Jim Carrey has come a long way from winning a couple of Golden Globes for best dramatic actor. Few actors had a better decade than Carrey did in the ’90s. He managed to dominate comedies and dramatic roles. Since then, he appeared in one of the best movies of all time, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. After a few experimental roles and failures with ‘The Number 23’ and ‘I Love You, Philip Morris,’ Carrey went right back to his comfort zone, outlandish comedy. Is he back where he needs to be or is this a step back?
Both Carrey and Jeff Daniels are back in their classic roles as the lovable losers, Harry and Lloyd. As the trailer suggests, Lloyd has been running a 20-year long prank on Harry acting as if he’s been living in a vegetative state. Very quickly, we learn that Harry has a kidney that needs to be replaced and apparently has a 22-year old daughter that he never knew about. The two of them, once again, set off on a road trip. Only this time they are seeking Harry’s biological daughter to ask her for a kidney. Somehow these two get entangled in a murder conspiracy and manage to botch things at every turn.
The road trip angle should sound very familiar. Everything about this movie is familiar, well, because it is the same movie as the first. The trap that comedy sequels usually fall into is when the filmmakers know that audiences love certain characters and the sitcom-y situations they find themselves in. So, they just make the same movie with the same jokes and same plot. The only thing that changes is the environment. I used to call this the Hangover II treatment, but Dumb and Dumber To might take over for its lack of originality.
The jokes that worked 20 years ago are now a crutch, only repeated to satisfy an audience that once quoted them with pride. The poorly-timed and poorly-received humor only shows the weakness of the Farrelly Brothers and how much trouble Carrey’s career is in. It’s hard to imagine who was asking for this movie. I’d argue that it was only Carrey and the Farrellys themselves. Jeff Daniels, currently on a hot streak with his Emmy award win for his work on The Newsroom, is better than this material.
Beyond the crass joke that closed the trailer, just imagine a movie that thinks its uproariously funny to pull a catheter out by force. The jokes continue to roll in as we see poop jokes about changing an adult’s diaper and, for some reason, seeing a young girl’s embarrassing period stain. Doesn’t that sound hilarious? If you answered yes, I’m going to have to ask you to reconsider your life decisions. There may still be time for you.
Forget about how these characters used to be unlucky and naive. Instead of stepping back into their old shoes, it seems like Carrey and Daniels went back and watched the original movie last week and they’re doing their best impressions. Lloyd is a jerk for some reason and Harry is somehow even more childish than before. You may enjoy Dumb and Dumber To if you care to see how old Billy the blind kid or Sea Bass look now. Once again, every joke that was shown in the original is repeated here.
There a hollow desperation to every joke. It’s painful to watch these men give their all to a script that couldn’t have possibly been funny on paper. Carrey repeats a joke throughout the movie, “My word is my bond….James Bond.” It doesn’t work the first time and seems odd each time he repeats it.
I went into this movie thinking that if it got me to gut-laugh at least three times, I would consider it a success. After a long 110 minutes, I can honestly say that I didn’t laugh one time. What a terrible movie. I’m struggle to think of the audience this was made for. Nostalgia can only take you so far. Good on Jennifer Lawrence for asking for her cameo to be removed.
Don’t be stupid. Skip Dumb and Dumber To.