It’s been 20 years since my favorite comedy of all time exploded into the world. I know every line in the film, every beat, and spend more time than I should while under the influence of drugs quoting these lines. I actively boycotted the prequel and when the idea of a second film started flitting across the web, I crossed my arms and said “fuck no.” But now, after a few trailers hit funnier than they should, my expectations might be low enough that I’m ready to enjoy this son of a bitch.
I’m going to get this little bit off the table: this is not Dumb and Dumber. It’s not as funny or well made nor does it feature performances from Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels one-one-hundredth of the caliber. Dumb and Dumber is a goddamn classic and this, I’m almost positive, never will be. And you know, after spending my evening at the theater, embracing the opportunity to spend another couple hours with Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne, I’m perfectly fine with a second effort that doesn’t quite live up. This isn’t Dumb and Dumber, but it certainly tries to be, and when it succeeds, it’s hilarious, and when it doesn’t, well, it’s everything you’ve probably come to expect from a sequel to Dumb and Dumber. Where the first film had a some semblance of an interesting plot that drove the story forward naturally, this film sacrifices meaningful development in lieu of a series of hit-and-miss comedic gags that, more often than not, draw the exact same water from the same exact well previously tapped by The Farrelly Brothers. I mean it’s a film about two stupid dudes trying to find someone important while being chased by nefarious characters. There’s a scene with Binaca; a scene with a string-orchestrated memory sequence; a scene with the Shaggin’ Wagon; a scene where a trick goes hilariously wrong and so on and so forth. If you can get past that the film is funny, especially Jim Carrey, who is able to once again wrangle that rubberface of his into some truly sublime bits of stupidity. Daniels though, well, he just hasn’t aged as well. He feels like a stage actor playing the part of Harry Dunne, and though it never drags the film too far down, it doesn’t do much good. When Harry or Lloyd aren’t on screen, which isn’t often, the film is rote and boring and you can probably just shut yourself down for a minute or two. One more time: this isn’t a great film, it’s just barely a good film, but at it’s core it has Christmas and Dunne, stupider than ever, and even better, The Farrelly Brothers seem to treat them with enough respect that it never becomes a worthless endeavor.
Kathleen Turner, I applaud you for committing yourself to film once more. Please never do it again.