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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sean Kelly

My Thoughts on Dumb and Dumber To

DumbandDumberToJim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reunite with the Farrelly Brothers for this sequel to the 1994 hit comedy Dumb and Dumber.  Lloyd (Carrey) reunites with Harry (Daniels) after spending two decades in a care home, as part of an extended gag.  Harry tells Lloyd that he needs to have a kidney transplant and that they need to find a donor.  By pure happenstance, Harry finds a postcard (dated 1991) from his ex-girlfriend Fraida Felcher (Kathleen Turner) saying that she is pregnant.  Harry and Lloyd find out from Fraida that her daughter, named Penny (Rachel Melvin), was given up for adoption.  Harry and Lloyd then sets off on a cross-country road to find Penny, so she could be Harry’s donor.

Along with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Mask, the original Dumb and Dumber was one of the three 1994 comedies that helped to propel Jim Carrey to superstardom.  That said, it can be safe to say that nobody was particularly asking for a sequel, especially after the somewhat disastrous 2003 prequel Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd.  Of course, that film was a pure cash-in, which had the involvement of neither the Farrelly Brothers nor Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, all of whom are back for this twenty years later follow-up.

Dumb and Dumber To isn’t necessarily trying to bring anything new to the table and the film in fact follows many of the same beats of the first film.  The film is also a demonstration how much lower the bar for comedy has gone in two decades, with Dumb and Dumber To being much more low brow and stupid than the original.  However, that did not stop me from finding the film to still be extremely funny.

Much of the credit for the film has to be given to Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, who are absolutely giving it their all with their performances.  The film is all about Harry and Lloyd’s stupidity and Carrey and Daniels sell the film’s gags quite well.  While I did have initial worries about the advanced ages of Carrey and Daniels, with the latter pushing 60, their ages didn’t end up affecting the comedy.  Watching the original Dumb and Dumber is not really required to understand the plot of this sequel, even though the film features many call-backs, including Harry’s dog-decaled car.

As good as Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are in the film, the actual plot of Dumb and Dumber To ends up being the film’s weakest element.  While the original film’s plot isn’t exactly Oscar-worthy itself, it did seem to be somewhat more well put together than the sequel.  More or less, the hunt for Harry’s illegitimate daughter is really just a way to lead into the film’s many dumb gags, even though it’s a nice touch that Penny turns out to be just as dumb as Harry and Lloyd.  The film also features some antagonistic characters played by Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead) and Rob Riggle, who really just seem to be in the film to give it villains.

Issues about the plot aside, I can still say that I had a pretty enjoyable time watching Dumb and Dumber To.  While I will probably agree that this sequel is somewhat unnecessary fan service, I still laughed pretty hard at the gags in Dumb and Dumber To, which is enough for me.

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Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).