Synopsis: Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprise their signature roles as Lloyd and Harry in the sequel to the smash hit that took the physical comedy and kicked it in the nuts: Dumb and Dumber To. The original film’s directors, Peter and Bobby Farrelly, take Lloyd and Harry on a road trip to find a child Harry never knew he had and the responsibility neither should ever, ever be given.
Release Date: November 14, 2014 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Nearly 20 years after donning the chipped tooth and moptop of Harry and Lloyd, Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey are back for Dumb and Dumber To. Yes, there was a prequel released in the interim, but neither Carrey, Daniels, nor the Farrelly Bros. were involved in that project. In essence, this is the sequel fans of the first film were hoping to see back in 1994; it’s only two decades later. With that passage of time comes lower expectations and greater fears that Dumb and Dumber To might be a shameless comedy cash grab. Thankfully, Dumb and Dumber To, at the very least, gives the impression that the cast and crew wanted to do right by the franchise. They take care to craft a story that ties back into and emulates the narrative of the first film, without becoming a rote retread. It’s a comedy sequel that at least goes for it, even if it isn’t entirely successful.
To say that Dumb and Dumber To is a “dumb” movie would be to put it mildly. This is a movie where juvenile humor abounds and for some people that will be wholly off-putting. Those people aren’t wrong to dislike Dumb and Dumber To, but those who do enjoy its brand of silly humor aren’t either. Taste plays a major part in the film’s appeal, and if it doesn’t click instantly then chances are this will be an arduous 2-hour experience.
Those who do buy into the world of Harry and Lloyd, however, will relish the opportunity to revisit these characters. Yet again the Farrelly Brothers frame the film as a road trip, only this time the duo is in search of Harry’s daughter. There are some familiar bits to the journey and some unique bits as well, all of which help callback to the 1994 original without being a direct copy-and-paste job. Harry and Lloyd also cross paths with some colorful characters along the way that more often than not play the straight man to their goofballs. Packaged together, the story is a fun enough adventure with a handful of intriguing twists and turns, even if it isn’t A-level storytelling. Again, it has the same tone and feel of the first movie’s journey, but it avoids duplicating the same scenarios. Basically, it’s a passable sequel storyline with plenty of flaws, many of which are excusable in the context of this nonsensical world.
Dumb and Dumber To‘s greatest fault rests with its actor’s inability to “buy” into the material. Some have no problem playing the straight man to Carrey and Daniels’ goofballs, but other performances are so forced and awkward they’re hardly believable. At times Carrey and Daniels even feel unsure how best to portray these characters, likely a byproduct of the time between releases. In a regular drama or comedy these clunky performances might have been easier to overlook, but in a movie whose main focus is on being silly they make it hard to watch. That’s compounded even further when the jokes fail to land. Luckily, even when the film is being dumb (in a bad way), it’s hard not to at least crack a smile.
Dumb and Dumber To avoids the sequel curse, but only barely. It skirts by on a mixture of two parts nostalgia and one part clever comedic writing. Daniels and Carrey may not bring much to their performances overall, but the times they do put forth maximum effort far outweigh the phoned-in scenes. Most importantly, Dumb and Dumber To is funny more so than it is sad, tired, or cliche, and the film offers enough in the way of goofy laughs that most viewers will enjoy their time overall. It’s not the laugh riot or the timeless comedic classic that its predecessor was, but Dumb and Dumber To is not a train wreck. So that’s a win.
Dumb and Dumber To offers enough in the way of laughs and giggles that it’s sure to please the average fan. But know that, much like the first film, this is a very silly, oftentimes juvenile, piece of comedy. The jokes are by no means smart – although they are occasionally clever – and when they don’t land they are cringe worthy. That being said, there are some really great twists and punch lines in the film, which are thoughtful and unexpected. They show Carrey and Daniels at their best, but more importantly prove that the writers were actually trying.
Basically, a good barometer for whether you will find the film funny is the first trailer. If you laughed at least once, then you’ll likely get enough out of the full film to make it worth the trouble.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Bobby Farrelly
- Screenwriter(s): Sean AndersMike CerroneBobby Farrelly
- Story: Peter Farrelly
- Cast: John MorrisBennett Yellin Jim Carrey (Lloyd Christmas)Jeff Daniels (Harry Dunne)Rob Riggle (Travis)Laurie Holden (Adele)Rachel Melvin (Penny)Kathleen Turner (Fraida Felcher)Bill Murray (Ice Pick)
- Cinematographer: Matthew F. Leonetti
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s): Aaron Osborne
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA