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DUMB AND DUMBER TO Movie Review – Not A Complete Disaster

Twenty years ago, Jim Carrey became JIM CARREY. Thanks to the surprise success of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, followed up by The Mask, co-starring a then unknown Cameron Diaz, Carrey was riding a hot streak. It wasn’t until Dumb and Dumber, released on Dec. 16, 1994, that the comedian really hit pay dirt. Now, after several false starts, broken promises and one horrific prequel, Carrey and the gang are all back for Dumb and Dumber To.

To keep the back story of what Lloyd Christmas (Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) have been up to all this time simple, Lloyd has spent the past 20 years in a mental asylum, catatonic over losing the girl in the original Dumb and Dumber. Like the best friend he is, Harry has visited him every week since, even wiping up some poo on occasion. Lloyd finally comes out of it, revealing the whole thing was an elaborate prank. Soon after, Harry learns from Freda Felcher (Kathleen Turner) that he has a long lost daughter and the pair hit the road to meet her.

Dumb and Dumber To has been a long time coming. When plans for the sequel originally fell apart, the studio moved ahead with the Carrey and Daniels-less Dumb and Dumberer in 2003, an abominable train wreck of a movie so bad, it pains me to even type the title out. With so much time between the original and the new sequel, would a sequel to Dumb and Dumber, a moviethat launched the Farrelly Brothers and ushered in an era of dumb comedies, belong in today’s world of comedy, where wit and awkwardness rule the day? The answer is yes … and no.

The Farrelly Brothers owned comedy from 1994 to Me, Myself & Irene in 2000. Kingpin is an underrated classic featuring an all-time performance from Bill Murray and There’s Something About Mary revived the R-rated comedy. Since then, the duo have become lazier and lazier with their films, only showing passable interest sporadically. Dumb and Dumber To, especially in the slow as molasses first act, suffers from this very problem. Then, once Harry and Lloyd hit the road with Travis (Rob Riggle) in two, the sequel recaptures some of what made the original a classic.

Carrey is always willing to do anything for a laugh, but it’s Jeff Daniels at the heart of the Dumb and Dumber films. Playing the dim-witted Harry frees Daniels up in a way nothing else can. As with the original, he’s clearly having the time of his life, which helps explain why the recent Emmy winner for Best Actor in a Drama is willing to show his butt crack no less than five times in To. Throw Riggle, with his manic, militaristic energy into the mix, and suddenly Carrey and Daniels have that old magic going, the Farrelly’s look like they care, and Dumb and Dumber To is a surprisingly funny movie. The fun doesn’t last and the Farrelly’s nonchalance towards anything not poop-related returns, but in spurts, Dumb and Dumber To bucks the low expectations and works.

Dumb and Dumber To isn’t going to set the world on fire. People aren’t going to suddenly proclaim everyone is back in top form. But for a little while the sequel shows sparks of life, which may not be enough for most, but more than plenty for those with fond memories of the original.

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The Author

Ryan Hill

Ryan Hill

Ryan Hill used to spend his time writing screenplays into a notebook instead of doing homework. That love of film and all things storytelling led him to spend most of his time writing. He's been a film critic in North Carolina for over five years, and his debut novel, THE BOOK OF BART, is out now. Please buy it. Ryan also feels odd about referring to himself in the third person.