By Mark Saldana
Rating: 2.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
It has been twenty years since Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) went on their hilarious and eventful road trip to Aspen and introduced the world to the writing/directing Farelly brothers. During this extensive time period, the Farelly brothers, Carrey, and Daniels have all had their share of career highs and lows. Call it popular demand, a lack of new ideas, or both, but for better or worse, Bobby and Peter Farelly have brought back these (depending on one’s taste) beloved/maligned characters and have decided to take them on another cinematic adventure. On the positive side, they managed to sign Daniels and Carrey to reprise their roles, but on the negative end, the fresh and ingenious ideas are not all there. Dumb and Dumber To may deliver some laughs, but will probably never achieve the legendary cult following that the first installment has earned through the years.
Twenty years have passed since Harry and Lloyd came to the aid of Mary “Samsonite” Swanson, and her rejection of LLoyd’s romantic advances have left him in a state of catatonia, or so Harry is lead to believe. For the last two decades Harry has visited and helped care for Lloyd while he has stayed in a psychiatric facility. During one particular visit, Lloyd finally speaks and reveals that his stay in the institution has been an elaborate and ludicrous prank. After getting released Lloyd gets reacquainted with Harry who mentions his need for a new kidney. After discovering that Harry has an estranged daughter living in Maryland, the guys travel there to find out if she would be at all willing to donate one of kidneys. Much like their last road trip together, their ineptness gets them into some situations of both the comedic and troublesome varieties.
Written by the Farelly brothers, Sean Anders, John Morris, Bennett Yellin, and Mike Cerrone, this sequel pales in comparison with its predecessor. The movie has a decent number of funny moments, but some of the jokes and gags get repeated too often. In addition to that type of redundancy, the filmmakers reprise some of the same gags from the first movie. In fact, the entire structure of the story and plot is lifted from the first installment. They leads are re-introduced. They go on a road trip and their stupidity gets them into some hilarious and dangerous scenarios. There are silly fantasy sequences and despite their older ages, Harry and Lloyd really haven’t matured at all. That last part is fine, because as a fan of the first film, I want to see some of that dumb and doltish behavior that make these characters so lovable. I can’t help, but feel that the filmmakers waited way too long to bring these characters back.
Though it has been so long, Daniels and Carrey slipped back into these roles like comfortable pairs shoes. They may look a little aged, but these talented actors perform beautifully and make it seem almost effortless. They certainly were born to play Harry and Lloyd and obviously remember them well. Joining them on their new adventure is Rob Riggle who, despite playing two roles, doesn’t get that much funny material. He plays it mostly straight and smart as a foil to the dim-witted leads. The movie also feature Lauren Holden, Steve Tom, and Kathleen Turner. The lovely Rachel Melvin portrays Penny, Harry’s not-so-sharp, but very sweet daughter. Melvin performs well, but her character will probably grate on some people.
Obviously, the humor will have that effect on some people as well. The Farelly brothers are well know for their not so politically correct humor and this movie is no exception. I honestly cannot recommend this movie for those who abhor the first movie, but will recommend it as either or matinee or rental for the fans. It is fun to see Lloyd and Harry back on the screen, but it would have been better if the filmmakers had given them something different to do here. A wider variety of new jokes and gags would have helped greatly as well.