do have the tendency to get morbidly serious if only for a moment. The formula has stayed consistent because people can relate to it. This is the same kind of fodder that existed in the original Three Stooges comedies. And even then the people at that time didn’t take to them immediately because they, as my grandmother put it, “tried too hard to be funny”.
Every generation of comedy has that certain someone that pushes things too far. Jerry Lewis had that same problem and it time for him to grow on people. As I said earlier I had the same sort of problem with Jim Carrey. But seeing these two nitwits on screen was a welcomed relief. The audience I saw this with seemed to really enjoy it. I saw this on opening weekend and it was a packed house. The guys sitting behind me a few rows back couldn’t really keep it together. They busted out loud with laughter and didn’t even cover their mouths. It seems that people really do like these sort of comedies and let’s get real here for a second because if you really want to talk about what is terrible I could go in my review on, “Scary Movie 4”.
I’m not going to ruin the plot for you in this review. There are plenty of other sites that will do that for you. But the film takes on this epic journey mentality and that just feels refreshing even if that journey is insane. The humor is gross and at times sexist and ridiculous but isn’t that what you paid for? The jokes are delivered here in rapid speed and that works great on film. This is where it gets interesting. This style of joke delivery also worked great in, “Anchorman 2: Ron Burgundy – The Legend Continues”. The backdrops include wide open highways, a road trip, funeral parlors, rich mansions and these are fantastic places for rapid fire dumb comedy and observations. But this type of comedy doesn’t work well for me in a TV sit com with only one room such as ABC’s horrendously awful, “Young & Hungry” or “Cristela”. There the comedy seems forced and the laughter doesn’t seem deserved due to bad timing.
The premise, I will go into briefly, is that Harry, (played by Jeff Daniels) needs a kidney transplant. This leads to a search for a long lost daughter. Jim Carrey has the hots for Harry’s daughter and together they get wrapped up in a murder plot. There is a cross country road journey that puts them on course to a science summit in El Paso, Texas. There is more confrontation of the dumb vs society at this conference called, “The Ken Conference” which is a parody of the TED culture. Along the journey we are subjected to insane flashbacks of the past as well as bizarre love influenced fantasy sequences ala Lloyd, (Jim Carrey). The ending is something you will have to just experience for yourself but it will be worth it.
The good news is that this movie is laugh out loud funny. You might second guess the experience once you walk out of the theater. There is a good chance that your date will not understand you or gain a lower sense of opinion of you. That being said don’t use this for a date movie. Go see something friendly and totally off the wall like maybe, “The Maze Runner”. But if you want something that is flat out hilarious and outrageous go see, “Dumb and Dumber To”.
My favorite parts are when Harry meets his Chinese step parents after years of separation. This entire sequence is totally inappropriate and culturally insensitive but truly funny. It is a guilty pleasure because it collides head on with the worst multicultural stereotypes. There is no pause or fast forward button and it is very uncomfortable to watch – but worth it. Another great moment for me was when Harry meets up with the legal guardians of his daughter. There is a cell phone sequence that takes place at the mansion that is straight out of MAD Magazine.
I give this movie three stars out of five. It is not going to win any awards but then you never know, (Yentl won a Global Globe Award). Oh and if by chance you ignore all the negative reviews and do check this out for yourself be on the lookout for the soundtrack in this film. I particularly liked Franz Ferdinand, “Right Action” which accentuates certain key moments of this film. The team at the Farrelly Brothers have a great pop sensibility. All those years ago they gave us the fantastic sounds of Echobelly.
You will like this movie. You will love it if you really give it a chance.
And my word is my bond. James Bond.
HOT METRO FINDS – NOV. 2014