Dumb and Dumber To Movie Review
Dumb and Dumber was hilarious back in the day. Its long awaited sequel Dumb and Dumber To is less funny. You weren’t really expecting anything different, were you?
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprise their roles as Lloyd and Harry, Carrey because his career has hit a brick wall and Daniels because… Newsroom is all but wrapped? Who knows. Also returning are directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly, whose sense of humor went out of style 15 years ago.
Audiences have largely moved on from the slapstick comedies that were so popular in the 1980’s (The Naked Gun) and 1990’s (Dumb and Dumber), because people’s tastes in movies, and especially comedy, evolve over time. The biggest fans of the original, like myself, were teenagers back then—and are now adults. Admittedly, my maturity level hasn’t increased significantly over the last two decades.
Nonetheless, Dumb and Dumber holds a special place in my heart, and I was hopeful that somehow, someway, I’ll-sign-away-my-soul-to-the-devil-willing, its sequel would rekindle the magic of the original, with the less optimistic belief that it had only a 5% shot at actually accomplishing such a feat.
The movie is not great, but how much you enjoy it depends greatly on how much you want this movie to be good.
Carrey and Daniels are both 20 years older, and while they more or less look like the same Harry and Lloyd we remember, they both appear less comfortable as their idiotic characters this go-around. More of the jokes feel strained, even forced, and there are definitely just as many hits and misses. The cast—and not just the two leads—struggle to deliver their lines with the energy, enthusiasm and “sincerity” needed to really make the comedy work on a consistent basis.
And yet I wanted to really enjoy myself, so I let Dumb and Dumber To entertain me. While completely acknowledging that many of the jokes are tired, the story is a disappointing rehash of the first one and the entire production is largely a cash grab, I laughed more than a few times.
Dumb and Dumber To could have been a lot worse. It could also have been a little better. By basically telling the same story over again—the idiots set out on a road trip to deliver a package, unaware that bad people are trying to kill them—the Farrelly brothers set their production up for inferior comparisons to the original even more than necessary. Typically funny Rob Riggle is relegated to a straight man role, oddly enough, and Rachel Melvin’s Penny is an obnoxious character who consistently falls flat.
Dumb and Dumber To isn’t a very good movie, but it isn’t a complete waste, either. Considering everything going against it, the Farrrelly brothers have managed to scrounge up enough humor to take another road trip—as long as you go in with honest and low expectations.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.