Saturday, 20 December 2014

Review: Dumb And Dumber To

World of Blackout Film Review

Dumb And Dumber To Poster

Dumb And Dumber To
Cert: 15 / 109 mins / Dir. Peter Farrelly & Bobby Farrelly
WoB Rating: 5/7

Ah, 1994. It seems like only weeks ago that my best friend and I sat in the front row of Canterbury ABC cinema watching Dumb And Dumber, each working our way steadily through a bottle of wine*1, and laughing uproariously along to Jim Carrey at the height of his game. I had a coffee this evening, and I didn't laugh quite that much. Perhaps this is a lesson.

Set twenty years after the events of the first movie, Dumb And Dumber To sees our heroes reunited and embarking on a road-trip to track down Harry's recently discovered long-lost daughter, Penny; so that Harry can try and convince her to be a kidney donor for him, and so that Lloyd can woo her into marrying him. All they have to do is meet up with Penny at the KEN science expo in El Paso where she's due to give a speech on behalf of her genius adoptive-father. What could possibly go wrong?

With the hapless pair taking a cross-country trip to seek out an attractive young woman whilst becoming embroiled in a botched crime-caper, the film is a thoroughly shameless rehash of what's gone before. It's carried off, for the most part, by the chemistry between Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey, and they still play the physical gags to perfection after all these years. Sadly, even these two are frequently derailed by a script which is still in its second-draft, peppered with verbal jokes which don't quite work for the characters delivering them, and even a few toe-curling callbacks to the 1994 original*2.

All in all the film sort-of-works, coasting largely on the charm of having Harry and Lloyd back together. But this is a film that the Farrelly brothers should have put out in the late 1990's, when a lot of its more off-colour humour and naivety could have been forgiven by being caught up in the whirlwind of delivering an anticipated sequel. Sadly, this isn't the case in 2014; this film didn't need to be made*3. That is was is a testament to the continued bankability of Carrey, Daniels and the Farrellys, but while it's certainly nothing to be ashamed of, I doubt the film will be headlining many of the cast's CVs in the near future.

Extra points though, for a Hot Fuzz-level cameo by Bill Murray.

For all my moaning and over-analysis though, I rather enjoyed Dumb And Dumber To. It's certainly got a higher hit-rate than certain other comedies this year, and as transparently unnecessary as it is, the film comes from a far less cynical place than its stablemates.

But I'd be lying if I said it wouldn't be improved by a bottle of wine…

Is the trailer representative of the film?
Well, it sets the tone, certainly.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Mostly, although not always as much as I should have, I suspect.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Look, it's better than Dumb and Dumberer, so yes.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
Realistically, it's a DVD.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
I won't.

Will I watch it again?
I will.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
Didn't hear one, but the volume in Screen Four was set to Deafening™ this evening, and there are a couple of scenes where I may have missed one. I'll go with no, though.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

And my question for YOU is…
Can we stop putting Rob Riggle in things now, though? He's not as good as he seems to think he is...

*1 They were more innocent times. Well, they were times when cinema staff were less inclined to search customers on the way into the auditorium, certainly.
*2 Basically just Jim Carrey saying a few key phrases from the first film, occasionally, with very little reason or context; the most basic and insulting type of callback.
*3 The most worrying moment is the film's end credits which feature side-by-side clips of the first film and the one you've just watched, essentially reminding you of how fantastic Dumb And Dumber was and also that you haven't enjoyed this one quite as much. Or in the case of many critics, anywhere near as much, apparently.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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