I remember a fair few of the key jokes so I’m sure I watched Dumb and Dumberin its entirety when I was younger. However, if I did, it wasn’t one of the films that made a massive impact on me. Still, when news of the sequel came out I was still hit with a wave of nostalgia at the thought of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reuniting as Harry and Lloyd once again. At least until I saw the first on-set picture of the pair. Then I just felt sad, embarrassed and old. The only thing I’ve seen recently that’s more tragic is the S Club 7 reunion. I mean if Paul can no longer ‘get down on the floor’ then what’s the point?
Dumb and Dumber, the Farrelly Brothers’ outrageous road comedy of 1994, has become something of a cult classic in the last two decades. It’s responsible for helping reinforce Jim Carrey’s position as a key comic performer. Since its release there have been a few attempts to build on its success in the shape of a short-lived cartoon and an unofficial prequel, bearing little connection to the previous release.
2014 marks the reunion of the original quartet and their quest to show the world what has happened to Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) since 1994. God knows we’ve all spent the last twenty years wondering. Never ones to push themselves too much, the Farrellys bring back the road trip idea of the first film. Harry and Lloyd set off to track down Harry’s newly discovered daughter so he can make use of her kidney in some much needed surgery. Needless to say, hilarity ensues.
Although a lot of that hilarity just made me cringe. I don’t think I’ve been this embarrassed to be watching a film since my curiosity led me to watch Sex and the City 2. Trust me, I’m still having fucking nightmares about it. Surprisingly, this wasn’t because Carrey and Daniels are so fucking old now. If anything the pair made this film as successful as it was. Despite their wide and varied careers, you can tell that the two were having a great deal of fun getting back into their old roles. It is particularly refreshing to see Jeff Daniels return to this world of silliness as his career has become kinda serious lately. It’s pretty difficult not to get swept up in their energy and joy. Basically Dumb and Dumber Tois the cinematic equivalent of a contact high: you can’t get away from it.
Besides, there are a still a few moments that are funny. After all, when you throw everything at a target you’re bound to strike it at least once. Of course this does mean that for every one joke that makes you giggle there are countless ones that just don’t work or are stretched to fucking breaking point. It doesn’t help that the only thing about the Farrelly brothers’ film that hasn’t moved on in the past two decades is the humour. Now I’m not saying I expected the pair to go sophisticated for this sequel but I have to admit that jokes that perhaps seemed fresh in the 90s just seems a bit too familiar these days.
The best way to describe Dumb and Dumber To is lazy: sitting watching it I wasn’t struck with the idea that any effort had been put into making any part of this. The script is littered with nicely silly moments but not enough to make it worthwhile. The plot itself is just an overly long series of events that happen to get Harry and Lloyd into ridiculous positions. It’s all just too complicated and too contrived. There are countless plot-points that could have been dropped in favour of a clearer main narrative. We have a main road trip; a long-lost daughter; Lloyd’s romantic intentions towards said daughter; a scorned step-mother; a murder plot; a Scientists multi-million dollar idea; and a marine and his brother. It’s exhausting even typing these into the post let alone trying to keep up with them on screen.
If the Farrellys had taken more care they could have trimmed a lot of the excess baggage and unnecessary jokes to create a fairly decent 80-90 minute feature. Unfortunately, what we have is nearly two hours of material that is more worn out, bloated and past its prime than the film’s main stars. Loads of people want to see this film based on the promise the first one made in the 90s. The reality is just fucking depressing and awkward. It seems that, unlike S Club 7, some things just don’t have a place in this modern world.